Living in a green building has certain advantages, such as reduced energy bills, cleaner facilities and the benevolent feeling which comes with using renewable energy. Many renters tend to misunderstand green living, however, and misunderstand how to find green apartment buildings.
Finding apartment buildings and living facilities with green options means knowing what to ask when interviewing a property manager. Some questions to ask, and the answers to expect, are:
1. What improvements have been made on the property to reduce energy costs?
While the property may not have all of the following upgrades, even one or two will improve the energy efficiency of a building: rooftop solar panels, increased insulation, Double Low E windows, onsite recycling, Energy Star appliances, water efficient landscaping possibly using recycled rain water, water efficient plumbing, native plants used for landscaping, and energy reducing outdoor lighting.
2. Are you LEED certified?
If the answer to this question is “no”, don’t run yet. The LEED certification is a national government process which allows a building to receive Federal benefits for using green resources. If a building is LEED certified, you will know that they have been recognized for their energy efficient efforts. If they are not certified, it simply means they have not applied for the recognition or they do not have enough requirements fulfilled for the stiff regulations. Again, even one or two of the aforementioned upgrades will benefit you as the renter.
3. How will the upgrades benefit me?
This question kills two birds with one stone. You will find out if you are responsible for the energy usage payments and you will discover how you can work with the property for energy efficiency. For example, the answer may be, “You will pay less utilities, and if you use energy efficient light bulbs, you will continue to help us stay green.” Perhaps the benefits will extend to the recycling program, where the property is kept cleaner because the trash bins do not fill up fast due to the separation of household trash. The appearance of the home is often nicer with upgrades because the energy efficient windows create a seamless transition from windowsill to wall and make your apartment appear cleaner.
If you have more questions or need further information in recognizing green apartment living, contact us right away!