Nov 07, 2019 - by Erik Carrier
When it Comes to Building Condos, it IS Easy Being Green
New Green Condo Initiatives Can Save Property Owners Big Buck in Energy Savings
As we all know, there’s been a lot of discussion in Washington and elsewhere recently regarding issues associated with climate change and the “Green New Deal”. Some scientists have speculated that we only have a limited time remaining to reduce the planet’s rising levels of greenhouse gases.
One way to help reduce greenhouse gases and make the planet more environmentally friendly is to build new properties…and retrofit existing structures…in a more energy efficient way. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, an organization that has been at the forefront of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), there has been a significant increased in green communities in the just the last 13 years. The number of LEED-certified buildings in the U.S. jumped from 296 in 2006 to over 67,200 in 2018. In addition, green commercial space accounts for over 21 percent of the marketplace, which equates to $81 billion in market value.
Reasons to Go Green
There are significant cost-beneficial reasons to build green. Here are some stunning statistics:
- 65 percent of U.S. customers at looking to buy homes or condos that are green.
- 71 percent request that home or condo remodeling be done in a green friendly way.
- 65 percent of construction professionals state building green lowered operating costs.
- 44 percent of construction professionals admit that going green was driven by demands from customers.
If you’re a real estate developer whose portfolio has a significant presence in the condominium market, the above statistics should be of interest to you. According to a 2003 California study on the cost benefits of going green, the study concluded, “The financial benefits of green buildings include lower energy, waste disposal, and water costs, lower environmental and emissions costs, lower operations and maintenance costs, and savings from increased productivity and health.” Again, since this study, LEED-certified structures have increased by leaps and bounds.
What Can I Do to Make My Condos More Green?
If you own an existing condominium building and would like to join other green communities to enact proven green condo initiatives, there are many targeted things you can do, including the following:
- Conduct an energy audit of your building.
- Install high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, such as state-of-the-art furnaces, boiler, and air conditioners.
- Install energy-efficient LEED lighting.
- Purchase eco-friendly appliances, such a green washer/dryer and dishwasher units.
How Do I Learn More About Green Condo Initiatives?
There are over 350,000 Homeowner Associations (HOA) across the U.S. Many HOA boards encourage environmentally friendly practices, including "using built-in Energy Star® appliances, solar panels, adequate shading over outdoor air conditioning units, and more". These green initiatives for HOA are becoming more widespread across the country. Like the uptick of LEED-certified buildings, the energy-efficiency savings from these various green condo initiatives could increase the number of green condo and homeowner associations in the U.S. in the future.
How to Make Your Condo Eco Friendly
There are several simple things individual condo owners can do to make their units more green, such as:
- Only plant drought-resistant plants
- Don’t buy gas-powered tools
- Conserve water
- Replace electric power with solar power
- Reduce paper trail
- Purchase LEED-certified products
- Organize green initiatives in your community
In short, there are many things that condo property owners and individual condo residents can do to make their surroundings more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. These simple things can save you big bucks in energy costs. And who doesn’t like saving money? Now that’s a “green” new deal everybody can agree on.
Thinking about Going Green At your Condo?
Get in touch with Chicago property management company Red Star to learn how we can help guide your association to a greener future!