Green Features

Apartment residents weigh in on eco-friendly living.

This month, MHN once again teamed up with research and consulting services firm Kingsley Associates to see what green features are most appreciated by apartment residents—and which ones are conspicuously absent. Renters across the country have become quite savvy about eco initiatives like recycling, energy efficiency, water conservation and urban gardening. Many are willing to pay more to live in a building that respects the environment. Integrity is key.

If your apartment community is claiming to be green, it had better be delivering on this promise.

“If the building were striving to be green and energy efficient, there would be no need to see the sprinklers still set to pump water onto the grass while it’s raining outside for days.” —Medford, Mass.

“We think a community garden and compost/recycling center would change the community from good to excellent!” —Wilmington, S.C.

“I would have liked a more energy efficient apartment. Considering Texas extreme temperatures, I find the insulation (windows, doors, etc.) very poor. Relying entirely on A/C and heating is environmentally unfriendly and expensive. Installing advanced A/C thermostats would be helpful.” —Dallas

“Utilities (at this LEED building) have proven to be very expensive, compared to life in a non-LEED building. I thought this would have been one of the positive trade-offs.” Seattle

“I want to be able to get an electric car, but I have no options due to management’s refusal to install a car station.” —Marina del Rey, Calif.

“What “green” practices? Lawn are watered at 3 p.m. in 107+ degree heat.” —Phoenix

“I really wish that the green/sustainability/zero-carbon initiatives that I read about could be seen in our apartment community.” —Irvine, Calif.

“Go green. Offer recycling in the community. I would pay extra for that.” —Orange Park, Fla.

“Energy waste is a problem. Lights are left on in vacant apartments more often than not. The heated hot tub is left uncovered year round. There are also wasted water resources: irrigation system (flooding) and outdoor faucets.” —Bellevue, Wash.

“They need to replace the ancient, energy-inefficient and poor-quality heating and air conditioning units. The AC doesn’t even cool the units on very hot days. They run constantly and waste electricity.” —Westbury, N.Y.

“One thing that drew us to this community was the claim that it’s LEED certified and energy efficient. While stocked with energy efficient appliances, the gap around the unit doors and the draft from the windows are huge energy wasters that cost the residents more to heat their units.” —Phoenix