The Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI) announced that it has received a $100,000 grant from the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) to assess the actual costs of cleaning carpet and VCT in elementary schools.

“This is the first major grant that we received for a research project,” said Jim Harris, CIRI’s Chairman of the Board.  “The project speaks directly to CIRI’s mission – by identifying best practices in terms of cleaning and then analyzing their impact on costs and implementation.”

The CRI grant requires that CIRI commission a study to establish real world cleaning and maintenance systems, procedures and costs to adequately clean and maintain carpet and VCT floor types in schools. The procedures need to be based on accepted real world practices which have been validated with school officials.  Using the established maintenance premises for each floor type, CIRI will then prepare a simple one-year cost comparison.

CIRI responded with a thee-phase approach.  In phase 1, the Institute created a database of current practices and costs by surveying school districts and building service contracts.  Working with major contractors who are current members of CIRI, the study has pulled  together specifications, proposals, work plans and results from a variety of schools around the country.  The database identifies common requirements from school officials, average pricing for carpet and VCT, typical cleaning frequencies and more.  This data will be the foundation for establishing the final study practices that will be used in Phases 2 and 3.

In phase 2, CIRI will define the best cleaning practices and develop a new data acquisition and assessment tool to be used during the one-year test.  Finally, CIRI will contract with research partners to implement the floor cleaning research protocol in actual elementary schools. The project is expected to take 18 months to complete.