Introducing 2 New Energy Management Buzz Words
Green and sustainability are familiar buzzwords to the multifamily industry as it attempts to be a better steward of the environment while reaping financial benefit. Building and maintaining green identities through a variety of earth-friendly practices has proven to be an effective marketing tool for attracting new residents and improving the bottom line.
I would like to introduce a couple of newer terms that property managers, owners, and developers should include in their vocabulary that fully encompass the meaning of green and sustainable: Resiliency and flourishing.
Resiliency and flourishing work hand in hand and are very much a part of the sustainability and green culture. For example, untimely events – such as damage from a disaster – are prime opportunities for apartment properties to show resiliency and the ability to flourish after the event.
1. Resiliency: Preparing for Disaster Recovery
Resilience is managing an imbalanced world through calculation, multi-scenario planning, durability, preparation and data. It’s the concept of creating something more powerful and strong out of a particularly distressed situation. The destruction from an event like Hurricane Sandy or an earthquake can invigorate a once tired, environmentally challenged property through building a tougher, more sustainable structure with longevity in mind.
At the same time, naturally occurring events require more resilience to protect our green, sustainable and conventional structures. If our communities or super energy efficiency and recyclable green buildings are destroyed by a wave, fire, flood, wind or quake, we have wasted far more energy than we could have ever hoped to have saved.
A great example is the technology of resilience with first responders who are using big data to be more prepared for the next disaster. By tying seismographs and other equipment to Twitter, they are able to better and more quickly understand where an earthquake event has occurred and where fires and other emergencies are springing up. Faster response times could save structures from destruction, thus increasing the resilience of buildings through data and augmenting existing resilient building practices.
It is this consistent adaptation to the chaos that is inherent in nature, business, and life that allows resilience to support sustainability. With it, we learn along the way and improve our thought process to a more resilient future allowing flourishing for all.
2. Flourishing: The Results of Sustainable Properties
Resilient efforts that chart a new course can ultimately lead to the flourishing of a property. Flourishing, simply put, is prosperity for all.
Sustainability and green practices may not only lead to a better bottom line through saving on the electric bill as a result of putting big data to best use. Residents have shown they are willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly place to live, as suggested by a survey of 1,000 apartment seekers who pay a $100 premium in rent to do so.
A new-found sense of interconnectedness between the property owner and residents – that we’re-all-in-this-together bond – can allow a property to flourish in the face of great times.
When we combine all the pieces and all the people with all their needs, we come to a place where green, sustainability, and resilience meet to produce a flourishing outcome.
Resiliency and Flourishing can Leave a Green Legacy
Developers can build all the LEED-certified apartment communities they want but if those projects don’t ultimately serve their purpose, then sustainability gets lost in their neglect. Our highly efficient buildings must be effectively monitored so they perform at their optimum level.
I recently observed how infrequently people used the energy saving revolving door – designed to reduce air and heat loss – at a Denver high-rise. The majority of those who came in and out went through the conventional side doors marked Please Use Revolving Door. Simply checking a LEED box doesn’t ensure success in practice.
Resiliency and flourishing are not about whether or not we weather a storm; it’s how we do so. With resiliency, the multifamily industry can ultimately flourish and create a more vibrant sustainability with greener results while generating positive financial results along the way.