It’s becoming increasingly important for property managers of apartments, condos, and other multi-family units to emphasize eco-friendly features in their buildings.
Sustainable properties are in high demand among renters throughout the greater Portland area. In fact, according to National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), renters are even willing to pay more money to live in a building that includes sustainability initiatives.
If you are an Oregon multifamily housing property manager, taking steps to promote eco-friendly features in your building and individual units can be very beneficial. Keep reading for 8 easy ways to make your multifamily properties more eco-friendly.
Add Energy-Efficient Appliances
One of the most effective ways to introduce more sustainable features into your multifamily property is by adding energy efficient appliances. If you’re not sure where to start, revamp the lighting in your building or replace all shower heads.
Switch out the traditional fluorescent lightbulbs in your condo or apartment building and with LEDs. LEDs contain no hazardous solids, liquids, or gasses and so are safe for the environment. Even better, LEDs require less energy to power, so you will save on electricity costs.
LEDs come in a variety of colors and shades, so you can choose one to match the style, setting, and ambiance of the various rooms and areas in your building.
Low-Flow Shower Heads
Showers account for 17% of residential indoor water use– that’s 1.2 trillion gallons of shower water used every year. By installing low-flow shower heads in your condo or apartment units, you can help residents save a considerable amount of water.
There are many eco-friendly shower heads available. Most renters prefer high-pressure option– this helps decrease overall water flow without taking away from the overall shower experience.
Introduce a Recycling Program
You likely already have some sort of recycling program in place at your property, but is it as efficient as it could be? Here in the Rose City, recycling can get a little complicated. Your efforts are worth it though, as Portland has one of highest recycling rates in the US.
Establishing a system that makes it easy for your renters to recycle their items is important. Take time to create an efficient recycling program that meets all necessary requirements. You may also consider partnering with a building services company that specializes in recycling solutions.
Provide Garden Space
Providing space to keep a garden is a big draw for many Oregon residents. Not only does gardening space increase your property value by making your grounds more beautiful, it also gives your residents a sense of investment in the property.
Gardens are a great way to help the environment and promote sustainability. Residents can grow flowers, food, or native plants in their garden bed, helping reduce pollution, produce fresh veggies and fruit, and benefit local wildlife.
Use Low or Zero VOC Paint
Be careful about the type of paint you use– both on the interior and exterior of your building and units. Many standard paints are filled with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and can be toxic to your health.
Luckily, there are many paint options on the market today that keep these chemicals to a minimum. Paint low in VOCs are easy to find and aren’t as expensive as you might imagine.
Some popular paint options are:
- Benjamin Moore Natural Waterborne Paint
- Sherwin-Williams Harmony Zero VOC
- Dunn-Edwards Zero-VOC
- Olympic Zero-VOC, Low-Odor ICON Paints
It’s becoming increasingly common for renters to request low-VOC paint in their unit before moving into an apartment or condo.
Old windows contribute to an increase in heating and cooling costs for your building. Adding energy-efficient windows to your building can be as simple or involved as you have the time and money for.
If you’re not up for completely replacing all your units with energy-efficient windows, consider adding window caulking and weatherstripping or storm windows instead.
Stay Away From Toxic Cleaning Products
A common misconception is you have to have harsh chemicals in order to clean your multifamily housing building effectively. This just isn’t true!
Chemicals found in traditional commercial building cleaning products are bad for the environment and toxic for your health, too. Carpet cleaning solutions are especially harmful. Thankfully, there are many sustainably cleaning options to choose from.
Make sure you hire a commercial cleaning company that understands the importance of using eco-friendly cleaning products. From your building’s general janitorial work, to carpet cleaning or window cleaning— always use green, biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning solutions.
Offer Bicycle Amenities
Here in the Portland area, biking is a high priority. In fact, Portland has the highest percentage of bike commuters for any large American city. Even in more residential areas like Hillsboro, Tualatin, and Beaverton, renters want the ability to use their bike.
Providing bike storage areas in your building is a great benefit to renters and helps encourage an eco-friendly environment. These biking amenities could include indoor bicycle storage racks, bike lockers, or even bike repair areas.
Hire A Sustainable Building Services Company
If you’re having trouble promoting sustainability or don’t have the time to do it yourself, consider partnering with a trusted building services company. This ensures you and your staff can completely focus on ensuring the smooth operation of your condo, apartment building, or other multifamily housing.
At Cascade Building Services, we’ve been providing full-service building maintenance to the greater portland area for the past 50 years. We offer service 24 hours a day 365 days per year and are committed to using environmentally friendly practices and products.