How Building Managers Can Future-Proof their Buildings
In a time when climate change is becoming a familiar topic and living more sustainably is being sought out by demographics such as millennials, building managers are taking steps to become eco-friendly through building design, appliances and technology. By “future-proofing” an apartment complex, developers can maximize the building’s value in the face of changing times. Eco-friendly differentiators can set the building apart from competitors by encouraging the younger, more eco-conscious individuals to choose the more modern and environmentally sound option. Below are a handful of tips managers and developers can implement to future-proof a building – whether in the construction or renovation stage.
Fitness centers are a great place to start when trying to implement sustainable options. Building managers can start by getting rid of paper and plastic cups near water stations and installing a water bottle filling station. The station serves as an alternative to plastic bottles and encourages tenants to bring a reusable version to the gym – it’s estimated that 79% of plastic is accumulating in landfills, according to a study by Science Advances. Many refill stations have trackers that show evidence of how many plastic water bottles have been saved by using this system – providing users with a sense of helpfulness and inclusivity.
Building managers can also install sustainable gym equipment as an added amenity to a fitness facility. This type of equipment that actually produces electricity can be plugged into a standard outlet and generates watts through exercise that are converted to AC power and sent back into the power grid. The energy produced can help power lights, televisions and other utilities plugged into the same grid. Not only will buildings cut costs on wasted electricity, they will also be able to create and use energy. To see how much equipment like this can potentially save your building, both in cost and energy, check out this eco-calculator.
To further future-proof a building through the use of sustainable products and initiatives, implementing technology into your building can track and prove real change. Using smart home devices can allow buildings systems and amenities to be connected through the internet. Building managers are able to look at data, such as how much heat is being used and amount of energy being wasted. Through this, changes can be made accordingly to lead to a more effective and efficient use of amenities. For example, properties with large outdoor grounds to tend to, a smart sprinkler controller can cut your garden bill by up to 50%. Smart sprinklers work with all main smart home ecosystems and can detect patterns in sun, weather and humidity to turn on or off the sprinkler. It is easily controlled through an app which allows for more precise weather detection.
Future-proofing your building, or areas within, not only saves money but can also help reduce the building’s carbon footprint. While many buildings work on incorporating sustainable measures from a responsibility and cost standpoint, it is also a great business move. Greener by Design president Adam Zellner recently spoke about the power of reaching millennials. Any multi-family home complex that invests in offering sustainable, resort-like features is more likely to attract this demographic. While the rent/mortgage may be higher in these buildings, these residents are more willing to pay for the convenience, socially conscious initiatives, and the fact that they will not have to pay for additional fees such as gyms, laundromats, and other outside amenities.
Ivo Grossi, CEO of SportsArt, has 25 years of North American and international executive experience in the fitness, health & wellness industry. He believes in the triple bottom line approach to business: People, Profit and Planet. He has a B.S. in business economics from University L. Bocconi in Milan, Italy. Over the last 19 years Ivo has been studying, teaching and integrating yoga, meditation and shamanism into his life work. He writes about mindfulness, leadership and conscious business on his blog at www.ivogrossi.com. You can email him at email@example.com.
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