Incorporating sustainability and environmental responsibility into every aspect of managing a build-to-rent (BTR) premises not only plays a part in making a difference to the planet, it can also be a real differentiation point for potential tenants and the communities that grow from successful BTR properties. A home with sustainability at the heart benefits not only the individual tenants and potentially their quality of life, but also has an impact on the bigger picture. Having strong green credentials can therefore be a real selling point for BTR management companies.
However, sustainability doesn’t happen without careful planning and effective management across every aspect of the building operations and resident experience. We look at five key areas that can make a real difference to the sustainability of BTR buildings and their tenants.
Green initiatives for BTR communities
Empowering tenants to ‘do their bit’ for the environment by introducing green initiatives can bring multiple benefits. Those living in BTR apartments and using communal facilities like waste disposal often find that taking simple steps like recycling their waste effectively isn’t always made easy for them by the systems and processes in place.
If the building management company ensures that there is a robust recycling system in place, and that everyone knows about it and how to fully utilise it, the chances are that recycling rates in the building will significantly improve.
Other community projects can also make a real difference to not only green credentials but also the collective spirit and sentiment of residents. For example, balcony and rooftop garden spaces utilised as community allotments so that residents can grow their own food. Instigated by building management firms, but sustained by the tenants themselves, this can be a great way to bring residents together as well as being better for the planet.
Energy efficiency in individual residences
Using less energy in BTR homes is a win for tenants, building management companies and the planet. While energy efficiency of course needs to be taken into consideration during the project planning and construction phase, there are other tools to help once residents have moved in. Smart heating controls can help ensure that rooms and apartments aren’t being heated when not needed, for example. Smart lighting and smart plugs can also play a big role in bringing down unnecessary energy use in individual apartments.
Energy efficiency in communal and other areas
In a similar way to ensuring that residential areas of the building are not using energy unnecessarily, any communal parts of the building can also be controlled remotely and using the latest smart and AI technology to help make the building as efficient as possible in its usage. Many BTR buildings have mixed-use, with a combination of residential units and perhaps some retail or commercial premises too. By ensuring that every communal area, along with the units themselves, are utilising energy efficiently, this reduces operating costs as well as contributing to lower carbon emissions.
Leak detection technology
Leak detection technology can be implemented in BTR premises to detect leaks quickly and thus reduce water wastage, as well as giving an early alert before the escaping water has time to do damage that could be costly and inconvenient to repair if allowed to continue for some time. The same technology can also be used to help monitor usage and help tenants to be more mindful about the water they are using in their home.
Effective tenant engagement through an app or online portal
How can the manner of communication to and from tenants make a difference to the environment? There are actually several ways in which effective tenant engagement can help reduce the impact on the planet. Communicating with tenants using an app or online portal reduces the need for paper and other traditional forms of in-building communication, while improving the convenience and accessibility of services to residents.
An effective tenant engagement app can also bring together all of the other green and energy saving initiatives into one place, so that they are easier for tenants to access and easier for building management teams to oversee and gain insights from. For example, a tenant engagement app can include a rota for residents that sign up to grow veg on the roof, whilst also providing the building management company with energy usage data. Having all of this in one single platform simplifies processes and makes it more cost-effective and less resource-intensive in comparison to having multiple different tools to manage these various things separately. With a flexible platform that is designed to offer a huge range of functionality, you can bring in many different features and data streams without the kinds of cost and extensive development process you might think is needed.
By considering the green infrastructure and processes that you can put in place for BTR building management, you’re committing to being part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. Utilising technology to bring this together and making it easy for tenants to ‘opt in’ to initiatives, along with reducing operating costs and helping the planet, makes this a win for everyone involved.
If you’d like to know more about how our platform can help your BTR portfolio to improve its green credentials, we’d love to discuss your requirements and how we can help. Contact us for more information.