Research will add heft to environmental clout

Property managers looking to tout their apartment building's environmental sustainability might soon be able to make use of scientific research aiming to quantify energy consumption.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been developing a new standard for life-cycle assessment, a tool that would provide landlords with knowledge of how their building consumes and preserves energy and allow them to share that information with prospective tenants. At a time where more tenants are concerned about environmental sustainability, such a system could prove to be a valuable tool for rental property managers, reports Multi-Housing News.

"As building tenants become more energy savvy and more cognizant of their own carbon footprints, they're seeking more rigorous methods of quantifying the environmental buildings," MIT professor John Ochsendorf told the site. "Developers and owners can add value to the design and operation of buildings through a better understanding of life-cycle environmental and economic performance."

The model aims to combine data on what it costs to bring an apartment building up to optimal standards and provide a timeline for how long those upgrades would remain sustainable. Additionally, landlords could access quantifiable data on the long-term savings of such work.

Property managers around the nation are finding success advertising their buildings' sustainable features, allowing them to sign more environmentally-conscious tenants to lease agreements.