More often than not, when boards or associations broach the issue of their buildings “going green,” images of bamboo flooring, hemp drapes, or solar panels on the roof suddenly spring to mind. The impression seems to be that in a condo, green upgrades are difficult and costly—if not impossible—to do.
Fortunately, the truth is that there are plenty of things condo boards and condo owners can do to reduce their community's environmental impact without vaporizing its bank account.
One Small Step for Green
Green construction may not seem like a convoluted task (plant a few trees here, install some solar panels there), but Boards should certainly seek the advice and help of certified professional to formulate and draft a plan.
“The best thing you can do is get lined up with a contractor who is certified in sustainable design,” says Maria Onesto Moran, president of Green Home Experts in Oak Park. “I am a fan of third party certification because it's the best way to trust anyone: a LEED accredited professional or the National Association of Home Builders also has a green certification program, I would look for one of those.”
Another important step would be to do an energy audit of your building.