Revitalize your retail space with Omnia Pacific’s Turnkey Solutions

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Rubio’s Coastal Grill, one of California’s most beloved fast-food chains, recently announced the closure of 48 “underperforming” locations, citing the “rising cost of doing business.” This decision has left many fish taco enthusiasts disappointed and has posed significant challenges for commercial retail property owners, especially in the Los Angeles area (losing 24 locations), San Diego (losing 13 locations), and Northern California (losing 11 locations).

This unfortunate scenario reflects a broader trend in the turbulent commercial real estate landscape. Rising costs, economic fluctuations, and legislative changes, such as the recently passed California Assembly Bill 1228, which raised the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $20 per hour, have created precarious situations for property owners. These factors make it increasingly difficult to maintain occupancy and attract new, high-quality tenants.

Omnia Storefronts
Retail Space Available

So, what can you do if your current tenant announces plans to vacate? Omnia Pacific Construction has the answer. Our Turnkey Vacancy Prep and Cleanup Programs are designed to make your property stand out to prospective tenants, ensuring that it remains attractive, functional, and ready for new occupants. Here’s how we can help revitalize your property:

Vanilla Shell

Our Vanilla Shell service is designed to prepare your space for lease by removing all existing equipment, carpets, and furniture. We expertly patch walls and ensure that the space is in pristine, lease-ready condition. This service is essential for creating a blank canvas that allows potential tenants to envision their business in your space.

Vacancy Cleanup

A clean and well-maintained property is crucial for attracting new tenants. Our Vacancy Cleanup service includes thorough sweeping, mopping, sanitizing restrooms, and window washing. We recommend performing this service at least once per month to maintain a sparkling appearance and ensure that your property remains inviting to prospective tenants.

Exterior Storefront Activation

First impressions matter. Our Exterior Storefront Activation service is designed to attract attention and drive foot traffic to your vacant property. We enhance your storefront by smoking out windows and installing eye-catching adhesive window graphics. These visual enhancements quickly draw the interest of potential tenants and customers, making your space more appealing and increasing the likelihood of a quick lease.

Facia Sign Removal

A clean and modern exterior is essential for making your property attractive to new tenants. Our Facia Sign Removal service efficiently removes sign cans and seamlessly patches and paints the facia. This service gives your property a fresh, updated look, enhancing its curb appeal and making it more attractive to potential tenants.

Partner with Omnia Pacific Construction

In today’s competitive commercial real estate market, property owners must be proactive in maintaining and enhancing their properties to attract high-quality tenants. Omnia Pacific Construction offers comprehensive services that ensure your property stands out. By partnering with us, you can rest assured that your property will be in top shape, ready to impress prospective tenants and quickly re-lease.

For more information on how Omnia Pacific Construction can help you maintain and revitalize your commercial property, visit our services page.

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    A clean slate: How Omnia Pacific’s vanilla shell services are revolutionizing commercial construction.

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    In the world of commercial real estate, property owners are constantly seeking innovative solutions to attract tenants and maximize the value of their investments. Enter Omnia Pacific Construction, a trailblazer in the industry, leading the way with our specialized vanilla shell services that are revolutionizing commercial construction.

    Omnia Pacific understands that every square foot counts. That’s why we offer a comprehensive, turnkey approach to transforming commercial properties into pristine blank canvases for future tenants. Our vanilla shell services cover every aspect of construction, from flooring to utilities, ensuring meticulous attention to detail and a visually appealing environment that inspires.

    Two things set Omnia Pacific apart: First, our Construction Pros’ commitment to excellence and understanding of the financial aspect of turning a space around quickly so it can generate rent; and second, its collaboration with CAM Property Services, its parent company.  With one phone call, CAM handles everything from hauling to post-construction cleanups leaving spaces and properties sparkling ready for occupancy. This seamless integration accelerates the construction process and minimizes downtime, allowing property owners to lease up their space sooner.

    Vanilla shell service
    Vanilla shell service

    In the world of commercial real estate, property owners are constantly seeking innovative solutions to attract tenants and maximize the value of their investments. Enter Omnia Pacific Construction, a trailblazer in the industry, leading the way with our specialized vanilla shell services that are revolutionizing commercial construction.

    Omnia Pacific understands that every square foot counts. That’s why we offer a comprehensive, turnkey approach to transforming commercial properties into pristine blank canvases for future tenants. Our vanilla shell services cover every aspect of construction, from flooring to utilities, ensuring meticulous attention to detail and a visually appealing environment that inspires.

    Two things set Omnia Pacific apart: First, our Construction Pros’ commitment to excellence and understanding of the financial aspect of turning a space around quickly so it can generate rent; and second, its collaboration with CAM Property Services, its parent company.  With one phone call, CAM handles everything from hauling to post-construction cleanups leaving spaces and properties sparkling ready for occupancy. This seamless integration accelerates the construction process and minimizes downtime, allowing property owners to lease up their space sooner.

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      Tenant Improvement – Combined Properties West Coast Office

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      Client:

      Combined Properties

      Client Representative:

      Jason Struwe

      Project Address:

      9320 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA

      Description of project:

      Full buildout of new office space.

      Total Value:

      $640,000

      Timeframe to complete:

      5 months

      This project was originally put on hold due to cost concerns at the end of 2022. Due to our relationship and work on the above Reseda project, Combined Properties asked us to work with them on this design build project in order to get this project done before their lease and approved permits expired.

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        The Latest Trends in Retail Space Conversions

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        While there are always shifts and trends in the commercial property market, they usually happen gradually. Many predict that the retail and commercial real estate markets are on the verge of their most disruptive transitions in recent memory. Questions still linger as to which direction these retail conversions, shopping center makeovers, and office conversions will take.

        The ascent of e-commerce shopping and shifts in consumer shopping habits were occurring for more than a decade. The pandemic forced rapid widespread acceptance of online shopping for millions who may have otherwise taken years to adapt, if at all. It is too early to tell if these unnatural shifts in habits will continue in the long run.

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        Subsequently, the boom in e-commerce led to a near immediate demand for last mile distribution centers. Big box retailers with large spaces, empty stores, and vacant parking lots were an easy match to fill the need. Some converted to mini-distribution centers almost overnight.

        The conversion of retail shopping centers had begun long before the pandemic. The descent of former powerhouse retailers such as Sears and JC Penney signaled a decline in brick-and-mortar retail and prompted industry speculation about other uses for these large spaces. Indoor shopping malls also waned and were joined into the conversation.

        The requirements for last-mile distribution centers are much in line with those of retail stores. The proximity to population centers, transportation corridors, and large open spaces make them compatible conversions.

        Some indoor shopping mall spaces are being converted into high-end, creative office spaces. The open floorplan of tech work environments and the rise of co-work offices have opened the door for many of these types of conversions.

        Vacant office spaces are also being converted into co-workspaces to meet the demands of shifting work habits. With many office jobs shifting to remote or hybrid roles, the demand for individual office space is expected to decline dramatically. Shared workspaces and short-term office rentals may be viable solutions for underutilized office buildings.

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        The demand for medical offices is also on the rise. Depending on the practice and on-site services provided, these are conversions that can work well for strip malls, shopping centers, and office buildings.

        One of the reasons for the wide range of medical facility conversions is that the category covers a variety of business types. Medical specialists, dental offices, lab services, physical therapy, urgent care centers, and even veterinary care are the types of businesses that have taken up occupancy in converted spaces.

        While these are the typical conversions taking place in retail and office spaces, other transformations are also reshaping the commercial landscape. Concert venues, childcare centers, food halls, and experiential retail have all moved into converted spaces.

        Historic architecture has found new life as multifamily and mixed-use properties. Developers have also seen that blending residential with retail has proven to be very successful, finding cross-over compatibility, especially with high-end, open-air environments.

        Besides their proximity to large population centers, retail spaces have other characteristics that make them suitable for conversion. They generally have ample parking and the buildings are structurally capable of conversion, which makes them efficient to transform to other uses.

        Converting an unused space to a business that benefits the community will generally garner public support. Repurposing is also environmentally friendly. Construction costs and build time are significantly lower for conversions versus starting from the ground up.

        As the commercial landscape shifts, retail, office, and other commercial spaces will need to consider these types of solutions for maintaining occupancy into the future.

        Source: Omnia Pacific Construction, a division of Omnia Pacific Construction, is a construction company that specializes in revitalizing retail and commercial centers throughout Southern California.

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          The Basics of Linen Chutes and Installation

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          The construction of linen chutes for commercial use is a modern necessity for an operation such as a senior living facility, hotel, hospitality business, multifamily high-rise, or industrial facility. These convenient conduits can be installed inside internal building shafts or as external structures. While relatively simple in design they feature several elements that require construction expertise.

          Placing linen chute access points on upper floors allow for the easy transport of dirty laundry down to a central location, often directly into the laundry facility. Dirty and odorous linen can avoid elevators and other common areas. This also prevents potential injury from moving heavy laundry down long hallways or stairs.

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          Linen chutes are classified as gravity chutes because they are non-mechanical, relying on basic physics to move the load to a lower floor. The main vertical chute is either round or rectangular, traversing several floors.

          Building codes and compliance are the top considerations for new laundry chute construction. Proper installation demands mechanisms are in place for the safety of the building and its occupants.

          The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has strict guidelines about linen chute equipment. The governing codes in NFPA 82 include section 11.2.2, which states “Waste and linen chutes and transport systems including chute intake and discharge doors, shall be inspected and maintained not less than annually in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.”

          Fire suppression devices are important features as fire can travel and spread quickly through open conduits such as chutes. The first safety device is a sliding closure at the bottom level. Normally in the open position, it is held in place by a pin assembly that discharges under high heat. This automatically closes the shaft to prevent air, smoke, and fire from spreading rapidly if the laundry room is the point of origin.

          Laundry chutes are accessed at each upper floor through hinged metal doors. These doors are typically fire-rated at 90-120 minutes, depending on local codes. They may have other fire suppression features, such as sprinklers at each floor level.

          Chutes also have child-safe latches to prevent accidental opening. Doors are self-closing and openings are commonly limited to 18”. All door heights and hardware must be ADA compliant.

          Clearly the maintenance and inspection of linen chute systems are important. If you have maintenance questions, repair needs, or concerns about compliance inspections, a good place to start is your facility services team. They may provide this service or can refer you to a reliable source.

          Regular cleaning of linen chutes is also essential to maintain hygiene and a good working condition. Even if your system has an internal self-cleaning function, the exterior doors, hardware, and hopper require supplemental cleaning to stop contamination and prevent corrosion.

          Linen chutes may appear similar to ventilation shafts but they are typically made of a thicker gauge sheet metal to withstand the weight of heavy linen, which may also be wet. There are other structural elements to account for the heavy load, such as deceleration tracks, braces, and reinforcement at impact points.

          Constructed of stainless steel or aluminized steel, long shafts are welded together. The interiors are smooth and fitted to prevent damage to falling linen. Noise dampeners are also employed to reduce banging and ringing sounds. Rooftop exhaust ports are also essential.

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          While basic in appearance, there are many components that require professional expertise in the construction, custom fabrication, and installation of linen chutes. Incorporating them into existing facilities demands knowledge of commercial construction methods and practices.

          Linen chute manufacturers may offer installation but can be unfamiliar with building construction challenges. Chute projects often fall below the minimum threshold required to interest a large construction company. Therefore, the ideal sweet spot for linen chute installation is a small construction company with the industry expertise and flexibility to meet your needs.

          A company such as Omnia Pacific Construction is ideally suited to install your linen chute system in California. With decades of experience in the commercial space, they have worked with assisted living facilities, multifamily apartments, hotels, and industrial warehouses to bring convenient and cost-effective upgrades to their facilities. Call 800-974-4515 today to find out what they can do for your property.

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            Redesigning Your Office For ‘The New Normal’

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            As the world begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are finding it challenging to entice employees to return to the workplace. In what has been called “The Great Resignation,” waves of workers are leaving their jobs at record levels, and the requirement to return to the office full-time is playing a big part in that movement.

            According to a recent poll by McKinsey, a global management consulting company, 30 percent of respondents said they would consider quitting if forced to return to full-time, on-site employment, and about half of those who left their jobs cited a lack of a positive work-life balance as a primary reason. Faced with the challenges of this “new normal,” many employers are seeking to reach a middle ground, utilizing a hybrid model in which workers are on site or in office only a few days a week.

            Businesses who find themselves in a similar predicament — welcoming employees back in a hybrid capacity — should take this opportunity to reassess how the workspace fulfills their current needs. Fortunately, Omnia Pacific Construction can help you navigate this “new normal.”

            Redesign Your Workplace

            Under this new hybrid model, only a fraction of the workforce is in the office at any given time. Due to that, businesses are needing 40 to 50 percent less space than before the pandemic. As the workplace shrinks, the need to remodel and reimagine existing space comes into play. Omnia can connect you to specialties to navigate these obstacles — from planning and design to general construction and ADA remediation, we can help revitalize your space for “the new normal.”

            Our experts can reconfigure your space to facilitate socialization on time and on budget.

            Under this new hybrid model, only a fraction of the workforce is in the office at any given time. Due to that, businesses are needing 40 to 50 percent less space than before the pandemic. As the workplace shrinks, the need to remodel and reimagine existing space comes into play. Omnia can connect you to specialties to navigate these obstacles — from planning and design to general construction and ADA remediation, we can help revitalize your space for “the new normal.”

            Companies that improved overall performance during the pandemic relied on small, cross-functional, and cross-silo teams that worked with an in-person dimension. These teams brought with them a strong sense of socialization, something that has been missing in the remote work world. Taking a strategic approach to redesigning your office space in order to facilitate better collaboration, teamwork and socialization can help better maximize your company’s performance.

            Make A Clean And Safe Space

            Our on-site professionals will put your workers at ease with regular cleaning and responsive service.

            It’s imperative that employees feel secure knowing that they are returning to a clean and safe work environment. Firms are starting to expect concierge-level, face-to-face services for workers for them to feel at ease about the cleanliness and safety on their return to the workplace.

            Omnia Pacific Construction can fulfill this need by providing on-site professionals that ensure the facility is operating cleanly, smoothly, and efficiently. From ensuring that the interior office is up to code, all the way to cleaning graffiti and addressing vandalism, you can rest easy knowing our professionals are on the job.

            CAM provides the highest quality services for over 1,300 properties across California, and that number is constantly on the rise. Whether you need to remodel your office or hire day porter services, our reputation for knowledgeable and personable care is unmatched, and we’re always taking on new clients, big and small.

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              Industrial Trash Chute Installation

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              When it comes to managing trash collection at a facility, good logistics can make a huge difference. Small problems compound easily when taken to a large scale at places such as a multifamily apartment, high-rise office, hotel, or sports stadium. Trash chutes can make a big impact on many levels. They can improve facility cleanliness, air quality, labor costs, and even workplace safety.

              Multifamily residences are unique in this category as tenants of all ages are most likely to be accessing the trash chute door. Safety is a top priority. The first step is to make sure that the trash chute was professionally installed. Facility managers should also regularly schedule crews to clean and maintain trash chute equipment properly to prevent injury or harm to users, as well as financial liability.

              There are regulations that require proper inspection and maintenance of trash chute systems for a variety of health and safety reasons. Although concern is far more than a fire safety issue, the main authority is NFPA 82 (National Fire Protection Association). Local laws may have regional variances, so be sure to check. A reputable commercial contractor should be familiar with related building codes and annual inspection requirements.

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              Another code consideration is that the installation complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). There are requirements about aspects such as accessibility, door handle hardware, height, and enclosure space. Chutes not in compliance may require retrofitting or stiff penalties may be assessed. A CASp inspector can help identify and avoid these costly problems.

              Industrial trash chutes face the same regulations, although they are typically confined to “employees only” areas accessed by professional cleaning staff. Places like office buildings, commercial complexes, hotels, and assisted senior living facilities often have trash chutes for hauling away large volumes of garbage quickly and easily.

              Hauling trash indoors in this manner can minimize odors in common areas, hallways, elevators, and stairwells. It can also prevent slips from leakage and other employee injuries from hauling trash.

              These industrial chutes are typically installed during initial building construction, however, there are methods for installation in existing buildings. Experienced and licensed construction companies can provide more detailed information.

              Keep in mind that many large construction companies shy away from this type of work, so a reputable, specialist construction company may be the ideal partner.

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              A sports stadium is well suited for trash chute system installation. Volumes of baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and hockey fans generate tons of trash at each sporting event. Their unique building structure allows for trash chute installations before, during, and after primary construction.

              Trash chutes often deposit trash directly into lower-level dumpsters or trash compactors. This convenience can save time and labor costs. It also reduces the number of times trash is handled directly, in a time when cleanliness is at the forefront.

              While this can be convenient it also poses a problem. Combustibles and other hazardous materials commonly cause fires in trash areas. To prevent the quick spread of fire through these conduits, fire safety closures must be properly installed at the end of the chute. Upper-level access doors must also be fire-rated.

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              Chutes are either rectangular or round. The shape may be determined by construction constraints or the manufacturer’s equipment. However, when presented with the option, one should consider the benefits of a round trash chute. Much like the infamous query “Why are manhole covers round?” – a round chute is more likely to prevent oversized items from becoming wedged as they cannot be rotated for a different fit as rectangular chutes allow.

              Modern trash chutes may also come with extra features. Deceleration tracks and noise dampeners are common. Built-in cleaning systems are also prevalent, dispersing cleaning agents and sprays to help alleviate internal grime and odors. However, cleaning personnel may still be required for more extensive power washing and external hardware.

              If you are considering the benefits of installing a trash chute or need professional maintenance on existing equipment, the best resource for referrals may be your janitorial or facility maintenance crew. They are likely to already offer those services or work in conjunction with those who do. For installation try specialist commercial construction companies that are familiar with industrial buildings and local codes.

              Commercial trash chutes are more than a useful convenience, they can provide significant savings on labor and accident costs. Larger commercial facilities should consider the installation and regular maintenance of trash chute systems to improve the health and safety of those around.

              Written in conjunction with Omnia Pacific Construction, a facility maintenance company offering a broad range of property services throughout Southern California.

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                What Do Rising Commercial Construction Costs Mean

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                As the pandemic eases, construction costs are rising across the commercial sector. There are several uncharted factors impacting these market forces. However, even with the increases, demand is expected to rise as retail, offices, medical facilities, industrial properties, and multifamily businesses re-enter sectors of the economy they have put off during the last eighteen months.

                Commercial real estate inventory, demand, cost of building materials, supply chain disruptions, interest rates, labor shortages, and the pandemic are heavy influences of current pricing trends. Federal infrastructure spending in the near future is expected to squeeze resources further. You may continue to see construction costs rise or at the very least remain unstable for the next year or two.

                Let’s just look at one building material – lumber – perhaps the single most important building supply. Since the start of the pandemic the price of lumber has fluctuated greatly. The unit price for a thousand board feet of lumber reached a low of $258 in April 2020, and then staggered its way to a record high of $1670 in May 2021. This was an increase of nearly 650%. It fell steadily since then to the mid-$400s in August 2021, but climbed to over $600 in September. Many analysts put the price in the pre-pandemic range of $350 in the months ahead, but it is really anyone’s guess.

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                lumber 1-year producer price index 2017 2021 construction costs

                Other costs have risen substantially in year-over-year comparisons based on the producer price index (PPI) for new nonresidential building construction. These are the year-over-year percentage rate increases for common building materials:

                Steel mill products 109%
                Diesel fuel 82%
                Copper and brass mill shapes 49%
                Aluminum mill shapes 33%
                Plastic construction products 27%
                Gypsum products 22%
                Truck transportation of freight 14%
                Insulation materials 12%
                Asphalt felt and coatings 10%

                Despite increases in material costs, orders are rising. As material costs reach double digits, the costs for new construction are still tempered with moderate single digit increases. Here are the PPI increases for new buildings:

                Warehouse 6.5%
                Offices 5.9%
                Industrial buildings 3.9%
                Schools 3.3%
                Healthcare buildings 3.2%

                These increases impact construction costs, but more importantly, the volatility is changing the construction bidding process. Bid prices are guaranteed for much shorter time periods, requiring quicker decision making. This is expected to continue as long as the price of materials continues to fluctuate unpredictably.

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                Scheduling also becomes challenging. The bid process may require shorter lead times, while material back-orders extend schedules. Pre-ordering and securing construction materials may become necessary to meet deadlines.

                Building supply costs are just one price consideration in the overall cost of construction. Another refrain from construction companies is the shortage of skilled and unskilled labor. As unemployment benefits begin to run out, the labor supply is expected to increase. While this may have some impact, wages are also expected to increase as the labor supply struggles to meet demand.

                The pandemic has also impacted the labor market in extraordinary ways. Health and safety rules have limited the number of people allowed on a job site or within a confined work area. Work reductions in government offices have slowed the rate of inspections and permit approvals.

                Interest rates have remained the one constant. And while historically low rates will eventually rise, they are expected to do so at a slow rate. However, commercial financing and construction loans are not just based on interest rates. In recent years the architecture of these loans has changed significantly from long-term lending to shorter bridge loans throughout various phases of a project.

                As construction booms and resources tighten, smaller projects may get pushed aside by large construction companies. Finding a smaller, yet experienced company may be the right answer for many. Omnia Pacific Construction, a Los Angeles based company specializing in retail and commercial projects, is seeing an uptick in small and mid-level construction. Space conversion, remodeling, and ADA remediation are popular requests.

                Another area growing in popularity is space demising. As commercial properties evolve, many larger spaces are looking to demise rooms into smaller, multiple rental units. These projects are perfect for a small construction company, as they require industry experience and expertise but are often too small for the bigger firms.

                It is clear that commercial construction is entering a new phase. As labor and supply resources tighten in the months ahead, finding the right construction resources might be essential to complete your project in a timely and cost-effective manner. Tapping into new sources might pleasantly surprise you with the best possible outcome.

                Sources:

                Construction Material Costs Overall Continue Rise, While Lumber Drops; Floor Daily
                https://www.floordaily.net/flooring-news/construction-material-costs-overall-continue-rise-while-lumber-drops

                Material Cost Escalation, Delays and COVID-19: Managing Risk in Challenging Times; JD Supra
                https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/material-cost-escalation-delays-and-3911119

                Covid to Impact Construction Claims Until at Least 2023; Pinsent Masons
                https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/analysis/covid-impact-construction-claims-2023

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                  From the Desk of Our EHS Specialist: The Importance of Stormwater Management

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                  Stormwater runoff is precipitation that flows across land, permeates into soil, merges into bodies of water, or evaporates back into the atmosphere. However, in urban environments, rainfall flows quickly across hard surfaces laden with pollutants. These contaminants are swept into waterways via drains and streams.

                  Improperly managed stormwater runoff can cause several problems for businesses, including property damage and regulatory violations.

                  Flooding: As stormwater flows over impermeable surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, large volumes of water can collect or flow rapidly, often causing property damage. Stormwater can also contribute to natural disasters by instantly raising water levels leading to severe flooding.

                  Water Pollution: Pollutants such as leaked automotive fluids, industrial waste, agricultural fertilizers, trash, animal waste, and refuse get picked up by urban stormwater flow and find their way, untreated, into local streams.

                  Stream Bank Erosion: As stormwater flows at unnaturally high speeds and volumes, it can cause severe degradation of shore banks. Rising waters can encroach on waterside property boundaries, destroy aquatic ecosystems, and create additional pollution from eroded sediment.

                  Human Health: Contaminants introduced to the natural water supply through stormwater runoff can adversely affect drinking water and the access to recreational water activities.

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                  REGULATION & COMPLIANCE

                  As a result of the immense impact that stormwater runoff can have, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). This is a permit program, created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act (CWA), to address pollution by regulating sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States.

                  Under the CWA, Phase 2 of this program was established in 2003. It identified stormwater as a contributor to water pollution and mandated NPDES permits for land between 1 to 5 acres in size.

                  Most stormwater is conveyed through a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) and discharged into local water bodies. While generally owned by a state, local, or public entity, an MS4 is a system of drains, pipes, and ditches used to collect and transport stormwater. This water flow is typically discharged, untreated, into federally owned waters.

                  MS4 operators are required to get permits and develop Stormwater Control Measures (SCM), to limit the damaging effects of surface runoff. Failure to comply with the regulations results in a Notice of Violation (NOV).

                  An NOV informs the property owner or manager regarding a failed assessment, including a detailed observation of the property, non-compliance issues, assessed fines, and penalties. An inspection is typically conducted by local city or government official alerted through an unscheduled property check, distressed phone call from a stakeholder, or general observation. Unfamiliarity with environmental compliance laws is not an excuse for non-compliance.

                  Compliance with stormwater regulations is also strictly monitored during permitted construction projects. Sometimes violations are discovered after construction, requiring costly modifications. Common violations include:

                  • Failure of permit coverage
                  • Failure to include Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP)
                  • Failure to implement SCM with essential maintenance and repair
                  • Failure to conduct or document inspections
                  • Illegal dumping or discharge
                  • Inadequate erosion controls

                  Violation notices typically include a one-time fine along with daily penalties for each subsequent day of non-compliance while the issue is remedied, sometimes reaching tens of thousands of dollars. The frequency and severity of these violations depend on the degree of impact to the environment along with the harm or potential harm to human health.

                  These situations can often be avoided with an annual inspection, costing as little as $100, and less costly preventative remediation.

                  ASSESSING STORMWATER ON YOUR PROPERTY

                  It is important to understand how stormwater is generated within and flows on your property. Here are the steps used by professionals to evaluate water generation, flow, and volume on a property.

                  Draw boundaries of the property. If not readily available, look up property tax assessment papers or deeds for basic property maps. Draw buildings and other features on the property. Be sure to designate:

                  • Impermeable areas and hard surfaces that prevent stormwater from soaking into the ground
                  • Lawn and landscaped areas
                  • Natural vegetation
                  • Water features (i.e., streams, wetlands, ponds, swimming pools)

                  Assess and map stormwater flow, identifying the directional flow of runoff on the property and any problems it may cause. Common issues include ponding or large puddles, damp basements, and soil erosion. Map the following:

                  • Roof downspouts
                  • Stormwater flow paths (using arrows for direction)
                  • Areas of ponding
                  • Ditches or gullies from soil erosion

                  Some of these common stormwater control measures may exist or be incorporated into a property:

                  • Retention or detention ponds
                  • Constructed wetlands
                  • Grass swales
                  • Sand filters
                  • Level spreaders
                  • Underground systems (popular in metropolitan cities due to the scarcity of space)

                  Drainage structures include:

                  • Inlet/Concrete flume
                  • Catch basin/Drop inlet
                  • Permeable pavement
                  • Curb inlets
                  • Trench drains (popular for retail assets)
                  • Culvert
                  • Headwall
                  • Flared-end section
                  • Dock drains

                  SITE-SPECIFIC OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE (O&M)

                  O&M plans are usually developed as part of a construction or remediation plan and filed with local municipality authorities. These consist of maintenance schedules, inspection requirements, maintenance easements, and descriptions of maintenance activities.

                  CONCLUSION

                  The most efficient ways to avoid NOVs and costly fines are to know your O&M agreement, consult with stormwater management professionals, communicate with regulatory bodies, set up maintenance programs, and schedule annual inspections.

                  Stormwater maintenance programs can also safeguard and extend the life of your investment while keeping long-term repair costs down. Be proud that you are making an impact on protecting the local environment and watershed.

                  About The Author: Pranav Heryani is an EHS & Sustainability Specialist. Among the next generation of environmental professionals, his projects have encompassed both local and international efforts toward green initiatives with practical sustainability for the commercial sector.

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                    California Steps Up Enforcement of Stormwater Management Violations

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                    As concerns about the environment continue to rise, California has increased their efforts to hold businesses accountable for violations. To reduce pollutants entering natural waterways and public water systems, the state has expanded the role of the California Water Boards regarding industrial stormwater runoff.

                    Pursuant to Senate Bill 205, the state Water Code now requires all eligible businesses renewing or applying for a business license to prove enrollment in a stormwater management program. It essentially makes it easier to catch violators by reviewing stormwater practices for all relevant businesses rather than performing random checks. The list of affected businesses is extensive.

                    Stormwater management is a consideration for businesses and public facilities alike, commonly implemented for shopping centers, office buildings, multifamily residential properties, municipalities, recreational parks, and industrial facilities. Here is a list of Standard Industrial Classification codes (SIC) for the businesses to which the stormwater program is automatically considered.

                    Stormwater runoff occurs when rain or snowmelt flows over land without soaking through the surface. This water can accumulate and transport pollutants such as oil, industrial castoff, or trash into the common waterways or ground sources. In fact, unmanaged stormwater is a major source of pollution for lakes, rivers, streams, reservoirs, and the ocean. Dry weather runoff is similarly a problem.

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                    Fortunately, stormwater management practices have improved dramatically in recent years. Equipment, planning, and design have evolved to where they can manage the flow and filter water before sending it into municipal sewers. Sometimes this water is even reclaimed and used onsite for landscaping and other purposes.

                    Even before the state mandate, property and facility managers became increasingly involved in actively addressing public concerns for green initiatives. In fact, many forward-thinking companies already benefit from integrated plans for their properties. This includes sustainability planning, which incorporates public health and safety, environmentally green solutions, hi-tech efficiencies, and partner vendor relationships.

                    Stormwater management is another area where a strong property partner can use their inside knowledge to help with viable and affordable solutions. A facility company that provides landscaping, hardscaping, janitorial, handyman, and construction services can be well-suited to providing effective solutions for stormwater management plans and construction.

                    Major engineering firms and national construction companies might not be the right fit when it comes to state mandated stormwater management plans. Working with a company that does daily business within your industry, understands the nature of your specific property, and brings more relevant experience to the table can provide real benefits and save money. After all, you really do not need a company that manages large scale municipal water projects to implement your simple stormwater runoff plan.

                    In California, Omnia Pacific Construction has provided facility services for properties just like yours since 1987. Their in-house team and sister company Omnia Pacific Construction can develop and execute a viable stormwater management plan for your company as they have for many of California’s top companies. To learn more today call 1-800-974-4515.

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