Multifamily Developers Embrace Green Building

Sourced from Multi-Housing News

Alongside the development boom that Marcus & Millichap estimates will add 335,000 new multifamily units to the nation’s inventory this year, another phenomenon is emerging. As developers recognize the benefits of sustainability for both their bottom line and their residents’ quality of life, they are increasingly incorporating sustainable building materials and methods into their projects. More than 1.54 million multifamily residential units were participating in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program of March 2018, and the organization expects that number to keep rising as new projects come online.

SUPPORT FOR SUSTAINABILITY
Healthy fundamentals, particularly strong occupancy and rising rents, are encouraging developers to build green, but other factors are also at work. “On one hand, there’s a request for sustainable building,” said Paula Cino, vice president for construction, development and land use policy at the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC). “Green building features are something that residents, as well as jurisdictions, are asking for from the builders and developers in their community.”

Developers are also recognizing “that there are some tangible advantages to green building, particularly when it comes to energy efficiency and water savings,” she added. “That can translate into some real dollars that go back into the owner/operator’s pocket for the life of that building.”

Studies back up Cino’s observation that renter demand for sustainable features is on the upswing, as well. According to the 2017 NMHC/Kingsley Associates Renter Preferences Report, 65 percent of respondents said they would be interested in a community with sustainability/green initiatives, and 78 percent said they’d be interested in a community with Energy Star-certified appliances.

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