How Innovative Turf Equipment Benefits Your Landscape and Controls Noise

Autonomous equipment is a game changer. Eco-friendly and reliable, robotic mowers are delivering impressive results. For property managers keen on reducing noise, robotic mowers are among a class of next gen options designed to provide a less disruptive landscape maintenance experience.

ELM is currently testing autonomous equipment and plans to use on unique, size-constrained areas, such as green roofs, or to simplify tough mowing jobs, such as clearing vegetation from sloped areas. 

As part of ELM’s ‘future ready’ initiative, Husqvarna robotic mowers will become part of a fleet of smart commercial grade equipment that will help us offer new and existing clients increased efficiency, added safety, and the opportunity to deliver complex and less disruptive turf services in a new way. 

Overall, autonomous vehicles are safer, produce fewer emissions than conventional mowing equipment, and offers specific benefits to property owners seeking environmentally-friendly options for green build or LEED credits. 

ELM is applying green technologies to support our clients’ and our own sustainability goals and robotic mowers are an important next step in flexibility, scalability and improved services. 

To learn more about how advanced technologies can make a difference in your landscape management services, contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

Is a big chill coming? Winter 2020 gets down to business.

For advanced snow and ice management companies like ELM, being able to depend on accurate meteorological data is mission critical.

For this, we partner with WeatherWorks, a weather consultancy and climate services provider that gives our snow team the forensic support, and threat and forecast details it needs to manage a variety of winter risk factors that affect our clients’ businesses.

According to the firm’s just-released preliminary outlook, our region will be expecting above average precipitation and snowier than normal conditions. The full outlook will be released October 14. 

Insight into temperature, precipitation and snowfall for upcoming winter gives us the ability to plan around data and fine tune our winter operation for peak performance. 

Whether its salting, plowing or being concerned about significant storms, accurate weather data guides us in making the right decisions on behalf of property and facility managers throughout the greater Fairfield County and NY metro area.

ELM’s winter operation, including our brine and salt storage facility, is based in Monroe, CT, home to our annual October “Snow Rodeo”, an intensive winter preparedness boot camp and training day that fine tunes emergency response protocols and makes sure our snow program is ready by the beginning of November. 

ELM is a member of SIMA (Snow Ice Management Association) and ASCA (Accredited Snow Contractors of America). Our professional snow team holds SIMA Advanced Snow Manager credentials and is committed to ongoing education to stay abreast of technical and risk and liability issues in order to deliver exceptional and safe winter management services to clients throughout our region.

To learn more about ELM’s snow/ice and winter management services, contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

Bruce Moore Jr. is “Living for Landscaping”

Capping a first year of leadership success as ELM’s president, Bruce Moore Jr is “Living for Landscaping” in the August issue of Irrigation & Green Industry magazine. Learn how ELM’s strategy for offering exceptional service is winning customers and how everyone at ELM is empowered to drive growth.

https://igin.com/article-7564-Bruce-Moore-Jr-Living-for-landscaping.html?fbclid=IwAR23w5w3edDqzSmV8QC667MBf9K-5PXwQUZ4Xnch5ft2fUMpajme7Z_VkZk

How ELM Landscape Practices Help Property Owners Qualify for LEED

Sustainable practices are among the core of ELM’s landscape maintenance services portfolio. For commercial real estate owners and property management companies pursuing LEED or green build credits, this means you have with ELM as your landscape maintenance partner a broad range of expertise to help you improve your environmental footprint and maximize your return on investment.

Here’s how.

Corporate campuses, educational facilities, public spaces, healthcare and hospitality properties are good examples of how landscape maintenance practices, such as stormwater filtration, pollinator habitat, water management, and integrative tree and plant health care can improve ‘green’ metrics and your property’s environmental stewardship.

Initially, LEED, an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to set benchmarks for design, construction and operation.  Over the years, the certification program has expanded to take into consideration the overall energy efficiency of the site, including ways landscape practices, green technologies and the use of alternative fuels can help meet key LEED criteria and site performance goals. 

ELM’s green performance plan addresses:

Irrigation and Stormwater Management: Water efficient landscaping, the use of computerized irrigation and smart technologies, using less thirsty native plants, converting underperforming turf to naturalized perennial meadow plantings, replacing hardscapes with permeable surfaces, and constructing drainage solutions, erosion control mechanisms, and creating landscaped bioswales and retention ponds.

IPM: Integrated pest management, part of an overall plant health care program, focuses on plant and soil health and cultural practices to reduce weeds, prevent invasive species, manage pest damage, encourage beneficial insects, reduce toxicity in the soil and air, and protect water quality in watersheds and riparian zones

Green Roofs: Converting elevated platforms, such as surface areas over underground parking, or building roof areas, to a functional landscaped tenant amenity space is a strategic way to cut down on urban heat island effect, cool air and surface temperatures overall, reduce the use of building air conditioning, and absorb and filter water for less runoff.

Summer is prime outdoor upgrade season in the northeast. For cost-effective ideas to earn LEED credits from landscaping and help you meet your annual corporate sustainability goals, contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

Photo: One of our commercial mixed-use property clients pursuing LEED accreditation recently implemented a well-defined drought tolerant planting strategy, using a mix of ornamental grasses, sweet potato vine, annual vinca and sedum on vehicular and pedestrian overpass.  

Charles Andrianus Receives NOFA Certification, Takes Lead on Sustainability

South Area Manager Charles Andrianus and ELM’s plant health care team is helping us aim higher in our goal to make sustainability a driver of innovation. 

Recently, Charles completed a course sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of the New England Organic Famers Association (NOFA) on sustainable organic landscaping and gardening practices, giving ELM’s clients more options when it comes to maintaining a healthy landscape. 

According to Charles, “The built environment is not just about buildings and the landscaped outdoors, but includes the way people interact and derive health benefits from nature. For ELM, this means we’re putting an emphasis on how the landscapes we care for improve peoples’ lives.” 

The growing visibility of sustainability at ELM, and its integration into the company’s service and cultural footprint, is an example of where leadership companies are going. For Charles, who’s been a passionate promoter of environmental sustainability since 2014 when he joined ELM, the NOFA course was a pivotal moment. 

“Sustainability is now a cross-company initiative with a center of gravity around leaders like Charles,” said company president Bruce Moore Jr. “From water conservation to green waste reduction and lean management principles, we’re stepping up our game and accelerating our focus and commitment across operations, customer solutions, and best practices.”

The impact of Charles’ commitment means that he will now oversee alternate approaches that will allow ELM to perform much larger projects over a longer period of time. Under Charles’ guidance, ELM can now recommend organic options, turf alternatives, native plant palettes and wildflower and perennial plantings; wetland restoration projects, improved soil health, and increased landscape bio-diversity.

“As ELM’s sustainable landscape management program evolves, we will be looking at ways to meet the needs of various landscape systems across the commercial and institutional properties we serve. These will include soils management, soil testing, composting, pest and disease control, and a holistic focus on treating landscape health from the ground up,” added Bruce.

For information on how ELM can help you meet your corporate sustainability goals, contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

Photo L-R: Chris Smith, plant health care technician with Charles Andrianus.

Irrigation Update: Water Restrictions Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Newtown, Stamford and Westport

Aquarion Water Company has joined with local officials to promote water conservation and reduce water use by restricting outdoor and landscape watering to a maximum of twice weekly, as follows:

  • Twice-weekly restrictions will apply to both in-ground systems and above-ground sprinklers. Drip irrigation, soaker hoses and hand-held watering will continue to be allowed.
  • Aquarion Water Company customers can file for a variance to allow for additional watering time if the property is larger than two (2) acres.
  • ELM’s installation of smart water conservation technology will allow for watering to occur outside of the normal water restrictions due to their ability to conserve large volumes of water.

Ways to save

  • Make water conservation a strategic priority.
  • Reduce watering needs by strategic plant practices (mulching, soil amendments and hydrogels, and proactively managing moisture-stress symptoms).
  • Convert underutilized or underperforming turf areas to perennial meadows or alternative use.
  • Use state of the art water technologies to better manage, use and conserve irrigation water.

ELM’s Premier Partnership with Weathermatic®, a global leader in smart water technology, is a new addition to our water conservation tool kit. The technology uses high-efficiency components designed to improve irrigation water use on commercial properties through sensor-based analysis and intelligent reporting. 

This technology is now available to all of our clients as part of a green tech upgrade program. 

Maximize efficiency

ELM recommends the following to ensure that landscapes remain healthy and high-performing:

  • Include irrigation data as an essential financial metric in your building operation’s dashboard system.
  • Install smart water technology to manage water distribution, gauge irrigation requirements and save on water costs.
  • Use proper irrigation methods to improve system efficiencies, such as pressure-regulating devices, which apply water directly to plants, and high-efficiency nozzles or other devices such as drip system alternatives as conservation measures.

Act now. Implement dramatic water savings and immediate compliance with water restrictions to avoid costly fines:

Call: Jamie Gorton, ELM’s resource conservation expert at 203-316-5433 

Learn more: ELM’s Water Conservation & Sustainability Platform

Make it happen: Email us to get started

Are You Caught in a Tug of War Over Summer Landscape Improvements?

Part of being a successful property manager is making your property more valuable. 

The good news is that landscape improvements can help you do that. Class A properties, retail and mixed-use can all benefit from landscape upgrades that drive asset value – through better watershed and habitat health, pedestrian access, hardscape repairs – and generate income, either through green credits, or increased occupancy and traffic.

If you are looking to boost your property’s ROI, aesthetics or functionality, consider the following:

1. Safety Value – Maintenance care prevents injury. Improved pedestrian walkways, parking lot surfaces, and structural pruning to improve visibility can all prevent trips, falls, accidents, and mitigate liability and risk. Strategic use of plant material can prevent flooding; drainage improvements can improve the absorption of rainwater and runoff; and tree-covered areas can reduce loitering – while also improving air quality. 

2. Health Value – Landscapes have direct impact on positive well-being. Healthy landscapes start with healthy soil and the reduction or elimination of toxic chemicals. For tenants, employees, guests, or customers, the quality of your property’s landscape influences how people interact with, and feel good about, your business. An attractive outdoor space, with courtyards and well-designed landscaped areas is advantageous to you as an employer and as an asset manager. We recommend investing in a regular plant health care program that creates a healthy baseline for your plants and trees, nourishes your soil and encourages vigorous bloom and vibrant foliage. 

3. Environmental Value – Conservation helps the earth and your wallet. Eco-friendly investments in green technology will improve your landscape’s water use and your cost through controlled irrigation and water audits; more trees contribute to using less heating or cooling energy; rain garden strategies and bioswales provide filters for stormwater and prevent flooding and puddling; flowering plants provide forage and habitat for pollinator insects, birds and wildlife. 

First things first. Prioritizing improvements is a task made easier by a master landscape maintenance plan.Knowing which improvement will offer sustained ROI depends on a few factors. One is the size of your property, the other is how it is used—where people gather, what types of amenities drive the greatest appreciation, and where fitness and pedestrian areas can be enhanced for greater health, i.e., walking and jogging trails, bike paths, bocce ball courts, green roofs, terrace and outdoor eating and meeting areas.

ELM’s top ten. Repairing walkways and footpaths impacted by winter storms, fencing/retaining walls, signage, water features, park-like amenities, new plantings and installation projects, turf aeration and plant health care, tree and shrub pruning, and power washing.

If you’re ready to take advantage of ELM’s summer landscape improvement and hardscape restoration expertise, perk up your high impact focal areas with bold containers and lots of color; swap out underperforming turf for perennial meadows; try our new and improved plant health program (and its organic option), upgrade your irrigation system with green technology, or partner with us to drive LEED credits, but don’t know where to begin, contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

ELM Launches Core Values as Workplace Culture and Performance Initiative

Workplace culture surrounds us every day. Culture is what we do together as a team, what we value and believe, and how we behave and interact with each other and with every one we meet.   

Among the many essentials of a high performing workplace, we believe that positivity benefits everyone. For us, a positive place to work is the best place to work.  It reduces stress, raises morale, increases productivity and gives everyone a giant sense that what we do, and who we do it for, matters.

We believe that it’s not enough to simply hang a sign on the wall.  As part of our business strategy, and because we are, at our core, relationship people in a relationship business, we believe that it’s crucial for everyone on our team to take pride in making our values actionable.  

That’s why we came together as a team to identify them. And why we are now promoting them to foster inclusivity, and to improve collaboration and accountability at every juncture and in every function.

Basically, our core values are the principles that guide what’s most important to us: to act and work with integrity, to deliver quality and excellence, to be honest and reliable, and accountable to the expectations of those we serve. These notes will set the tone for ELM moving forward and identify what we, as a team, care about the most.

There is a lot of research on the importance of happiness at work. And while we recognize that happiness is, at best, open to interpretation, we also recognize that having a friendly, trusting, respectful and motivating company culture are essential requisites for professional happiness.

If our new core values can create and ultimately measure that happiness, then creating a high performing and positive workplace will be more than the sum of the investment we’ve made in making ELM a Great Place to Work.

To learn more about ELM’s ongoing commitment to pay its values forward, contact company president Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

ELM in Action! Watch high performance being delivered.

Being organized and efficient is part of our journey to service excellence. No matter what size we grow to, or the scale of our customers’ needs, the one thing that guides us is the value we find in ways to drive greater efficiency and do more with less.

Watch behind the scenes as ELM gets a head start on our day’s work—with people and tools working together to provide seamless choreography, configure priorities, meet variations in demand and capacity—all the while putting the needs of its customers at the center of everything we do.

A culture of continuous improvement can make things easier for everyone. And while you may not see what goes on behind the scenes, you’ll know our team is forging ahead to increase your satisfaction every step of the way.

To learn more about what ELM is doing to create and add more value, contact company president, Bruce Moore Jr., 203-316-5433.

ELM in Action! video can be viewed here

Calculating the Value of Trees.

There has never been a better time to plant more trees. With CO2 concentrations increased over the last century by half, trees are an easy, cost-effective and natural way to bring CO2 percentages down. In fact, trees are the single most powerful weapon in the landscape tool kit as a means to improve the overall health of the urban environment.

Every day, ELM practices sound best tree care management practices to improve the quality of life, reduce pollution, lower energy costs, improve the appearance of commercial and community landscapes, and increase the value of commercial and institutional real estate properties.

Tree facts:

  • Trees are natural carbon eaters. A single tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 48 lbs. per year.
  • Trees are natural pollution fighters, filtering harmful particulates, such as dust, pollen, smoke from the air, through their leaves.
  • Trees are energy savers, lowering peak temperature by transpiring water and shading surfaces.
  • Trees reduce surface water runoff from storms, thus decreasing soil erosion and the accumulation of sediments and potentially harmful chemicals in streams.
  • An acre of trees absorbs enough CO2 over one year to equal the amount produced by driving a care 26,000 miles.
  • Trees provide forage and habitats for wildlife.
  • Trees recharge groundwater and sustain water stream flow.
  • One large tree strategically placed on a site can replace 10 room size air conditioners operating 20 hours per day.
  • Fallen tree leaves can reduce soil temperatures and soil moisture loss; decaying leaves promotes soil microorganism and provide nutrients for tree growth.
  • The carbon footprints of 18 average Americans can be neutralized by one acre of hardwood trees.

Want more good reasons why healthy trees and landscapes are a solid return on your investment? Contact Bruce Moore Jr., ELM president at 203-316-5433.