These days, it seems like everybody is looking to 'go green.' The term is shorthand for a movement of environmental awareness that involves everything from the way architects design new buildings and homes to the ways co-ops, condos and HOAs recycle their waste. In other words, green means to help the environment by reducing the amount of energy you use.
That’s why savvy boards and property managers are not only implementing the little things—such as turning down thermostats, shutting off air conditioners, and turning out lights in common areas when not in use—but investing in more substantial technology and greener equipment that uses less energy.
Let’s take a look at how New York City co-op and condo buildings are going green.
Bill Footer, senior program director for Massachusetts-based Conservation Services Group, which handles National Grid’s multifamily program, says the interest in condos becoming green has increased greatly over the last few years. “It seems a lot of communities these days have a green committee that will look for ways to decrease expenses,” he says. “They're concerned about energy use and want to do whatever they can.” And that, says Footer, is where his organization comes in. “We can help them reduce common area energy usage as well as in-unit energy usage.”
The question has always been, is it economically viable? “For a co-op, condo or building owner, the investment in ‘green’ improvements can easily build momentum when it is economically viable—and even more so when it results in a much more healthy and attractive living environment,” says Ivan Brice, AIA, principal and founder of Ivan Brice Architecture in New York City.