Welcome to the official blog of Block Real Estate Services, LLC (BRES). BRES seeks to offer insight and news concerning commercial real estate, financial investments, construction and development of the 212 communities we serve locally and nationally.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Going Green, Saving Money

Sustainability is a vital and recurring topic discussed throughout the commercial real estate realm. According to CoStar Group article about "Green Buildings", green practices are “reducing long-term operating and occupancy costs, improving occupant health and boosting employee productivity.” The study also found that “green building demonstrated higher average occupancy levels.” These findings show how sustainability is an essential feature in environmental and cultural preservation. Also, maintaining a healthy community and environment is an invaluable practice in commercial real estate.

Green Residents Education Initiative Project
In 2011, around Earth Day, Block Multifamily Group (BMG) rolled out our Green Resident Education Initiative project. Our goals were to help:
  • Save our residents money
  • Save our clients money
  • Enable healthy indoor environments
  • Reduce environmental footprint of each property.
Residents were able to see monetary savings through
  • Proprietary online carpool portal: This online forum connected the residents to one another with the primary goal of finding ride-share opportunities. If you carpool everyday your weekly gas expense can be cut in half!
  • Energy Conservation: Providing residents with energy savings techniques could save 5%-7% on their cooling costs, as well as 10% on heating costs with simple thermometer setting changes. More savings can be seen with light bulb changes, removal of phantom energy uses, and reduction in hot water use. According to a CCIM article about going green, you can reduce energy consumption by:
    • Making operational improvements
    • Performing efficiency efforts                                                            
  • Cleaning: An article by TLC, “10 Green Home Cleaning Tips”, stated using everyday products found around the house, can make your household cleaning task easier, save the environment and your wallet. We provided ideas for cleaning that used old home techniques such as vinegar and water. This cuts the costs of buying expensive cleaners over and over.
  • Healthy indoor environment through reducing toxins: By reducing the chemicals used for cleaning and air freshening, homes can detoxify. Tactics for this included furniture cleaning and dusting with simple olive oil and vinegar mixtures, vinegar and water glass cleaning, and borax for water softening, deodorizing and as a bug repellent. These approaches were really appreciated by the families with young children.
  • Water conservation: According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household can use 400 gallons of water every day, and, on average, approximately 70 percent of that water is used indoors. BMG educated residents on water saving practices such as reporting dripping faucets, turning off water while brushing and not running water while washing dishes. This client money saving angle works only for properties where the owner pays the gas. However, when it is coupled with an overall water reduction strategy much more savings can be seen. Such initiatives could include landscaping changes, sprinkler frequency alterations and even water submeter instillation.
Importance of education in successful initiatives

Educating tenant and employees is an important strategy to add sustainability to any project. Our goals were achievable by just opening the eyes of our residents by using educational tools, like:
  • Print marketing: Flyer's, posters, QR codes
  • On Site workshops. This can function as a good community event and marketing tool.
Likewise, energy efficiency on a property level begins with educating the staff about basic utility consumption. We conducted property wide green surveys to determine if there was an interest in going green...and there was. It was important for our residents to see that we were willing to go the extra mile to help them in their goals, and to save money was even better! These are the first steps to a successful utility reduction strategy. Once property managers start paying attention and examining energy use, consumption will go down and money will be saved.

Contributing Author:

Justin Larson
VP/Director of Sustainability
Block Real Estate Services


  1. Commercial market is in demand and people need to keep watch on atmosphere also because green nature can give good benefit.

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  2. You are right, commercial and residential market is in demand and people invest in this market because of big marginal business.

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  3. And, most the time, green building leads to more durabily, which in turn enables the creation of added value

  4. Lots of water is wastage due to bad plumbing. Plumbing is important part of every house and building we should always use good and high quality plumbing supply.
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  5. You have mentioned nice ideas here. Many of the companies waste lots of water and electricity while working. If cleaning companies use latest techniques and solar energy tools then lots of power can be saved. DustBox Cleaning service Stroud

  6. Fantastic Information !! I appreciate your work.Thanks for sharing with us.Nice blog i got all information which i want to get.
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