by Mary Girsch-Bock –
In Part I, we discussed ways in which you can build a sustainable property management model for your office. In Part II, we’ll look at ways in which you can build a sustainable model for your properties.
Building efficiencies into your property is one of the easiest ways to introduce sustainability into your property operations. This can be as simple as introducing a preventive maintenance model, where high-dollar fixtures are inspected at regular intervals in order to ward off unexpected maintenance costs. There are a host of other small changes that can be made property wide that can have a big impact on the environment, while moving you toward your sustainability goals. They include the following:
- Create a preventive maintenance program for your staff and ensure that it’s followed.Heating and cooling systems can be expensive and time consuming to replace. By warding off potential problems before they occur, maintenance and replacement costs can be significantly reduced.
- Replace current lighting with LED lighting. LED bulbs will reduce energy consumption, and their long-lasting capability eliminates the need to constantly replace light bulbs across the property. As an added benefit, this will work to reduce the occurrence of unlit areas that occur when lighting is out.
- Adjust the thermostat by a degree or two. Managers can see a significant reduction in both energy consumption and utility bills by simply lowering the thermostat in cooler weather, or raising it in warmer weather. The change will not impact anything but your bottom line.
- Be water-conscious. Keep a look out for leaking pipes and repair them promptly, whether they occur in a tenant’s apartment, or on the property itself. For those in more arid climates, consider switching to native plants that are accustomed to the climate and can survive on less water than a foreign species. Implementation of xeriscaping should also be considered at properties that currently require large amounts of watering and lawn upkeep and maintenance.
- Step up your recycling program. While it’s great that your office recycles on a regular basis, imagine the impact from a property wide effort. Arrange for recycling bins to be placed throughout the property, or have a common drop off point where tenants can bring their recyclable items.
- Consider solar energy. Installing just a few solar panels on roof tops can help to reduce greenhouse gases while also reducing energy sourced from coal and natural gas.
Depending on your budget, you can implement any or all of these suggestions to help build a more sustainable future for your property and the planet.