January 16, 2015

Four Ways To Keep Your Building Flu-Free

This week, 46 states reported widespread flu activity, and it's going to continue for at least several weeks, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates. We asked Cushman & Wakefield's Jim Whelan—who manages 3.5M SF for a global financial institution in Midtown Manhattan—the steps his buildings are taking to help stop the spread.

1) Provide hand sanitizer in common areas.

Buildings in his portfolio provide Purell stations in every elevator bank and the lobby. “This is what tenants are most appreciative of,” says Jim—they want the option of being able to easily cleanse their hands after touching elevator buttons or coming in from public transportation.

2) Clean high-touch areas more frequently.

The picture from the CDC, above, shows a sneeze in progress and how far the droplets actually spread; the center says studies show that the influenza virus can survive on surfaces between two and eight hours. When there's a flu or illness outbreak, Jim's team makes sure to more frequently clean highly trafficked areas, including doorknobs, handsets and bathroom faucets. He also recommends that tenants increase the frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces for their individual offices and workstations. It helps when they're proactive as well, he says.

3) Keep tabs on the air.

Flickr/Phil Whitehouse

Jim says it's standard practice at his properties to proactively perform indoor air-quality testing with a focus on humidity levels—if those drop below 30%, it can cause sinus issues and other health problems for occupants.

4) Train staff on proper use of various cleaning materials.

Jim says staff is trained on how to use each product the most effective way in order to prevent the spread of germs. The CDC says flu viruses can be destroyed by heat (167-212°F) and certain chemicals (including chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents, iodine-based antiseptics and alcohols), provided they're used in proper concentrations for a sufficient length of time.

How are you keeping your buildings healthy? Tell amanda@bisnow.com.

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What You Don't Know About
Russ Salzman

Position: EVP & CEO of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)
Location: Chicago
Responsibilities: Leads and supports the expanding international society of real estate management practitioners, who guide the organization's domestic operations and global expansion (right now, it has 80 US and 13 global chapters that focus on advancing ethical standards and professional best practices in real estate management). 
How he got involved in IREM: Was president of Chicago's Magnificent Mile Association, a local chamber of commerce. IREM was an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors, one of Mag Mile Association's members, and knew of Russ' civic leadership. When the EVP & CEO position opened in 2004, Russ was tapped to fill it.
Daily habit: Finding time for a fitness activity, whether running, swimming, biking or boot camp. Russ is an annual participant in triathlons and recently started running half marathons.
Favorite music group and song: “Sugar Magnolia” by the Grateful Dead. Each time the band is in town, he and his two brothers reunite to see them, a tradition since 1976.
Favorite movie: A Few Good Men, as well as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.
Favorite book: Chapman Piloting and Seamanship, which Russ—a licensed Coast Guard professional captain—says is the recognized authority on maritime skills and expertise.
Favorite place to sail: The beautiful freshwater Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes.
Favorite food: Anything healthy, but particularly fish and veggies.
Favorite restaurant: Joe's Seafood and Stone Crab in Chicago.
Favorite vacation: The annual Chicago to Mackinac yacht race—a 333-mile, non-stop, three-day journey to Michigan's Mackinac Island—that Russ has sailed for the past 30 years.
Education and credentials: Bachelor's in business from Western Illinois University; a CAE designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE); and the IOM designation from the Institute for Organization Management. He's been in nonprofit leadership for 30-plus years.
First job: A delivery boy for a local grocer and butcher in Chicago's North Side, where he learned that service with a smile works pretty well.
Job in another life: Teach "Lessons of Leadership" through the skills and teamwork found in sailboat racing—based on his yet-to-be-published book, Leadership Lessons from a Life as a Sailor, as well as from his experiences as an Eagle Scout and camp staffer.
Item on bucket list: He's heading to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota in 2016 (on his way to the ASAE convention in Salt Lake City) and expects to put 2,000 miles on his old Harley-Davidson.
Person he'd like to meet, dead or alive: He lives in the land of Lincoln, so Honest Abe.
Family life: Dad to a wonderful adult daughter, and his mother and two brothers live in the Chicago area.
Startling fact: He was a guitarist and vocalist in a rock 'n' roll band called Montgomery Street, which put out an album (Russ wrote three of the 10 songs) and performed 176 concerts over 14 years.

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Tishman Speyer Names New Global Property Manager

Michael Norton, the global property manager at Tishman Speyer, has stepped down and was replaced by Rockefeller Center asset management chief Thomas Madden. Jerry and Rob Speyer (above), the co-CEOs of the real estate powerhouse, wrote in an internal memo obtained by The Real Deal that “Mike has been with us for over 17 years and has been responsible for our first-class property management platform. Leading our global efforts, he has reinforced policies and procedures to ensure consistency of high-quality management striving for operational excellence.” Madden, who previously served as head of global property management before 2000, will return to the role while also maintaining his current Rockefeller Center title. Roughly half of Tishman Speyer's 99M SF international portfolio spans North America, with the rest spread across China (18M SF), India (12M SF), Brazil (10M SF) and Europe (9M SF).


Cooling Tower Linked to Legionnaires Outbreak

This week, potentially deadly bacteria Legionella was found in a cooling tower at New York City's 15,000-unit Co-Op City complex, where eight residents have been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, a severe form of pneumonia, reports the New York Daily News. Management company River Bay Corp started disinfecting the water in its cooling system with chlorine and is paying a chemical treatment company $200k to scrub down the tower—which cools the building's heating and electrical systems—to ensure the bacteria doesn't grow back, the Daily News reports.


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Tell Us

Have your buildings been hit hard by the flu? Tell amanda@bisnow.com.