How long does the green sheen last? Oh, how times have changed. Ten years ago, many multifamily developers dismissed the idea of increasing project costs to expend funds on sustainable development pursuits. But today, with full proof that what has become a minimal upfront investment in eco-friendly features pays for itself in no time flat, it is the rare property owner who doesn’t pursue and tout an apartment community’s “green” aspects. But, as is frequently the case with trends, the ante is being upped with regard to the green seal of approval, and now the question is becoming, “How green is green?” Benchmarking can tell you.
Sustainable development, in terms of the actual construction process, is what it is—if you divert certain materials from landfills or utilize recycled products, the impact is immediate. But if you incorporate such features as energy-efficient windows and water-saving appliances, a property’s true sustainability can only be judged after it’s put to the test. And, in terms of energy conservation—and thus cost savings for both property owner and tenant—that is where benchmarking a building’s performance comes into play.
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