Green cleaning - sustainable cleaning equipment | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED O+M: Existing Buildings | v3 - LEED 2008

Green cleaning - sustainable cleaning equipment

EQc3.7 | Possible 1 point


To reduce the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical, biological and particulate contaminants that adversely affect air quality, human health, building finishes, building systems and the environment, from powered cleaning equipment.


Implement a program for the use of janitorial equipment that reduces building contaminants and minimizes environmental impact. The cleaning equipment program must require the following:

  • Vacuum cleaners are certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute “Green Label” Testing Program for vacuum cleaners and operate with a sound level of less than 70dBA.
  • Carpet extraction equipment used for restorative deep cleaning is certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s “Seal of Approval” Testing Program for deep-cleaning extractors.
  • Powered floor maintenance equipment, including electric and battery-powered floor buffers and burnishers, is equipped with vacuums, guards and/or other devices for capturing fine particulates and operates with a sound level of less than 70dBA.
  • Propane-powered floor equipment has high-efficiency, low-emissions engines with catalytic converters and mufflers that meet the California Air Resources Board (CARB) or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for the specific engine size and operate with a sound level of less than 90dBA.
  • Automated scrubbing machines are equipped with variable-speed feed pumps and on-board chemical metering to optimize the use of cleaning fluids. Alternatively, the scrubbing machines use only tap water with no added cleaning products.
  • Battery-powered equipment is equipped with environmentally preferable gel batteries.
  • Powered equipment is ergonomically designed to minimize vibration, noise and user fatigue.
  • Equipment is designed with safeguards, such as rollers or rubber bumpers, to reduce potential damage to building surfaces.

Keep a log for all powered cleaning equipment to document the date of equipment purchase and all repair and maintenance activities and include vendor specification sheets for each type of equipment in use.

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