A Brief History
CBN Building Maintenance was founded by Bob Croft, just out of college, in June 1974. Our first tiny office was in the Luhrs Central Building at Central and Jefferson in downtown Phoenix.
Health and Indoor Air Quality
Almost from the start of our history, our goal (aside from making an honest living) has been to explore and implement facility cleaning methods likely to benefit the health and well-being of the folks working in or visiting our client facilities.
In the early ‘80s, we acquired the exclusive Arizona distributorship for DuPont Hysurf vacuum cleaner bags, the first commercially feasible filtration system in history. Hysurf was effective at the size level of most allergens. We’ve updated filtration systems as better ones have become available (they’re now at HEPA level).
To improve client Indoor Air Quality, we were one of the earlier local adopters of microfiber wipes to replace feather dusters and microfiber damp mops to replace cotton string mops. Also, we are the only local janitorial firm, and one of a handful nationally, to use a laser-based hand-held particle counter (HHPC) to measure airborne particle load, in our client facilities, to monitor the success of our IAQ program.
In the area of office-wide sanitation, we were an early local adopter of the combination of microfiber damp wipes and Diversey AlphaHP hydrogen peroxide cleaner/sanitizer to deal with both dirt and pathogens on office touch-points; we were also an early local adopter of ultraviolet (“black-light”) restroom inspections, at the cleaning crew level.
Addressing client safety, we early on initiated crew training in safety, chemical usage, and OSHA mandates, and in providing all our clients an MSDS book covering all the chemicals we use, to better comply with OSHA regulations. Few other janitorial firms do this – is there an MSDS book in your janitor closet? We feature Green Seal approved chemicals, and Ecolab non-skid floor finish. We are certified in Greenguard Environmental Institute’s cleaning program.
Noting client security concerns across the industry, we’ve used tight background screening and identification since the late ‘70s. We are still one of only two janitorial firms in the nation (and the only one doing business in Arizona) partnered with Homeland Security in their IMAGE program, helping to confirm applicant identity.
Similarly, we were using Green Seal approved chemicals, best chemical use practices, and Greenguard Environmental Institute recommended equipment and training for the health benefits.
To complete transition to a fully environmentally friendly service, we added Green Seal certified, 100% recycled content restroom paper products to our program, and partnered with several “Green” associations to improve our ongoing awareness of better materials and practices becoming available.
Stewards of our Built Environment
As building maintenance specialists, and on keeping safe and healthy what the industry calls the “built environment”, we’ve long had an affinity for older buildings, and the history and preservation thereof.
After the Luhrs Central Building, we spent time in the art deco Luhrs Tower, then in an older office building in downtown Scottsdale that was taken down for the Galleria – then the Winters Building on the southeast corner of First Avenue and Adams, demolished for the second tower of the Rennaisance Center.
When we moved to the 1914 historic L. L. Steward House at 6th Avenue and Roosevelt, we bought it – no chance of a wrecking ball here. We’ve put down roots.
We’re the longest serving janitorial service member of both the Better Business Bureau of central Arizona and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, and a proud member of Local First Arizona. We’ve been here 40 years, and look forward to at least another 40.
“Stewards” of our history
In 1996, CBN’s management purchased and relocated the firm and offices to the historic 1914 L. L. Steward House, just north of downtown Phoenix in the Roosevelt Historic District. The house’s tasteful Victorian massing and Prairie School design elements create an elegant architectural composition, leading to its citation as a “significant streetscape element” in the application for historic status for the Roosevelt neighborhood.
Its first owner, “L. Bob” Steward, was an early Arizona teacher, cattleman, cotton farmer and organizer of the Citizen’s State Bank in Phoenix; he was a campaign manager for Henry Fountain Ashurst in his 1912 election to the U. S. Senate. A newspaper advertisement for Southwest Building & Investment Co. appeared in a February, 1914 issue of “The Arizona Republican” featuring the partially completed Steward House; the house appears in the lower right corner of this ad. You can also see photographs of how the house looks now.