We all use energy in our daily lives. It is as unavoidable as taxes. However, what many do not know is that researchers have determined that almost 40% of global energy has been linked to living/working space.
We put our heads together and came up with a few tips to help start you on the path to carbon neutrality.
- The first step, find out where your current properties carbon footprint stands. You can do this by working to obtain your LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) (– a popular green building certification (http://leedcert.com/)
- Since they asked for this, why not include your tenants in the process. Give your tenant’s incentives through recycling programs.
- Invest in your tenant’s futures by buying efficient A/C and heating systems, even something as small as a smart thermostat can help to reduce energy consumption
- Make sure you purchase window coverings that are energy efficiency for both hot and cold temperatures.
- Consider on-site renewable energy with adaptive solar panels.
- Share your building’s energy-saving successes by posting how the building’s energy consumption/usage has improved, when you hit that goal of 30% reduction in energy usage share that news with an email to your tenants or post it in the common areas of your building. Studies show that tenants prefer buildings that are greener and are willing to pay a little more in rent.
- Encourage your tenants to take alternate forms of transportation. Create carpool groups, install bike racks and post maps and schedules for bus/train transportation. You can even encourage tenants to walk by sharing local paths and trails.
- Be sure to encourage your tenants by showing them the results of their efforts – send quarterly reports showing how their usage declined.
- Hold a friendly competition between tenants. Offer a prize for the company/resident that lowers their usage the most in 3/6/12 month increments.
- When you remodel, try to use green building materials whenever possible.
- Below are examples of building materials that are more eco-friendly;
- Earthen Materials, Wood, Bamboo, Insulated Concrete Forms, Cordwood, Straw Bale, Earth Bags, Slate, Stone Roofing, Steel, Thatch, Composites, Natural Fiber, Cellulose, Cork, Polystyrene, Isocyanurate, Natural, Clay, Non- VOC paints, Natural Fiber Floor, Fiber Cement, and Stone
There are countless ways that you can help lower your buildings carbon footprint; these examples are just a few. For a great resource to continue your learning go to https://architecture2030.org/.
Remember, by reducing your carbon footprint you will also reduce your expenses which in turn, will have a positive impact on your NOI and increase the value of your property.