A recent article published on Property Management Software Guide claims occupant behavior – not funding or awareness – is preventing green buildings from reaching their environmental performance goals. The article, Occupant Behavior: Five Keys to Meeting Environmental Performance Goals, identifies five ways to encourage behaviors that align with environmental performance goals:
- Engage occupants before they move in. Hold an eco-charrette with the future tenants to include their ideas about the building’s design and help them understand the importance of established performance goals.
- Take a holistic approach. It may not be enough to focus solely on energy and water usage. Holistic programs emphasizing sustainability and overall health and well-being have proven to be very successful.
- Measure energy use with new technologies. New social energy management tools can assist in making tenants more aware of their energy use by showing the real-time environmental performance of the building.
- Provoke competition. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be leveraged to create friendly competition among occupants, floors, or even other local buildings. By setting clear goals and displaying real-time data, facility managers can capitalize on tenants’ competitive spirit in order to reduce a building’s carbon footprint.
- Create transparency. It is important to make energy data available in a way that it is easily understood. Providing tenants with easy-to-read charts or graphs showing energy usage patterns, data on actual cost savings and shrinking carbon footprints, helps facility managers better engage their tenants.
Ashley Halligan is the author of Occupant Behavior: Five Keys to Meeting Environmental Performance Goals. Ashley is a Property Management Systems Analyst at Software Advice.