These days, as the summers get hotter, the storms get bigger and climate change is finding its way into more headlines than ever before, more attention is being paid to the environment and how the average citizen can do his or her part to support and repair it. In response to increased demand from Mother Nature, Chicago has striven to be a leader in energy conservation, waste reduction and the creation of green policies designed to prepare its buildings and its residents for life in an uncertain environmental future.
As a result, condo, co-op and HOA boards and managers find themselves introducing new rules, regulations and technologies into co-ops and condos to improve comfort for residents and work in tandem with citywide efforts to be better stewards of our resources and climate, a trend that seems to be growing.
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“We regularly have board members reach out to their management team about greening their property,” says Doug Weinstein, executive director of operations and vice president of the Project Management Group (PMG) and AKAM Associates, based in New York. “And PMG consistently receives inquiries for more information as to how properties can be more energy efficient and sustainable. As greening becomes a more widespread practice, the inquiries continue to rise. You also have many new buildings being constructed with sustainability and greening practices in mind from their inceptions.”
Cecil Scheib, PE, CEM, LEED AP, GPRO, chief program officer of the Urban Green Council in New York, has seen first-hand the results of buildings focusing on energy conservation and green policies. “It happened in my building,” he says, citing a conversion to LED lighting. “We’re seeing a trend,” he says, especially involving management companies making suggestions and providing guidance on renovations and upgrades.
Making major changes in energy consumption or green lifestyles takes the support and engagement of all residents to be successful.