Electric vehicles are one of the great adventures for the next decade and promise reductions in energy consumption; BUT, they create challenges for property management teams:

1.   The cars require a power connection for recharging, which isn’t a ‘big deal’ for a homeowner operator with a driveway or garage.  BUT, what about the apartment complex or workplace parking lots  –   How will the charging stations be located ?   Coordinated with mandated “handicapped access parking” ?  and managed ?

2.     Standard systems require approximately 8 hours to develop a full recharged condition; and can be “topped” off  periodically to extend the driving distance beyond the 40-50 mile limit – which will be the most prevalent demand made on office, shopping center and hospital parking facilities.

3.     A number of vehicle systems permit  connection  to a standard 20 amp, 120 volt outlet; while others require different  types of  NEMA receptacle configurations and circuit ratings.  The industry is struggling with standardization at the present time. Read More…


Designers are being pushed to create piping systems for sustainable buildings that use fewer resources during construction and operation and have minimal cradle-to-cradle impact on the earth.

BUT, the choices have interesting challenges.

Consider comments from the website of  Marcus De La Fleur , a registered Landscape Architect and renovation contractor,  with experiences in Chicago and Europe:

Really, there is nothing sustainable to collecting your bathroom waste, transporting it through an elaborate sanitary sewer system with lift stations to a central location where it gets treated (to more or less ‘safe’ levels) and then dumped. The liquids get dumped into the nearest waterway, and the solids – well, most of them may end up in a landfill,  as landfill cover or just plain old waste. In short, this is mostly a one way waste stream with little or no recycling or reuse.

The alternative would be to process our sewage at the source. There are small waste treatment units, if there is enough space on the property.If there is not enough space, a large chunk of our bathroom waste could be diverted to a “grey water system” and/or composting toilets.

Oops! Did I just trigger a couple of heart attacks in the Department of Heath or the Department of Building or Water Management ? Read More…


Swimmer’s ear leads to about 2.4 million doctor visits each year and is responsible for nearly $500 million dollars in annual health care costs, according to estimates released by CDC. The report, published in CDC’s MMWR, is the first national study to estimate health care costs associated with this common ailment. Swimmer’s ear can develop when water stays in the  canal for a long time, allowing germs to grow and infect the skin. Exposure to water—through swimming, bathing, and other activities—and living in warm and humid climates increase the risk of developing swimmer’s ear. Germs found in pools and at other recreational water venues are one of the most common causes of  the infection. Most cases can be easily treated with prescription antimicrobial ear drops.

In one year, 1 in 123 Americans go to the doctor for swimmer’s ear; with the rates of doctor’s visits for swimmer’s ear  highest in children between the ages of 5 and 14 years. However, more than half of the reported infections occurred in adults over age 20. People living in the South had the highest regional rate of swimmer’s ear. Cases peaked during the summer swimming season, with 44 percent of cases occurring in June, July, or August. Read More…


Disaster planning requires employers to think the unthinkable but be realistic.

When you think about disasters, what images come to mind? Do you envision a tornado or other weather-related system ripping through your community and destroying homes and businesses in the process? Or maybe you envision a fire, system malfunction, medical emergency, or other major disaster?

A disaster is any unplanned event that can cause deaths or significant injuries, disrupt operations, cause physical or environmental damage, or threaten the facility’s financial standing or public image. The key is to mitigate threats before a disaster occurs yet have a plan in place to respond appropriately. Read More…


Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector borne illness (or disease transmitted to humans by ticks, mosquitoes, or fleas) in the United States, with nearly 30,000 confirmed cases reported.

In recognition of Lyme Disease Awareness month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds Americans to learn about this common tickborne disease and take steps to protect themselves if they live in or visit areas with Lyme disease activity.

Since 1992, the reported annual number of Lyme disease  cases has more than tripled, with children most at risk for the disease. Children are more at risk because they spend more time playing outdoors and in high grass or leaves, where the ticks that spread Lyme disease are found.

Lyme disease is transmitted to people through the bite of infected ticks. These ticks are most active during May through July, so it’s especially important that people living in affected regions take steps now to prevent Lyme disease when they go outside. About 95 percent of reported cases in 2009 were from just 12 states. In descending order of reported cases, they are: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine, and Virginia. Read More…