Condo managers are getting in the black by going green. Green strategies improve property value, decrease operational costs, and improve efficiency. In this article, we provide tips on how to reduce costs of your building by going green.
Consumer Desire for Sustainability
The condo market is undergoing a massive shift, with more units being bought by millennials. The high cost of homes makes it difficult for most millennials to purchase houses. As a result, they’re either renting apartments or buying condos. This new generation of condo owners comes with a new set of values.
Sustainability is an important value to millennials in Canada and the USA. By making your condo building more sustainable and environmentally-friendly, you can make it more attractive to this market.
Of course, it’s not just millennials who care about the environment. The public as a whole is largely aware and concerned about their impact on the environment.
One of the easiest ways to make environmentally-friendly, cost-saving changes to your condo is to install LED lights. The costs of energy are consistently rising, with an expected 6.5% increase year-over-year. LED lights are 6x more efficient than incandescent bulbs.
You can use the same lamps and light fixtures with energy-efficient bulbs. This makes it easy and inexpensive to switch over. The initial cost of traditional bulbs is lower but LEDs last as much as 1,000 times longer, making them less expensive in the long run.
By switching to LED lighting, you can bring down the operational costs of your building, improving efficiency and reducing expenses.
Paperless Condo Management
For years, condo management was a paper-dependent industry. In today’s digital age, more managers are recognizing the benefits of paperless condo management. Going paperless is not only green, it’s better for efficiency.
You can decrease costs by working smarter with paperless condo management software. Faxes, invoices, and heavy paperwork can be a thing of the past. So you can reduce time wasted filing, sorting, and searching for physical documents.
All documents and information can now be stored, searched, and shared online for easy access on desktop or mobile. Not only does this result in significant time savings, it also makes it possible for one person to effectively manage multiple properties.
Paperless condo management reduces your costs, improves communication, and streamlines management tasks.
You can now expedite the consent process. With e-consent there is no more need for paperwork, mail, or in-person visits. Taking advantage of electronic ID verification maintains security. Traditional consent forms can take days for turnaround. Using e-consent the process is fast, paperless and secure.
Automate Building Controls
Automation is one of the big money saving technologies today. All sorts of manual tasks are removed, making jobs easier and making people more efficient. But it’s not just tasks that can be automated -- more condos are moving towards automated building controls.
Automation can result in big energy savings. A good example of this is automated temperature controls. Automating heating and air conditioning reduces energy costs. Set the building to maintain a set temperature, preventing it from overworking in lower or higher temperature times of the day.
Also, you can automate heating systems to run in specific areas during times of day where people are there. For example, there’s no need to run the heat in the gym during hours where it’s closed. Whereas the reception area should always be temperature-controlled since people are coming in and out at all times.
Lighting can be automated as well. Outside lighting can be set to turn on once it gets dark outside. Lighting in lesser used areas can even use motion sensors. That way you only use energy when someone actually needs lighting.
Smart sprinkler systems can also make a big difference. Ensuring your sprinkler systems are up and running does help create a healthier, greener lawn. But it can waste a lot of water. By using a smart sprinkler, you can reduce wastage. For example, after heavy rains, the sprinkler doesn’t need to run.
Smart Metering for Wind, Solar, or Unused Energy
Renewable energy has moved from a novelty to a reality. As it stands, it doesn’t look like condos will be moving fully over to alternative energy. But, there are more condominiums offsetting their energy costs by incorporating solar and wind power. The key to making these work is smart metering.
Any building using wind or solar power should take advantage of smart metering. Smart meters are used in many buildings already in order to more accurately monitor energy usage. For buildings using solar panels, smart meters also monitor the amount of energy you are generating.
Taking advantage of smart metering for wind, solar, or unused energy saves money in two ways. For one, it ensures you prioritize using your renewable energy so you don’t have to pay for electricity. Secondly, it allows your condo to sell unused energy back to the grid.
Using a combination of smart metering and renewable energy allows condos to save on operational costs while going green.
Energy Efficient Windows and Doors
Windows are a big part of a condo’s aesthetic. Big windows add natural light and are desired by most condo owners. However, they’re also a big source of energy loss. You can reduce your condos operational costs with energy efficient windows and doors.
Most condo boards have a reserve plan, budgeting for the eventual need to replace windows and doors. When the time comes, look to install more energy efficient options.
A good approach to replacing existing windows and doors is to have them inspected after winter. Winter can cause or exacerbate damages to the seals. This allows heat or cold to escape, reducing the energy efficiency of the entire building. Identify windows or doors that are problematic and replace them with energy efficient ones.
Invest in Green Condo Management
Making your condo greener is an investment in the property. A more sustainable condo is a building that runs more efficiently and at lower costs. Discover the condo software property managers are using to turn their building into a lean, green, cost-saving machine.