These days, as the summers get hotter, the storms get bigger and climate change is finding its way into more headlines than ever before, more attention is being paid to the environment and how the average citizen can do his or her part to support it. For years, New York City has been a leader in energy conservation, waste reduction and the creation of green policies designed to prepare its buildings and its residents for life in an uncertain environmental future.
As a result, boards and managers finding themselves introducing new rules, regulations and technologies into co-ops and condos to improve comfort for residents and work in tandem with citywide efforts to be better stewards of our resources and climate. And it is a trend that seems to be growing.
People Want to Know
“We regularly have board members reach out to their management team about greening their property,” says Doug Weinstein, executive director of operations and vice president of New York-based Project Management Group (PMG) and AKAM Associates. “And PMG consistently receives inquiries for more information on how to be energy efficient and continue to rise. You also have many new buildings being constructed with sustainability and greening practices in mind from their inception.”
Cecil Scheib, PE, CEM, LEED AP, GPRO, chief program officer of the Urban Green Council in New York, has seen first-hand the results of buildings focusing on energy conservation and green policies. “It happened in my building,” he says, citing a conversion to LED lighting. Throughout the city, “We’re seeing a trend,” he says, especially involving management companies making suggestions and providing guidance on renovations and upgrades.
Shades of Green
Aaron Mehta, the director of energy information for FS Energy, a subsidiary of the nationwide residential property management firm FirstService Residential, says getting boards and residents involved in greening is through information and education. “The most effective way is to inform our board members and residents so that they actually have the tools and the resources to make the decisions,” says Mehta.