Increasing sustainability in multifamily buildings can be a complex issue. Each building is unique. A building’s need for sustainability improvements depends on the age of the building and its equipment, and the extent to which upgrades have already been made. Many multifamily homes have inefficient lighting, inadequate insulation, a leaky building envelope, and antiquated heating and cooling equipment. Each of these areas can be addressed to lower energy usage and improve sustainability. Some common water and energy saving measures include:
For property owners who need help sorting through the array of sustainability options available, a resource efficiency audit is a great place to start. Audits are often offered by utilities at little or no cost to the property owner, and combine an on-site energy and water use assessments with specific recommendations to improve efficiency. They also identify rebates available to reduce costs. By bringing information about costs and benefits directly to the owners, resource efficiency audits can ease concerns about technical feasibility and help property owners create an effective plan to maximize returns on their sustainability investments.