What is green? The answers to that question may be as numerous as the number of people asked. However, there are six categories the construction industry uses that seek to provide a healthy, clean, energy efficient and durable home…a green home. Those categories are: site and lot design, energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor air quality, materials and product durability, and operational maintenance.
The last extensive study and survey, completed in 2013 by McGraw Hill Construction and the National Association of Home Builders, show that the most sought after and important feature of a green apartment was lower energy use. This in turn would help to satisfy the number one goal, to save money on monthly expenses. Having reduced monthly expenses was key across all segments – market rate, affordable housing and most especially senior housing, as these senior residents are living on a fixed income and depend on consistent expense items month in and month out.
The factors in choosing one apartment over another, ranked from most sought after to least sought after are: save money, lower energy use, better for environment, better health, better comfort, better investment decision.
Potential customers and residents of apartments have the perception that green apartments are built to a higher quality than a non-green apartment, and are willing to pay more for the benefits a green apartment yields. From an image perspective and also from a distinct competitive advantage over non-green apartments, all companies, developers and contractors, looking to stay competitive in the multifamily market should invest in green features. Discussing these features and translating them into resident benefits also provides a significantly higher impact of the terms “green and sustainable.”
Bottom line: customers and residents are expecting a more durable and healthy living environment. The developers and contractors who deliver what the customer wants will have a more marketable product now and down the road.