MN Energy Smart

Renters Seek Energy Efficient Buildings

Swimming pools and community rooms, move over. Today’s renters want more energy efficient apartments.

According to Finance and Commerce online, the building trades are responding to increasing demand for greener rental units. They are constructing more apartment complexes with features that help tenants save money on energy, have ready access to recycling—including organics—and  reduce water consumption.

Building owners also see significant benefits to this approach to construction with reductions in operating costs for energy, trash disposal and water use.

Finance and Commerce reports green design and construction has become the rule rather than the exception, according to local apartment developers and architects.  “A lot of green [building] elements are becoming commonplace,” said Dan Pellinen, a senior associate architect at Minneapolis-based Tushi Montgomery & Associates. While the up-front construction costs may be higher, building owners offering energy and resource efficiency are able to attract more renters under age 35—a desirable demographic—who tend to be more green-energy savvy than typical renters of decades past.

The green building trend “has affected the whole building industry,” Pellinan said. “Even if they are not going after LEED certification—because that takes a lot of time, effort and money to produce the documentation—they are opting to do a lot of ‘green’ things just so they can reap the benefits.”

At a time when the residential rental market is hopping, new construction of multi-unit buildings is surging. Energy Smart suggests that this presents our communities with a rare opportunity to bring energy-efficient living to more Minnesotans than ever before. By incorporating green design and operating processes in new builds of apartment complexes—and by upgrading older buildings with the green features that attract younger tenants—the multi-housing industry can both satisfy today’s consumer demand and create future expectations among consumers that energy efficient housing should be the norm.

For assistance with assessing, planning and financing energy upgrades in existing multi-tenant buildings, please contact our Energy Smart experts today. Energy Smart services are provided at no charge to Minnesota businesses.

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