How New Apartment Communities are Integrating ‘Green’ FeaturesJune 14, 2019
Just how important is it for real estate developers and property managers to incorporate sustainable design elements into their buildings?
According to renters, very. With rising energy costs and the world’s water quality quickly declining, reducing our carbon footprint has become an immensely important issue in today’s society. Renters are also becoming aware of the necessity of green design in construction and are progressively requiring more eco-friendly components in their housing. Here are 5 sustainable building design trends that impress residents and reduce energy usage.
1. Use of Natural Light
One of the most important steps in a low-energy design approach is reducing the use of artificial lighting. This can be done by increasing the amount and size of windows in each modern apartment home, allowing sufficient sunlight from outside to illuminate the inside space without the need for multiple energy-absorbing light bulbs. This subsequently lowers electric costs, which would typically be dominated by light bulb use.
2. Energy Efficient Appliances
One of the easiest ways to incorporate green features into your apartments for rent in austin tx or just about anywhere is by adding energy efficient appliances. Adding energy efficient light bulbs as opposed to the typical fluorescent lighting can also decrease electric costs by more than $65 a year. Low-flow showerheads, another resourceful feature, can save up to $145 a year per showerhead on electricity. In multifamily properties with hundreds of residents, that can add up to thousands of dollars saved every year!
3. Reprocessed Building Materials
Instead of depleting more resources when looking for building materials, consider using salvaged material, such as wood or previously used bricks, to complete construction. Using reclaimed lumber gains points towards the LEED certification, prevents further environmental damage, is less costly for developers, and impresses potential residents with your property’s commitment to upcycling.
4. Low Volatile Organic Compound Paint and Carpets
In a study completed by the EPA, levels of certain organic pollutants were found to be two to five times higher inside the home than outside of it. This is due to volatile organic compounds found in many paints and carpets, which negatively impacts the air quality and the health of those surrounded by it. By using paints and carpets with low levels of VOCs, the condition of the air is enhanced, and the health of residents is ameliorated.
5. Reflective Roof
Consider adding a roof to your development with a high solar reflectivity index (or SRI). These roofs reflect more solar heat than roofs with a lower SRI, subsequently lowering the temperature inside the building and reducing the need for lower air conditioning temperatures, keeping energy costs low.
The most effective building designs are those done with sustainable features incorporated into every aspect of the construction process. For multifamily properties, which consume a large amount of energy each day, it is important to place eco-friendly and energy resourceful elements throughout to keep costs and energy usage down.
Green apartment buildings have a unique appeal that sets them apart, offering a combination of environmental responsibility and modern living. These eco-friendly residences often feature energy-efficient systems, natural materials, and innovative recycling programs, all of which can significantly increase property value. Potential tenants who prioritize sustainability are more likely to be drawn to these properties, appreciating their commitment to reducing environmental impact. Furthermore, the increased property value of green apartment buildings can lead to higher rental rates, making them a lucrative investment for property owners. The allure of green living is not just about saving the planet; it’s also about enjoying a healthier, more conscious lifestyle in a space that aligns with one’s values.
FAQs about Green Apartment Buildings
- What makes an apartment building ‘green’ or sustainable? Green apartment buildings prioritize environmental sustainability in their design and operation. This could include energy-efficient appliances, use of natural light, water conservation measures, recycling programs, and the use of recycled or low-impact building materials.
- How do green apartment buildings benefit property owners? Property owners can benefit from increased property value and potentially higher rental rates due to the appeal of green apartments. Additionally, energy-efficient features can lead to lower operating costs over time.
- Do renters really care about green features in their apartments? Yes, many modern renters are increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability and seek out properties that align with their values. Green features can be a significant draw for environmentally-conscious tenants.
- What are some examples of green features in apartment buildings? Examples of green features could include energy-efficient lighting and appliances, water-saving fixtures, use of natural light, solar panels, green roofs, effective insulation, and the use of sustainable or recycled building materials.
- Are there any certifications or standards for green apartment buildings? Yes, there are several certifications and standards that recognize green buildings, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), ENERGY STAR, and Green Globes. These programs assess buildings on various sustainability criteria and provide a rating or certification level.
- Does having a green apartment building mean compromising on comfort or convenience? Not at all. In fact, many green features can enhance comfort levels. For example, effective insulation can help maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, while natural light can create a more pleasant and inviting atmosphere. Furthermore, energy and water-efficient appliances function just as well as their standard counterparts, if not better.
- Can existing apartment buildings be converted into green buildings? Yes, many sustainability features can be retrofitted into existing buildings. This could involve upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and lighting, improving insulation, installing solar panels, or implementing a recycling program. While this may require an upfront investment, it can lead to significant savings and benefits over time.