European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2018 Winner - Principle Cleaning

30th of May 2019
European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2018 Winner - Principle Cleaning

A package of high-tech innovations at London’s Blue Fin building was an award-winning formula for Principle Cleaning Services. Ann Laffeaty finds out about the strategy that earned the company the 2018 European Cleaning and Hygiene Award for the Best use of Smart Technological Solutions.

The 2,000 aluminium fins that cover the façade of London’s Blue Fin building give the iconic structure a futuristic look.

So it was entirely fitting that service provider Principle Cleaning decided to use high-tech solutions throughout the facility. The decision to do so arose from a number of key challenges according to operations director Tom Lloyd.

“The Blue Fin building has a vast reception floor space with a high footfall every day,” he said. “To keep this area clean we needed an efficient maintenance strategy that didn’t involve any increase in labour.

“The building also receives more than 10,000 washroom visits a day which meant the washrooms were constantly needing to be checked. And keeping track of information on a day-to-day basis was another challenge.”

A Robo2 automated scrubber dryer was deployed in order to keep the reception area clean on an ongoing basis. “This uses a laser navigation system and sensor technology to detect its surroundings and automatically clean the entire floor with minimal human input,” said Lloyd. “We are also able to select different maps for either a full clean or for a more focused maintenance clean during office hours.”

Principle then installed the Tork EasyCube washroom management system to help cope with high washroom use. “This gives us a needs-based cleaning solution for servicing the washrooms throughout the day,” said Lloyd. “Using this data-driven technology enables us to target busier washrooms and provide a consistent level of service throughout the building.”

The company has also introduced its bespoke YourPrinciple online portal to enable it to keep track of information more effectively. “This acts as a central hub for all of contract information and provides management and on-site teams with data that allows them to make meaningful decisions at a click of a button in real time.”

And also in use at the Blue Fin building is Window Cleaning Drop Mapping. “This clearly shows how many drops have been completed each day and how long each drop has taken, while also providing details of any fabric defects and marking them with a time and date stamp,” said Lloyd.

“Our team has mapped the entire external facade of the building over the past year and installed NFC tags at the top and bottom of each of the 97 drops. This means that when the site team pass the tags in the cradle they can scan the barcodes and send back data in real time to the YourPrinciple portal.”

The system ensures that weather, wind and cradle conditions are set to specific parameters so that all work may be completed safely. “This information enables us to identify trends such as weather conditions, problem drops and issues with cradles,” said Lloyd. “In fact it provides a level of transparency previously unseen in this sector.”

The 500,000 sq ft Blue Fin Building on London’s South Bank incorporates offices, conference facilities and a shopping arcade. Managers of the building have welcomed the implementation of data-driven cleaning, says Lloyd.

“They feel that the data provides a higher level of needs-based cleaning throughout the building,” he said.

Founded in 1989, family-owned Principle Cleaning employs more than 2,200 people. This is its second 2018 prize: account manager Ben Swinbourne won the Rising Star award. “We were very proud to win both awards and we see them as a reflection of the dedication and hard work of our people,” said Lloyd.

Principle is continually assessing how the latest technology may be used to provide further benefits for customers and on-site teams. “We will be bringing more innovations to the Blue Fin building and the rest of our portfolio,” he said.

European Cleaning & Hygiene Award judge and ECJ editor Michelle Marshall said the company was providing a high level of accessibility and visibility for its client. “What impressed us was how Principle had implemented a combination of smart technologies and used them in unison to bring a more efficient, transparent and leaner cleaning service,” she said. “This is showing quantifiable positive results in how they manage the operation and their own business.”

The European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2019 will be held in London on October 17 and are now open for entry. Visit


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