Rental property owners should consider getting a green building certification. Many programs offer this certification, and it poses several advantages to landlords.
The Benefits of Obtaining Green Building Certification
Architects and developers have become more invested in green buildings as of late. But, they are not the only ones. Property owners, property managers, and even tenants have recently grown interested in this process. And while many have jumped on the sustainable trend, some remain hesitant at the thought of possible change.
Rental property owners who have yet to commit to the green building movement should consider making the switch. Not convinced? Here are the advantages of obtaining a green building certification for rental property.
1. Save Money in the Long Run
Landlords can never turn down an opportunity to save more money, so long as it does not compromise the habitability of the rental property. By obtaining a green building certification, property owners can save on the following costs:
- Short-term maintenance
- Long-term maintenance
- Short-term repairs
- Long-term repairs
A chief guiding principle in green building certification is energy efficiency. Landlords can implement energy-efficient HVAC systems as well as draw energy from natural resources. Window placement also plays a part in this. Placing windows in strategic locations allows for better ventilation and natural lighting.
Additionally, many property owners can benefit from the tax breaks green building certifications offer. Several towns and cities offer funding opportunities as well as tax benefits to developers and owners that establish green buildings. While some of these exemptions only last temporarily, they are still definitely worth the effort.
2. Lower Utility Bills
Who doesn’t want lower utility bills? The green building certification process allows for more energy efficiency. This reduces the need for the constant use of utilities. Both property owners and tenants can enjoy this perk.
3. Healthier and More Comfortable Environment
Many landlords simply provide the bare minimum in terms of habitability. But, with green building certification, landlords can give tenants a healthier and more comfortable space to live in. Having a green building means having cleaner air and quieter units, allowing for maximum comfort and health. The materials and installation techniques used can also contribute to less dust and dirt in the environment. They can also prevent mold and mildew.
4. Attract and Retain More Tenants
Having a green building-certified property can directly affect a landlord’s ability to attract and retain tenants. Thanks to lower utility costs as well as a healthier and more comfortable living space, tenants are more likely to apply and remain. Some tenants, especially the more environmentally conscious ones, even go out of their way to research green properties. In addition to this, green buildings tend to get better occupant ratings compared to their non-green counterparts.
5. Reduce Cost of Materials
When a building is designed with sustainability in mind, it eliminates waste and prevents the use of excessive materials. Of course, this does not mean that green buildings are not structurally sound. On the contrary, green buildings are durable and have strong structural integrity without the extra cost.
6. Command Higher Rent
Going green is not just the new thing nowadays. There are many neighborhoods that are transitioning to greener living, and these are the ones that tend to attract more residents.
Green neighborhoods encourage public transportation, walking, and biking, making them a safer place to live in. And, when they are close to amenities and hotspots, they are made even more appealing.
Landlords who operate rental properties in such neighborhoods have the added benefit of commanding higher rent. Lower utility costs, a healthier environment, and access to natural light are also direct contributors. Moreover, should property owners decide to sell, green properties also have a higher resale value.
7. Get a Head Start on Future Compliance Requirements
Many states have enacted energy efficiency standards over the past 20 years, and more are likely to follow. While these standards more commonly apply to newly constructed buildings, some older buildings can also be affected.
As energy efficiency and sustainability become the norm, owners can get a head start on legal compliance requirements by getting the green building certification. This will help property owners from incurring expenses and encountering permitting issues in the future.
8. Contribute to Sustainability
Energy and water are increasingly becoming scarce, so the shift to conform to green building standards can influence the world at large. Green buildings also make lower carbon emissions, thereby making the community a better place overall. While the focus of many landlords is to make a profit, the feeling of making a positive impact on the environment is incomparable.
How to Get Green Building Certification
There are a number of international and local bodies that provide green building certification, each with its own set of requirements and standards. Want to know which green building certification program is right for you? Here are some of the most well-known ones.
LEED is an international green building certification program managed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This program uses a point rating system where participants can earn points by completing various credits.
The registration fee is $1,200 for USGBC members and $1,500 for non-members. Once received, the certification lasts for five (5) years.
Managed by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), WELL is an international program with a moderate difficulty level. A lot of the requirements under WELL overlap with LEED, so it is easy to apply for both at the same time. Like LEED, WELL uses a points system to rate projects.
The registration fee can vary depending on the size and type of the project. Participants can expect to pay a registration fee between $1,500 to $10,000. Once received, the certification is valid for three (3) years.
Based in the United States, FITWEL is one of the more accessible green building certification courses. The benefits of FITWEL are that it is more cost-effective and there are no pre-requisites. Like LEED and WELL, FITWEL uses a points-based system.
The registration fee is $500. Once received, the certification is valid for three (3) years.
Living Building Challenge (LBC)
The Living Building Challenge is an international program managed by the green building certification institute, International Living Future Institute. Compared to the other three above, LBC is the most difficult to achieve. It has plenty of requirements and pre-requisites, with a base registration fee of $900. The good news is, the certification is valid indefinitely.
The Benefits Outweigh the Costs
Obtaining green building certification comes with costs and challenges. Some of the programs are not very easy. But, considering all the benefits of green building certification, they are definitely worth the effort.
Do you need a property management company to facilitate the requirements of green building certification? Start your search for the right one today using Rental Choice’s online directory.
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