May 2
Industry: Construction

Sustainability in Multi-Family and Commercial Spaces

When it comes to office and commercial space, it’s a buyer’s market. Work from home policies have companies reimagining what office life looks like, allowing them to be more discriminating about the spaces they lease or buy.

On the flip side, housing is totally a seller’s market, with rising prices sparking a building boom. In communities both large and small, policy makers are creating more opportunity–and in some cases financial incentives–for multi-family housing. Unlike the subdivisions of the early 2000s, these developments have smaller living spaces, shared outdoor spaces, and an eye toward affordability.

Companies, homeowners and tenants have become savvy about user costs, and are drawn to efficient appliances and HVAC systems that will save them money in the long run. Incorporating these features into designs can help developers get an edge when attracting leases, whether it’s office spaces or apartments.

Creating efficient and sustainable spaces is the hard part, but property owners shouldn’t stop there,” said Matt Samson, building industry advisor. “It’s important to also market your efforts to prospective and current tenants – they care, and they vote with their wallets! Be sure to show both sustainability and cost-conscious customers what you are doing, and why it matters.”

Electric car charging stations
Car manufacturers are proactively responding to climate change with pledges to increase their electric vehicle offerings. In 2021, General Motors announced that 40% of the company’s U.S. models will be battery electric vehicles by the end of 2025. Recent increases in gas prices have accelerated demand.

When developing properties, consider adding EV car charging stations to parking lots. Energy companies like Eversource have created programs to lower the cost of installing EV charging stations, making this an economical upgrade for developers.

Marketing Tip: When a company has EV charging stations in the parking lot of its offices, it shows the company is forward-thinking and environmentally conscious. This can help recruit employees and secure tenants who are passionate about sustainability. It can also help you convert leads. Consider:

  • Offering lead magnet style information about EV charging stations on your website.
  • Including EV stations in portfolio examples to highlight your commitment to sustainability.

Smart lighting and temperature control
Advancement of the Internet of Things and cloud-based facility management systems have enabled companies to save on energy costs in all new ways. Smart lighting and temperature control can cut energy costs and provide property management companies and tenants additional cost-saving advantages. While most people understand how a programmable thermostat works, the rapid advancement in this tech also includes:

  • Lighting controls and sensors that let building facility managers see occupancy patterns and use machine learning technology to become more smart-enabled.
  • A better understanding of occupancy to help manage heating costs. Areas and buildings that are underutilized could yield savings if workers are consolidated and lighting and heating use in unoccupied areas is then reduced.
  • Use patterns from smart technology can enable targeted maintenance and cleaning services. Knowing which parts of the building are used most can be especially useful for building management companies.

Marketing Tip: If you offer smart lighting options, make sure to highlight the benefits beyond the cost of keeping the lights on. Use a saving calculator like this one from Starco Lighting to show this in real numbers.

Take water efficiency up a notch
Many commercial and residential spaces today are adding open space features tenants can share for time off outside. But maintaining landscaping can be an intense water use–and expensive if tapped into a public water system. By implementing a greywater treatment system, you can safely use treated water from sinks, dishwashers and clothes washing machines to water landscaping. If the building uses public sewer, look into getting a deduct meter that subtracts the amount of greywater diverted to save even more on utilities.

Greenspaces and landscaping immediately improves the curb appeal of an office or apartment building,” said Samson. “They complement the buildings themselves, and offer a healthy respite for tenants to get outside for a break in their day. Do it sustainably, and you can both save money and make them feel part of something bigger.”

Marketing Tip: When incorporating sustainable practices and tools like a greywater system in your overall branding, don’t forget the cost savings. Build awareness of the long-term affordability of greywater in blog posts or create a lead magnet about greywater and affordable sustainability.

Sustainability is important to us at MAYO, but we’re also practical. We understand businesses are primarily focused on the bottom line. Yet the bottom line includes more than just up-front building costs. By highlighting long-term savings, forward thinking, and an eye towards long-lasting quality, future tenants will be attracted to the win-win opportunity sustainable buildings offer. Wherever you are on your sustainability journey, we are here to help you market it!

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