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Austin Convention Center Department Commits to GBAC STAR™ Accreditation

September 16, 2020

AUSTIN, Texas – The Austin Convention Department has announced its commitment to achieving Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, the Austin Convention Center and the Palmer Events Center will implement the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention at their facilities.

As the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation, GBAC STAR™ helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations. The program will verify that the Austin Convention Center Department is implementing best practices to prepare the staff and buildings for future meetings and events.

“Our application was received and we have officially started the process of obtaining the GBAC STAR accreditation,” said Trisha Tatro, Austin Convention Center Department Interim Director. “This performance-based program is to certify that the Austin Convention Center and the Palmer Events Center continue to protect our staff and visitors. We want to operate using procedures and protocols to best prepare, respond, and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.”

To achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation, the Austin Convention Center and Palmer Events Center will demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. Learn more about GBAC STAR accreditation at www.gbac.org.

Preparing to return to hosting a full schedule of events, the Austin Convention Center Department has qualified and is pursuing the GBAC™ STAR Facility Accreditation. This will help each facility reach a higher level of cleaning and disinfection. Also, the Austin Convention Center Department has purchased new sanitation equipment and uses the following products:

  • Stearns® ONE PACKS Mark E II Disinfectant/Deodorizer and multipurpose, neutral pH, hospital grade quaternary. A one-step germicide, detergent, deodorizer, fungicide, virucide
  • Usage of four Sentry 4 UV standalone disinfection machines that emit full spectrum UV light to eliminate up to 99.9% of the bacteria, fungi and viruses in the space, and limit the growth of fungi
  • Austin Convention Center Department has ordered handheld electrostatic sprayers. Victory Sprayers’ patented technology provides an electrical charge to solutions, allowing them to wrap conductive surfaces with an effective and even coverage. These machines reduce cross-contamination due to their touchless application
  • Equipment will be sanitized before the start of each event and at the end of each day.
  • “GBAC STAR accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers, and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to maintain clean and healthy environments,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “By taking this important step to pursue GBAC STAR, The Austin Convention Center and the Palmer Events Center will receive third-party validation that it follows strict protocols for biorisk situations, thereby demonstrating its preparedness and commitment to operating safely.”

About the Austin Convention Center

Located in the heart of downtown, the Austin Convention Center Department is comprised of 290 full-time staff members and is an enterprise department for the City of Austin. Over 10 million people have attended 6,000+ events, including over 900 conventions, at the LEED® Gold-certified Austin Convention Center since it opened in 1992.

About the Palmer Events Center

Nearly 4 million people have attended 1,200-plus events since The Palmer Events Center opened. The venue, with an adjacent 4-story, 1,200-space parking garage and is within a three-mile radius of 11,000 hotel rooms in downtown Austin. The Palmer Events Center is LEED® Gold-certified.

About GBAC, a Division of ISSA

Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, training and certification of individuals, and consulting for building owners and facility managers.

About ISSA

With more than 9,300 members—including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, wholesalers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners and associated service members—ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. The association is committed to changing the way the world views cleaning by providing its members with the business tools they need to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment and an improved bottom line. Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., USA, the association has regional offices in Mainz, Germany; Whitby, Canada; Parramatta, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; and Shanghai, China. For more information about ISSA, visit www.issa.com or call 800-225-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800.

For more information contact:

Derick Hackett, Senior Public Information Specialist 512.404.4021 or derick.hackett@austintexas.gov

Terri McBride, Public Information and Marketing Manager 512.404.4020 or terri.mcbride@austintexas.gov