The sustainability programs allowing building managers to offer more value
Sydney has the highest density of urban living in Australia with 80% of residents living in apartments. The boom in high-rise living and population means there is significant pressure on water, electricity and gas consumption, as well as waste and emissions output.
As we enter an age where the longevity of the planet relies upon the actions we take today, there is a growing need, as professionals and as community-living groups, to reduce our emissions and impact on the environment.
Cue building managers.
The role of the building manager, much like the strata manager, is continually changing with technology, allowing for better decision making and opportunities to create more efficient properties that will save owners money.
The City of Sydney Council, one of Australia’s most active councils in assisting apartments and office buildings to think green, has shown there is plenty of opportunity to increase a building’s efficiency via well-established programs. There are now several easy to use programs that save money, have a positive impact on the environment and, for building managers, increase their service offering and can help owners save up to 30% on operational costs.
The growing emphasis, from both a federal and state level, to reduce environmental impacts of community living means managers are having to develop long term planning and thinking on how to deliver property owners energy reduction.
It is now increasingly becoming part of the building managers role to navigate and encourage owners to adopt energy-saving programs, but where to look and what works?
To help building managers, we have listed three impacting and effective initiatives that managers should be encouraging owners to adopt and embed. These programs won’t only positively impact the environment, but they will help managers deliver value and enhance the profile of their building.
1. Smart Green Apartments
As an award-winning program, Smart Green Apartments is an initiative that helps buildings become more energy-efficient and reduce their environmental and economic impact. Through building assessments, action plans and training, the program helps building managers, strata managers, and owners improve the building’s bottom line via energy-efficient upgrades and planning.
The program shows that in large residential buildings, up to 60% of building energy usage comes from common property equipment such as HVAC, lifts, pools and lighting. The program saves $1 million in operational costs each year in total and about $57,234 per building the program has taken on.
Standing for the National Australian Built Environment Rating System, NABERS rates the energy and water efficiency of a building’s common property and helps boost value by making energy consumption competitive and providing a report on where improvements can be made.
NABERS for apartment buildings was triggered by the longstanding office equivalent program which has saved $870 million and 6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. The programs are federally run and locally rolled out, and with NABERS for office buildings being compulsory, governments are stating that NABERS for residential apartments will become mandatory too. As such, it will be hugely beneficial for owners and building managers to get on the front foot and improving their rating to enhance the building’s market value now.
A Sydney Water initiative, WaterFix Strata is a simple and cost-effective way of fixing water issues and bringing down water costs (and helping fight the drought!).
A significant problem for Sydney’s community living is that most apartments only have one meter for the entire property unless the building was built after 2014. This setup offers little financial incentive for occupants to reduce water usage. What’s more, over 87% of water usage within apartments happens within the private residence through showers, making it hard for building or strata managers to impact.
WaterFix Strata, however, looks at a buildings water history, identifies savings potentials, and provides quotes and management plans to reduce the water usage across the building by booking appointments with each apartment owner.
Once the appointments are locked in, WaterFix uses licensed plumbers to repair leaks within individual apartments and common property, as well as installing water efficiency devices across the property both private and common.
BFMS building managers are well versed and trained in delivering premium programs that generate value for both the building manager the property owner. For more information on PICA Group’s approach to programs visit PICA Group sustainability, or if you are interested in a NABERS rating for your building, visit PICA Group NABERS to book your assessment.