Welcome Summer 2021 Interns!

Join us in welcoming our Summer 2021 intern team! We are excited to have them with us to help drive forward our mission. With them joining, there is such great momentum moving us into this summer, and we can’t wait to see how much we get accomplished together. We are so grateful to have them, and wish them a warm welcome to this community!

Erika Yao

Hello! I am excited to join Ann, Ethan, and Meredith in their mission to drive sustainable and regenerative design within the built environment. I graduated last year from the University of Connecticut with my Bachelor’s in Environmental Engineering, and recently finished my first year of the Sustainable Building Systems Master’s program at Northeastern University. I am passionate about sustainable design and look forward to being more involved in the community surrounding green building.

Christian Rudder

Hi, my name is Christian; I’m thankful to be a part of the mission that’s playing a big role in making our community’s environment healthier and more sustainable. I’m currently a freshman computer science major at MassBay Community College looking to transfer into a 4-year college to get my bachelor’s and hopefully pursue my master’s. I’m eager to jump into the world of green buildings and utilize my talents to help push the future of sustainable and regenerative design, construction, and operations of the built environment.

Elizabeth Newton

Hi! My name is Elizabeth, I’m excited to be working with Built Environment Plus in such an important field to push sustainable design further ahead. I graduated in May from Clarkson University with my Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and will be continuing on to obtain my Master’s in Sustainable Building Systems from Northeastern University starting this fall. I’m excited to gain some experience in the industry and apply it to my education later. I’m eager to see all my future opportunities within Built Environment Plus throughout this summer.

Melissa Stok

Hi! My name is Melissa Stok and I am thrilled to be joining Built Environment Plus this summer to learn about and work towards sustainability in the built environment. I am a current undergraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology majoring in Materials Science and Engineering and am hoping to minor in Sustainability or Energy Studies. I was introduced to sustainable design and construction last summer through a project that I worked on and immediately found a passion for this work which I will get to delve deeper into over the course of the next few months!

Congratulations to the First Ever Graduates of the BE+ Green Building Leadership Institute!

The Green Building Leadership Institute – Emerging Professionals Certificate Program is a self-paced program that allows emerging professionals and students to foster their sustainable building knowledge leadership skills, community engagement, and professional brand as the next generation of professionals within the built environment.

The program contains four credit categories; Accreditations/Certifications, Chapter Engagement, Community Involvement, and Leadership Development; each of which has a designated number of points that must be achieved to earn a certificate of completion. Participants complete the program once they reach 100 points, which is no easy feat.

The following nine participants recently earned these 100 points and graduated from the program. Many of them left earning their LEED AP BD+C, LEED Green Associate, and WELL AP Accreditations. They attended an impressive amount of events and trainings focused on green building knowledge and leadership. As part of the program, participants also volunteered time within their communities.

    • Abigail Keilman – Smith Group
    • Alex Testa – Siena Construction
    • Ashleigh Savage – Smith Group
    • Bethany Robertson – Ci Design
    • Caitlin Gilman – Perkins Eastman
    • Jacob Savona – The Green Engineer
    • Kara Slocum – Sasaki
    • Kristen Murphy – Acentech
    • Lindsey Machamer – Austin Energy Green Building

These nine emerging professionals have made an incredible personal investment with us these last two years, and in doing so have positioned themselves as community experts and the next generation of leaders ensuring we create a sustainable and resilience built environment. Congratulations to the graduates!

Hand Dryers are CDC Recommended and Also The More Sustainable Choice.

Hand Dryers are CDC Recommended and Also The More Sustainable Choice.

Written by Excel Dryer, photo via BusinessWire

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates handwashing guidelines and materials

The importance of proper hand hygiene, thoroughly washing and drying hands, cannot be overstated

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated handwashing guidelines, standardizing language and updating visuals. Though hand dryers have always been recommended by the organization, language around the topic of hand drying was inconsistent across industries and materials. Now, with the latest updates, the CDC’s stance is unequivocally clear: hand dryers are a supported hand drying solution.

The CDC has shared that “germs spread more easily when hands are wet” and recommends thorough hand drying with clean towels or hand dryers to mitigate germ transfer and the spread of viruses like COVID-19. The organization’s robust hand hygiene media library now visually depicts both towels and hand dryers as a means to complete hygienic hand drying in materials supporting the Stop Germs! Wash Your Hands campaign including fact sheets, posters and other downloadable assets. Additionally, CDC hand drying FAQs and reopening guidelines across industries, including schools, make specific mention of hand dryers among recommended supplies to have on hand.  

“Hand drying is a critical step of proper hand hygiene but has not received the same media attention that handwashing has throughout the pandemic,” shared William Gagnon, vice president of marketing and sales at Excel Dryer. “Ask most anyone how long you should wash your hands and they’re likely to respond with ’20 seconds’ or ‘the amount of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.’ I don’t believe they realize how important hand drying is to the process and am hopeful the updated materials will help to mitigate confusion and, in turn, the virus’ spread.” 

Excel Dryer’s line of sensor-activated, touchless hand dryers have long been trusted to achieve proper hand hygiene by retail stores, airports, restaurants, schools and universities, stadiums and arenas, hospitals and healthcare facilities, public safety complexes—and any commercial facility with public and/or employee restrooms.  

The CDC’s updated guidelines provide peace of mind to facility managers and members of the public who will interact with hand dryers as these sites reopen.

“We encourage policy makers, owners, operators and any decision makers or organizations responsible for commercial facilities to consult the updated CDC hygiene resources when reopening guidelines are formulated,” furthered Gagnon. “In some instances, these guidelines will need to be updated to correct incorrect guidance on the use of hand dryers. The CDC has made this point clear: hand dryers are recommended.”

When comparing paper hand towels to electric hand dryers, studies like those investigated by BuildingGreen, show that from an energy and water use perspective, hand dryers come out on top. This release from the CDC also verifies it’s also a hygienic solution as well. Read the blog post Check the Hand-Dryer Facts: Five Fundamental Facts Build a Strong Case for Hand-Dryers for additional information.

To review the CDC’s handwashing recommendations, visit cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html. To learn more about Excel Dryer’s hygienic hand drying solutions, visit: exceldryer.com


About Excel Dryer, Inc. 

Excel Dryer has been manufacturing the finest American-made hand dryers for more than 50 years. The family-owned and -operated company revolutionized the industry with the invention of the patented XLERATOR® Hand Dryer that created the high-speed, energy-efficient hand dryer category and set a new standard for performance, reliability and customer satisfaction. Excel Dryer prides itself on offering the best customer service and making hygienic, cost-effective and sustainable products people can depend on. Available for distribution worldwide, Excel Dryer products can be purchased through an established network of sales representatives who call on more than 5,000 distributors globally. Learn more about Excel Dryer at exceldryer.com.

EMPA Event Recap: Virtual Summer Picnic

Written by Kiersten Washle

The evening of July 9th everyone gathered round their computers to enjoy a virtual summer picnic with several guest speakers to discuss ideas around the theme of “How to Green Your Life.”

The first guest speaker, Sarah Oakes, spoke about how she vermicomposts in her backyard. She shared some practical tips for how anyone can compost, even without a backyard. For instance, she suggested keeping compostable scraps in a bag in your freezer until you can drop them off at a compost point.  

The second speaker, Thea, discussed her goal of having a wardrobe that isn’t environmentally harmful. She has developed a vetting practice for the brands she works with and purchases from to make sure they have truly sustainable practices versus greenwashed marketing. Check out her YouTube channel here

The last speaker, Prachi Dhavale, showed us how she created her own urban garden on a petit apartment balcony. Her space featured many brightly colored flowers and edible plants as well as a hummingbird feeder to really bring a touch of nature to an otherwise completely urban apartment. Check out more on her instagram @theperennialgreenlab

From these speakers and the conversations thereafter, here are some ideas on how to be more sustainable in your own life:

  • Compost
  • Avoid single use coffee cups by bringing your own or asking for your drink to be “for here” 
  • Air drying your clothes rather than using a dryer
  • Purchasing food with as little packaging as possible
  • Try growing your own food, some vegetables can be grown from scraps
  • Walk instead of drive
  • Shop locally
  • Use things until their end of life

Lastly, be sure to join us at the next EMPA meeting to get to know like-minded young professionals and grow the sustainable network!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts (EPMA) Committee is a community of ascending professionals cross the green building industry and allied fields helping drive sustainable and regenerative design, construction and operation of the built environment. The committee provides professional support, development and advocacy tools through active networking, monthly programming and community events.

Check the Hand-Dryer Facts: Five Fundamental Facts Build a Strong Case for Hand-Dryers

Written By Excel Dryer

Over the past few years, conflicting stories regarding hand-drying with paper towels versus hand dryers have proliferated. But industry professionals involved with building green, environmentally friendly buildings and facilities should understand the facts.

When you explore the latest statements and studies from the world’s foremost health authorities, the truth becomes much clearer. And, with hand hygiene playing a life-and-death role during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to inform your building decisions with the safest, most economical selections. Simply stated, a smarter clean and green solution is at hand.

Fact ✓  There is no scientific data that suggests hand dryers spread the coronavirus.

Actually, powered hand dryers have the ability to remove viruses. A leading, independent air media and filter testing company—LMS Technologies—recently tested the effectiveness of hand dryers against the spread of germs. The HEPA Filtration System available in Excel Hand Dryers removed 99.999 percent of viruses.

Science has proven that no-touch, sensor-activated, hands-under, high-speed, energy-efficient hand drying is absolutely a hygienic way to dry hands after washing—and is an extremely efficient option, as well. 

“We have no evidence that hand dryers are spreading the coronavirus…”

World Health Organization

“There is no evidence that these hand dryers are spreading the virus.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Fact ✓  Hand dryers are “greener” than paper towels.

Did you know it takes 17 trees, 20,000 gallons of water and 40 cubic feet of landfill space to produce one ton of virgin paper? Not only that, that paper production pollutes 7,000 gallons of water.

The XLERATOR® Hand Dryer dries hands completely in eight seconds and uses 80 percent less energy than conventional dryers. XLERATOR is the only hand dryer that is Made In USA Certified®, BuildingGreen Approved and helps qualify for the most LEED® Credits of any hand dryer on the market.

Fact ✓  Hand dryers are the economical solution.

Hand dryers aren’t just “green”—they save you green as well. Operating hand dryers can cost as little as 50 cents per 1,000 uses. Comparatively, paper towels cost about $23 per 1,000 uses. That’s a huge costs savings. Over the life expectancy of the XLERATOR (1.35 million cycles), you can save almost $30,000 per hand dryer installed.

Our hand dryers also require minimal maintenance, improve restroom hygiene and contribute to a “touchless” restroom experience.

Fact ✓  Hand dryers are more sustainable than paper towels.

High-speed, energy-efficient hand dryers allow you to enjoy a 75% reduction in your carbon footprint versus paper towels. Excel Dryer continues to lead the industry in environmental sustainability. Excel was also the first in the industry to have their products independently evaluated, and their environmental claims substantiated with the publication of the hand dryer industry’s first Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

There’s never been a better time to look into premium-quality hand dryers with HEPA filtration. Excel Dryers are the cleaner, greener choice. Ready to learn more? Give us a call at 888-503-7937 or visit exceldryer.com.