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Making the Most Out of Sustainable Multifamily Living

With sustainability being the theme of this month, I thought I’d explore a few of the ways multifamily building residents benefit from this perk. After all, what a better time to think about sustainability in our homes when we are home, well, all the time?

Being stuck at home is not all bad for those of us living in multifamily apartments, though. We have more time than ever before to enjoy the perks and amenities that we pay for. Yes, we all miss life before COVID. We miss going to the office, eating at restaurants, going out without a mask… but it was hectic. Between commuting and our social obligations, we only spent a few hours at home, and those few hours were usually spent eating and sleeping.

Now, our electric and internet bills are higher, and we stare at our same four walls most of the day. So what good is it to live in a LEED-certified building during this time? First, let’s start with the categories a building is evaluated upon to receive this certification:

  • Location and transportation
  • Materials and Resources
  • Water efficiency
  • Energy and atmosphere
  • Sustainable sites
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Innovation
  • Regional priority credits

Source

There are a few of those categories that stand out to me: Water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, and indoor environmental quality. Let’s break these up and explore why they matter most in this age of The Home Office:

  • Water efficiency: Living in a building that reduces potable water reduces overall water costs. In my building, water is covered with our rent, so it’s one less bill to worry about.
  • Energy and atmosphere: These days we are consuming more electricity than we were ever used to before. We used to spend at least eight hours of our day at work. Now we work, live, and do everything from home. We even have virtual parties at home. So yes, we are definitely running up our electric bill. But the benefit of living in a sustainable, LEED-certified multifamily building is that it helps keep our electric bill low even when we’re making use of it more than ever.
  • Indoor environmental quality: With an airborne virus that affects our respiratory systems raging throughout the entire country, having good indoor air quality is probably one of the best features a multifamily apartment building can offer. My building prohibits smoking throughout the building. It provides a little extra peace of mind during this stressful time when we are all worried about how we could accidentally catch the virus, even without exposing ourselves through large gatherings or parties.

So this begs the question, what do we ask for when it comes to access control technology? Do we expect sustainability in ALL aspects of multifamily living, or are we okay to trade some things for others? In our latest video with Colin Depree, we talked about some sustainable routes the access control industry can take. What do you value most about sustainability in multifamily buildings?

Ivana Gatica graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a degree in Fine Arts and Writing. For the past year, she has been working as a copywriter in the marketing and fintech spaces helping businesses find their unique voice. She also likes to take on freelance writing opportunities in her free time and loves to write fiction and poetry.