Hide this

header-hydro-pop

Eco-Friendly Apartments: Green Living Spaces for Renters

Green living options are expanding with the rise of eco-friendly apartment buildings. Green living options are expanding with the rise of eco-friendly apartment buildings.

With our lackluster housing market and the economy continuing to struggle, many Americans are choosing to rent apartments rather than committing to a mortgage. We all know that there are already ample and continually growing opportunities for homeowners to add green upgrades to their property, but more and more apartment complexes are choosing to go green as well, giving renters a chance to reap the benefits of eco-friendly living, like lower utility bills, access to public transportation, and the satisfaction of knowing that they are doing their part for the planet. So, what exactly are the benefits of renting a green apartment, and who decides which apartments deserve this designation? Let’s take a look at how a building gets certified as "green," and what to expect from your eco-friendly apartment.



An apartment complex can typically be considered "green" once it has achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Managed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is a program where buildings - from houses and apartments to hospitals, commercial offices and retail space - receive a score based on the eco-friendliness of the building in a variety of areas.

They look at everything from the sustainability of the building's location (the USGBC discourages building on undeveloped land or causing excessive erosion and runoff, but rewards building near infrastructure or public transportation), efficient water use in buildings and landscaping, energy-saving features, and using renewable energy created on or off-site. They also emphasize health-related factors like clean indoor air, eco-friendly paint, natural sunlight, and access to outdoor recreation like hiking or bicycle riding. The USGBC also awards LEED certification points to apartment managers who provide education to tenants about the eco-friendly amenities in their unit and how to utilize them properly. After all, a home is only truly green when its occupants use its green features to their maximum potential.  


A typical LEED certified apartment complex will have a variety of sustainable features, both structural and procedural.  



A typical LEED certified apartment complex will have a variety of sustainable features, both structural and procedural. In their units, renters will easily notice green upgrades like eco-friendly appliances (even flatscreen televisions in many cases), low-flow toilets and shower-heads, an abundance of ceiling fans to discourage air conditioner use, double-paned windows for insulation, trash compactors, and low-wattage lights and lightbulbs.

LEED certified apartments tend to be either in urban areas with large concentrations of amenities nearby, in very close proximity to public transportation, or both. Many green complexes also have a community bicycle-sharing program where tenants can borrow bicycles to use for transportation, and almost all have secure bike racks for personal bicycle storage.

For sustainable security, green apartments tend to have motion-activated lights in walkways and common areas, and hire environmentally sound pest control companies, which are not only better for the planet as a whole, they are much safer for humans and pets to be around.

Also, tenants in green apartments don’t have to be subjected to harmful chemicals just to keep termites and ants at bay, and will also not be breathing air filled with the dangerous dust that comes from paint containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which send small possibly-carcinogenic particulates into the air as the paint dries. Paints with VOCs are not used in green apartments, and frankly shouldn't be used anywhere.

Not only are LEED certified apartments sustainable, they are often beautiful thanks in no small part to the emphasis they place on exceptional eco-landscaping. They regularly use reclaimed water for irrigation and rely on water-wise landscaping techniques like selecting regionally appropriate plants and installing drip irrigation systems. For green-thumbed tenants, many complexes have started community gardens, either on adjacent plots of land or the roofs of buildings.

Other amenities, like swimming pools and laundromats are also built with a concern for conservation. Pools are often heated with solar panels, lit with motion-activated lights, filled with recycled water and cleaned with eco-friendly products. Laundromats are usually stocked with high efficiency washers and dryers, which are available in-unit in pricier complexes.

LEED certified apartments tend to be a little pricier than their non-green counterparts, but to many renters the small price difference is negligible. Living in a green complex is worth the money.



Green buildings frequently offer incentives for tenants who show an exceptional dedication to conservation, like special parking for hybrid and electric vehicles, and charging stations for electric. They always offer recycling opportunities, with many complexes accepting hard-to-recycle products like computers and batteries.

LEED certified apartments tend to be a little pricier than their non-green counterparts, but to many renters the small price difference is negligible. Living in a green complex is worth the money.

Even if you cannot or do not want to become a homeowner, you can still enjoy the perks of living in a sustainable home. LEED certified apartments have done all of the work for you -- all tenants have to do is move in and start living green, and perhaps your time in an eco-friendly apartment will give you insights and ideas for when you do have a house of your own and need to conduct a green renovation.

However, even if a LEED certified apartment is not in the cards for you, there are many ways to green-up your pad. Start with low-wattage lightbulbs and consider a small-scale solar system to augment your power use, and don't underestimate the powers of a personal garden. Growing our own produce is not only healthier and more sustainable, once we start down the green path, it's hard to go back to our old wasteful ways.

© Copyright RosebudMag.com, 2012



To create link towards this article on your website,
copy and paste the text below in your page.




Preview :


Powered by Rosebudmag © 2019
Follow Rosebud Magazine on Twitter Check out the Rosebud Magazine Facebook
Share this article with your friends, family and co-workers
Australia is getting green with their home options, too.
Last modified on Monday, 25 June 2012 16:13

Want To Grow Bigger?

 

Twitter-Button

Follow growers on Twitter

 

FacebookButtonJoin grower discussions on Facebook

 

email-icon-1Ask our expert growers questions at: experts@rosebudmag.com

Growers Underground
QuickCure
© Rosebud Magazine, 2010 - 2018 | All rights reserved.

Login or Register

LOG IN