How to Safely Prepare for Re-Entry
by Tim Chimack, Rose Paving LLC
The COVID-19 outbreak has left many building owners feeling stuck between a rock and a hard place. After all, the mortgage doesn't care if your tenants can’t pay the rent because of Coronavirus.
It’s a bad situation for everyone but there are things commercial property managers can do to ease the strain on their tenants, limit their liability and prepare for a phased re-entry in the coming months.
Operational Guidance for Essential Businesses
While many tenants in commercial buildings are working from home, essential workers are still commuting to work and putting themselves at risk, which is why it’s important to maintain parking lots to accommodate these individuals and the increased curb-side customer traffic.
Parking Lot TrafficFortunately, you can ensure safe building operations, better protect workers, visitors and customers amid COVID-19 while your parking paving partners are hard at work performing repairs and maintenance to client properties.
Mobilizations/PhasesPhased re-entry is the buzzword nowadays but what does it mean for your property? It means that you will have a unique opportunity to perform essential work and repairs while your parking lots are vacant. No cars on the lot means work can be completed in less time, which adds up to enhanced savings down the road.
LiabilityNow’s also a terrific time to review your liability and fix those things you’ve been meaning to fix before you reopen for business and someone potentially gets hurt, like potholes, uneven concrete, faded lot marking and trip and fall hazards.
Peace of mindWith your lot repaired and your building prepared for safe re-entry, you can revel in something that few commercial property owners are likely to experience in the coming days, peace of mind. Knowing you’ve done everything you can to ensure the safety of tenants, customers and staff, you’re free to move ahead and get work extra done now while the schedule is more flexible. Trust us, once the economy reopens, the schedule to perform work will be less free and have a much longer turn-around time.
Guidance for Business Continuity During COVID-19
To best serve our clients during this time of crisis, we have compiled the following guidance measures for business continuity during COVID-19. Here you’ll find guidance on how to safely prepare commercial buildings for the safe return of tenants, building personnel, visitors, vendors and customers alike.
Commercial property managers will also find safety procedures and protocols to implement, update and/or enhance to ensure the safe operation of your commercial properties in the post-COVID-19 world.
InfrastructureSome paving companies are fortunate enough to have remained working during this pandemic but it’s not due to luck. Make sure your parking lot paving partner has a fully dedicated leadership team and staff work tirelessly to ensure that their IT infrastructure is sound, secure and able to function under the increased strain of staff working from home.
For a paving company, you’d think the emphasis would be on physical infrastructure but in this case, it’s the commitment to mobile and work at home IT functionality that enabled has enabled the innovative players to operate and serve clients during these trying times.
Working from homeLike many organizations, the successful parking lot paving companies have office personnel working from home, serving clients with the same efficiency and reliability as they always have, only now with greater commitment and perspective. It’s no longer about keeping clients happy. It’s about doing our part a professional service provider to ensure our clients can serve their staff and customers - essential workers and the medical professionals who patronize their businesses.
Social DistancingIn our business, it’s paramount to provide services that are performed outside in wide open spaces, typically roped off to the general public. This helps us practice social distancing and keep our crews and clients safe. As we move into the stages of phased re-entry, commercial property owners are reminded to not only practice social distancing but also implement measures that make social distancing easy and intuitive for staff and clients inside their buildings, like marking out where customers should stand with tape and installing sneeze guards between registers and customers.
PPEPPE is our favorite new acronym and now part of our everyday vocabulary. Make sure your parking lot paving partners are fully equipped with PPE to allow for safely meeting with clients on site; crews to perform work with ease so that staff can safely return to the office when the time comes. Taking every measure possible to ensure minimal contact and protect staff, crew and clients from the COVID-19 risk is a new top priority and your paving partner should have the proper measures in place to provide that assurance.
Though PPE is hard to come by and should never be hoarded, commercial property owners should still make sure they have enough PPE to ensure the safety of their staff and customers, and cross train their staff in the correct application, use and disposal of PPE equipment.
Reliable Information During COVID-19
For many commercial property owners, the Coronavirus was a wakeup call. Many woke up and realized that, in addition to the biological threat posed to their staff and customers, commercial property owners must also grapple with the economic threat to their business.
There is a light at the end of this tunnel and we can reach it if we stick together, stay apart and implement the measures that keep tenants, staff and customers safe.
The COVID-19 pandemic spread quickly across the United States in February and March, forcing cities to impose stay-at home anGetting Back to Work-Preparing Buildings for Reentry - revised 4-28-20.pdfd shelter-in-place orders. Building operations had to adjust as non-essential personnel worked from home. We are now preparing for a phased re-entry of office buildings over the coming months.
To provide guidance on building operations and workforce issues, BOMA International assembled a task group from across North America to help owners and managers plan for what is coming.
This document provides guidance for preparing commercial buildings for the safe return of office tenants, building personnel, visitors, vendors, contractors, and others, and identifies other operational and safety procedures and protocols that should be implemented, updated, or enhanced as we prepare to live and work in a post-COVID-19 world.
This is a framework for developing your individual property or portfolio plans. Information presented represents suggested best practices and procedures and identifies questions and issues you should consider.
CLICK HERE to view the entire document
Government Affairs CommitteeDebby Pyznarski, Chair
In an effort to keep our members well informed, the Government Affairs Committee regularly reviews news feeds, State and Local legislative initiatives, and other relevant sources to keep you up-to-date on issues that could impact you and your organizations.
1. “The first know COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in Illinois. Named among the defendants is a landlord that owned and managed…”Click Here to read the entire article.
2. The Treasury Department and IRS just sent out some helpful guidance on the CARES Act that could impact your Net Operating Carryback Losses. In summary, the decrease in tax attributable to the net operating carryback loss is applied against 5 unpaid amounts of tax. Any remainder of the decrease is credited or refunded within the 90-day period. Please consult with your CPA or tax attorney for details.
3. When members of the Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors were on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC earlier this year, we were asking for a fix to a “typo” in the 2017 Tax Law which reverted Leasehold Depreciation, now known as QIP (Qualified Improvement Property), from 15 to 39 years. The CARES Act fixed our ask! This is a BIG WIN for Property Owners. See: https://www.bisnow.com/national/news/economy/cares-act-expands-greatly-deductions-for-ti-retailers-and-restaurants-103833?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser&utm_source=outbound_pub_116&utm_campaign=outbound_issue_37777&utm_content=outbound_link_7&utm_medium=email
HOW TO ACCESS THE WEBINAR: To access this recording, go to this link https://learn.boma.org/products/covid-19-maintaining-building-operations-and-preparing-for-re-occupancy?force_login=1 and log in with your BOMA Int'l credential. If you don't have your credentials, just click on the "Forgot your Password" link. You can also find this product in your BOMA Int’l Dashboard after you've logged in.”
Potable Water Issues
Debby Pyznarski, the Chair of BOMA/Suburban Chicago’s Government Affairs Committee, obtained the below letter from the Department of Homeland Security regarding the many rumors and facts circulating around the country related to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please review and share with your teams.
FEMA Coronavirus Rumor Control Website: https://www.fema.gov/Coronavirus-Rumor-Control
The purpose of this FEMA page is to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis, stay informed with our updated myth vs. facts related to the federal (COVID-19) response.
For more information on the coronavirus, please visit coronavirus.gov. You can also visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) response page for more updates on the federal response.
Myth: There is a national lockdown and the entire country will be quarantined for two weeks.
Fact: There is no national lockdown. As with all information online or shared via social media, it is important to verify the source of the information. You can find the latest information as well as links to additional resources at www.coronavirus.gov.
Myth: FEMA has deployed military assets.
Fact: No, FEMA does not have military assets. Like all emergencies, response is most successful when it is locally executed, state managed and federally supported. Each state’s governor is responsible for response activities in their state, to include establishing curfews, deploying the National Guard if needed and any other restrictions or safety measures they deem necessary for the health and welfare of their citizens.
Myth: I need to stockpile as many groceries and supplies as I can.
Fact: Please only buy what your family needs for a week. It is important to remember that many families may be unable to buy a supply of food and water for weeks in advance. Consumer demand has recently been exceptionally high – especially for grocery, household cleaning, and some healthcare products. Freight flows are not disrupted, but stores need time to restock.
Myth: I heard that the government is sending $1,000 checks. How do I sign up?
Fact: The U.S. Government is not mailing checks in response to COVID-19 at this time. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer. It’s important that you only trust information coming from official sources. The Federal Trade Commission recently provided more information about this scam and other common COVID-19 related scams on their website.
Myth: Only those over 60 years of age and those with existing health problems are at risk from the Coronavirus.
Fact: It is an unfortunate rumor that only people over 60 years of age are at risk of getting this disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those at higher risk include older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions. However, symptoms can range from mild to severe with and may have different complications for each individual. The CDC has a list of COVID-19 symptoms you may experience. Please continue to follow the official information from the CDC.
Thank you and stay safe.
W. S. Brown
Section Chief - Commercial Facilities
Stakeholder Engagement Division
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
Office: 703-603-5019 (O) | Cell: 202-860-6603 (C) | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The below article was written and posted on the BOMA Chicago website on 3/20/20:
Governor JB Pritzker announced on Friday, March 20th that he signed a statewide stay at home order, aiming to keep new cases of COVID-19 from rapidly increasing and ensure the state's health care system remains fully operational to treat patients in need of urgent care.
The order takes effect 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. In addition to the stay at home provisions, it also orders all local government units across the state to halt all evictions and bans gatherings of more than 10 people.
All first responders, emergency management personnel, law enforcement personnel, health care workers and others working to support Essential Businesses and Essential Government Functions like grocery stores and pharmacies are exempt from this stay at home order.
Additionally, building management and maintenance are categorized as Essential Infrastructure, meaning these individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to offer, provision, operate, maintain and repair Essential Infrastructure.
According to Chicago Department of Buildings Commissioner Judith Frydland at the Department of Buildings, construction is specifically exempted from the Executive order, however, workers must comply with precautions set forth on the local, state and national level.
The governor's action today formalizes his calls this week for Illinoisans to stay home as much as possible, aside from meeting their basic needs. In that regard, the stay at home order permits a range of activities that will allow Illinoisans to get their necessities while maintaining social distance from others, which include but are not limited to:
Essential Government Functions:
All services provided by state and local governments needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public
Essential Businesses and Operations:
All non-essential business and operations must cease, aside from Minimum Basic Operations. Business can continue with employees working from home. Minimum Basic Operations includes the minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of inventory, preserve plant and equipment condition, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits and facilitate employees working remotely.
The order also closes licensed child care centers and all childcare homes serving more than six children. The Pritzker administration is working to expand the availability of child care for essential workers, while protecting the health of the children and child care teachers and home providers. A new Emergency Child Care Center license is being created with more flexibility but much smaller group sizes to ensure social distancing for children in care.
Only essential travel is permitted at this time and must be done in accordance with social distancing requirements. That includes travel related to:
C A N C E L L E D
Due To Ongoing Concerns For
Our Members and Guests Safety
Brought to you by the Program Committee
The commercial real estate (CRE) industry has been historically known to be a domain where intelligence is passed down from person to person. While that has worked well so far, there seems to be something bigger and brighter beckoning on its horizon that will combine human intelligence and technology-based systems like artificial intelligence (AI).
Such blended AI-based systems could help steer the CRE industry towards a future of unimaginable growth and success. But what are some of the advantages and challenges of artificial intelligence that property professionals should be prepared for?
Find out at the March Members Lunch: CRE and Artificial Intelligence, where Vince Zuppa, Director and Vice President of Property Management at Prologis will discuss how artificial intelligence is interacting with and impacting the commercial real estate industry.
Some key areas that Vince will cover are:
* What is artificial intelligence (AI) in the realm of CRE?
* How is AI currently being used in commercial real estate?
* How is AI affecting our workforce and their current skill set?
* Can AI reduce costs and improve operations?
* Is AI an industry disruptor?
Board of Directors and the
Emergency Preparedness Committee
Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update
March 13, 2020
It is important to educate your building occupants, guests, and staff with relevant, trustworthy sources of information during these uncertain times. To that end, BOMA International and BOMA/Suburban Chicago offer the following resources for your consideration:
as of March 13, 2020
BOMA/Georgia, in partnership with the
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology,
hosted a very informative 60-minute webinar for
commercial real estate professionals.
"We are pleased to share with you the recording of yesterday's webinar, as well as some additional resources and information that can assist you as you navigate the current COVID-19 outbreak.
"The growing health concern caused by the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe has captured the attention of governments, health organizations, and every-day citizens. In this national webinar produced by BOMA Georgia, conducted in partnership with the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Krystle Johnson with Emory Healthcare shared with attendees the key facts they need to know about COVID-19, the threat it poses, infectious control basics, and more.
"Toward the end of the webinar, she also answered several questions of importance to operation and management of buildings. Additionally, the webinar explores what role property and facility managers can play in preventing the spread of infectious disease within buildings."
To watch the webinar: https://leader.creinsightjournal.com/coronavirus-covid-19-webinar-boma-georgia-apic-of-greater-atlanta/
Additional Resources from BOMA Georgia
BOMA Georgia Foundation COVID-19 and
Infectious Disease Control Resource Guide
Ongoing Development of Resources for Disease Prevention
CDC COVID-19 Website
CDC COVID-19 Environmental Cleaning and
Northern Illinois University
OSHA #7210: Pandemic Influenza and Workplace Preparedness
See: https://www.niu.edu/nsec/course-schedules/osha-courses/osha-7210.shtml for more information.
As of March 13, the number of coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 1,700. During this time of unrest, it is imperative that your organization is armed with the knowledge to make critical business decisions and ensure better risk management outcomes.
Attend our FREE one-hour webinar for expert insight from Senior Advisor William Besse and VP of Consulting Services Brian Dusza.
Main Topics of Discussion
Tips for coping during a crisis
Business continuity recommendations
Considerations and preparations to
keep your employees safe and protect your finances
To register: http://pages.aus.com/032020-Coronavirus-Preparedness-RACS-Webinar-Registration.html
Michael P. Mulcrone, Executive Director
March 12, 2020
It is important to continue to prepare your employees, building occupants, and staff for a more widespread outbreak. BOMA’s Guide, COVID-19 Preparedness Checklist, and BOMA Canada’s Pandemic Guide provide foundational knowledge to better understand the contagion and how to best prepare and react in a commercial building setting (BOMA International).
Based on the e-mails, committee meetings, and conference calls I have participated in over the past several days, one thing stands out – get your information from a responsible source! There is a lot of misleading and downright inaccurate information floating around the internet.
Here are some good, reliable sources you can trust:
Atomatic Mechanical Services
Indoor Air Quality Enhancements
Over the past few months the hot topic for the world is the coronavirus and indoor air quality. From this heightened interest, many building owners and property managers have been asking what can be done to improve the air quality in their offices and business environments. To help address this, we are providing this summarized outline.
While there is currently nothing specific being called out as able to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, there are a variety of things that can be done to improve the indoor air quality of any environment. From the recent reiteration of ASHRAE 62.2.2019’s “Position Document on Airborne Infectious Diseases,” we have developed the following summary.
Four Key Ventilation Areas to Enhance Air Quality
# 1 – Dilution of Pollutants through an Increase in Fresh Air
This recommendation speaks to the current “fresh air %” provided to the space from the building’s ventilation equipment, and suggestions of what can be done to increase it for the sake of internal air quality.
# 2 – Decrease of Pollutants through Better Filtration of Recirculated Air
The quality and capability of your HVAC filters is something that can be improved by adopting a more frequent filter change policy and looking into your current filters “MERV” rating for potential improvement.
# 3 – Lessening of Susceptibility through Control of Humidity Range
The quality of air is influenced by the % of relative humidity in the space. The ideal range of humidity for a controlled environment is 30% to 50%. Too dry and mucous membranes in the nose and throat dry out, making us more susceptible to colds and respiratory illness. Too moist of an environment is conducive to mold spores, dust mites, and pollen which also promote respiratory issues, allergies, and asthma.
# 4 – Decrease of Pollutants through Improvement of Air through UV/Ionization
If airborne microbial bacteria, virus, and mold are of major concern, there are several levels of ultraviolet light solutions that can be applied to better the air quality of your ventilation. The levels are:
* Please note: Each of these recommendations have application pros and cons which need to be considered as you select the best course of action for your needs.
BOMA/Suburban Chicago is proud to celebrate 50 years of commercial real estate excellence and invites you to 2020 EXPO!
This year's EXPO theme, to celebrate our 50th year, is -- Then and Now. With an expanded EXPO floor, 98 exhibitors will feature even more products and services. Attend the 2020 EXPO to find out how their business changed in the last 50 years, and how it will evolve in the next 50.
Here’s what’s new this year:
• Two breakout sessions on exciting and relevant topics
• Entry card and first cash prize drawing for NEW guests
• Entry card and $500 cash drawing for ALL guests
Don’t wait. Sign up TODAY! Pre-registration deadline is Wednesday, February 12 and registration deadline is Friday, February 14.
Visit our 2020 EXPO page for more information.
1515 E. Woodfield Rd, Suite 110
Schaumburg IL 60173
Phone: (847) 995-0970
Fax: (847) 995-0971
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
BOMA/Suburban Chicago is federated with BOMA International