Today, many property managers are experiencing the benefits of going green. They understand the environmental benefits, but they also realize there are significant dollars they can save. If you’ve been in management for many years, you’ve likely already addressed the main essentials of your building’s eco-friendly performance. However, it is imperative to address the little things that can truly make a green community, green.
It’s been estimated that one-third of a home’s total energy is lost through doors and windows. Single pane windows are the least efficient at retaining heat. But installing double or triple-pane windows significantly increases insulation.
This practice is often overlooked, but can produce the biggest benefits. Reducing the amount of paper used by your business is good for the environment and can significantly lower your operating costs. When feasible, you can subscribe to online billing or if you’re reluctant to go paperless, you can install new printers that have double sided printing.
Green Pest Control
Tenants don’t want to come home to the scent of chemicals. It’s important to foster green pest control practices to avoid that problem. Remember to use spot treatments rather than area-wide applications and to select the lowest-toxicity pesticide. Do not use any products that are not Green Pro or Greenshield certified.
Waste Reduction and Recycling
Going green isn’t just about improving your property management practices. It’s also about including your tenants with those practices. Does your waste management service offer recycling? Check to see if they offer identifiable recycling bins that are at no cost to your residents. It’s an easy way to make a green tenant feel like they are part of the solution! Property managers can also request bids from flooring vendors to recycle removed carpet.
To reduce the use of water and chemicals, it’s best to develop a high performance landscape. You can provide sufficient soil and appropriate selection to minimize use of fertilizer, water, and maintenance. Planting a combination of trees, shrubs and perennials can also reduce maintenance and require less watering.
For food production, consider developing a space for community gardens. It not only encourages residents to spend time outside but it also encourages them to care for outdoor areas around their building.
For green lighting you should use compact fluorescent light bulbs and timers. Save valuable light by using motion activated lighting in non-essential areas for both inside and outside of the building. You can also replace incandescent Exit signs with LED models.
If you’re considering a green property upgrade, you should consider installing Energy Star rated appliances. Appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens and laundry machines. Tenants love using these energy-efficient appliances because they cost them less money on their utility bills and produce less heat which is an additional benefit during warm seasons.
It’s imperative to have an annual inspection to review performance in every unit. Some things to look over include plumbing, electrical systems, appliances that have proper venting solutions, and functional smoke alarms.