Gauging what residents want and need in a green community is tough. Some residents want solar panels while others prefer to focus on water conservation.
A survey conducted by Strata Research earlier this year found that 77 percent of renters felt green apartments were important. The survey took responses from more than 1,000 renters and was conducted in partnership with HD Supply, according to Kelly Vickers.
Vickers, national director of sustainability for Alliance Residential, says the survey sheds light on green development and what renters expect a green community to have.
Here are the Top 5 features renters considered were essential:
Energy Star Appliances: Vickers says while Alliance doesn’t have Energy Star appliances at every single property currently, they’re making a movement toward installing them as units turn over.
Energy Efficient Windows: Alliance Residential uses the windows as part of following either NAHB Green or LEED building standards at green properties. They’re also working to replace old windows with newer, efficient ones on an as-needed basis.
Water Saving Toilets: There is a wide variety of products to choose from, but Vickers and her team prefer a dual-flush model. Some properties have the toilets installed to use .8 gallons for a small flush and 1.28 gallons per large flush. Meanwhile, most of the units are equipped with 1.28 gallon or less single flush toilets. Dual-flush adapters have also been installed in some units, Vickers says.
Water Saving Bathroom Faucets: The use of specialized faucets varies from market to market, Vickers says. Sometimes an entire faucet is replaced with a low-flow fixture while other times an aerator is placed on the current fixture to conserve water.
Water Saving Showerheads: One thing Alliance Residential focuses on with showerheads is whether they are WaterSense certified. And just because a shower fixture is low-flow doesn’t mean it has to skimp on water pressure. Vickers says her team evaluates new products regularly to ensure they’re not only efficient, but effective.
Lindsay Machak is an Assistant Editor for Multifamily Executive. Connect with her on Twitter @LMachak .