ASTM E1971 - 05(2011)

    Standard Guide for Stewardship for the Cleaning of Commercial and Institutional Buildings

    Active Standard ASTM E1971 | Developed by Subcommittee: E60.01

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.12


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    ASTM E1971

    Significance and Use

    Cleaning provides well documented benefits in terms of creating cleaner, safer, and healthier surroundings by extracting harmful pollutants from the indoor environment (see Ref (3)). An improperly maintained indoor environment could give rise to biological contaminants, and buildup of particulate matter and gases which can have serious health effects. These negative impacts may have adverse affects on worker productivity affecting both cleaning personnel and tenants through increased complaints, absenteeism, injuries, asthmatic incidents, or other symptoms. Inappropriate or improper use or selection of cleaning products and processes, along with failure to follow label directions could result in injury or illness to cleaning personnel or building occupants. In addition, it may be detrimental to the physical structure and systems of the building, or to the environment. Moreover, owners and operators maintain the liability for the proper function of the building and its impacts on the occupants and cleaning personnel.

    This guide provides a basic reference for the development and preservation of a building environment that is considered safe and healthy for occupants, while reducing the stress on the overall environment as a result of routine maintenance. The anticipated users of this guide include building managers, cleaning personnel, product suppliers and distributors, union representatives, and building occupants who serve together in a stewardship role regarding the maintenance of the building. This guide is intended to raise pertinent questions regarding specific building environments in order that an appropriate stewardship strategy may be developed, for example:

    How is the building used?

    Are there any special cleaning requirements?

    Are there any at-risk populations that need to be considered, such as children, asthmatics, or pregnant woman?

    How are cleaning materials used?

    Are there any special issues relevant to construction and furnishings?

    Are there any issues relating to building age/architectural, such as historic preservation requirements?

    are there any engineering concerns, such as HVAC systems and natural ventilation?

    How is the quality of cleaning being evaluated or measured?

    Regardless of the specific requirements, this guide will help in the formulation of a comprehensive plan resulting in reduced risk to cleaning personnel, building occupants, and the environment.

    This guide will help the building owner and operator understand the cleaning process through the following:

    The development of a stewardship plan (see Section 6), will clarify the level of cleanliness that is required or expected, and will ensure that the cleaning process is carried out in a consistent manner with adequate communication feedback to promote success of the plan.

    An understanding of extended product responsibility (see Section 7) and the importance of shared responsibility. This section includes task identification and performance requirements, process and product selection, use, storage, and disposal.

    An identification of the training and communications issues (see Section 8) that will encourage involvement with the entire chain-of-commerce in the cleaning process. These issues are related to both procedural training and feedback opportunities for cleaning personnel, as well as information sharing with building tenants to inform them of possible cleaning process impacts.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide covers a procedure to assist owners and operators of commercial and institutional buildings in the stewardship of cleaning and housekeeping operations. The focus of this guide is to address appropriate cleaning activities and processes, to promote eco-efficiency and sustainability, and to avoid adverse impacts on the building occupants, cleaning personnel, the building structure itself, and the environment. Adherence to the principles set forth in this guide can lead to greater tenant/occupant satisfaction, reduced operational costs and greater productivity (of occupants and cleaning personnel).

    1.2 This guide will focus on the development of a stewardship plan and will include the assessment of cleaning processes, product selection, storage, usage, disposal, equipment, training of cleaning personnel and communication throughout the chain-of-commerce.

    1.3 This guide addresses issues relating to the operation and maintenance of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems which can have a major impact on indoor air quality (IAQ) only to the extent that the HVAC system provides adequate ventilation to lower risk to cleaning personnel, building occupants and the environment during or as a result of the cleaning process.

    1.4 This guide is for use in a building that is maintained by either in-house cleaning personnel or an outside cleaning contractor.

    1.5 This guide is not intended for construction related activities, but may be appropriate for post construction clean-up.

    1.6 This guide is not intended as a procedural guide for cleaning personnel.

    1.7 This guide is not intended for use in residential buildings.

    1.8 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.9 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this guide may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a projects many unique aspects. The word Standard in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.

    1.10 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E631 Terminology of Building Constructions

    E833 Terminology of Building Economics

    E2114 Terminology for Sustainability Relative to the Performance of Buildings

    Other Standards

    ISO14040 Life Cycle Assessment


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 03.080.10 (Industrial services); 97.020 (Home economics in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 72121103(Commercial and office building renovation and repair service)


    DOI: 10.1520/E1971-05R11

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