Benefits of Living & Working in an NYC Green Property
As of late, “green” spaces have become an emerging force in the commercial leasing and residential housing and apartment leasing market. They are certified environmentally-friendly buildings, either by LEED, Energy Star, or a third-party. However, there is still a stigma that they are costly, and that the benefits are solely towards helping the environment. While these homes are conducive for a healthier planet, the pros of going green are numerous. In a changing world in which new forms of living are growing more popular every day, green living could be a wise choice for both potential owners and renters, especially in New York, one of the busiest and most concentrated urban areas in the world. So instead of going for a traditional apartment, here are some reasons to go green:
By choosing to live green, you will be directly making a choice to help your planet, which is never a bad option. The wave of “going green” is not solely found in real estate; New York City has announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% come 2050, an ambitious but plausible goal which will require major changes to city infrastructure. Improving energy efficiency is crucial in achieving this goal, and one of the major proponents of this inefficiency can be found from commercial buildings, according to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. Major factors contributing this include lighting, water, and ventilation. These issues are currently being addressed in various buildings and condominiums across New York. LEED lighting, which saves tenants a fortune in electricity bills, is becoming more and more common, replacing the inefficient standard light bulbs found in many buildings. Low-flow fixtures have also become a common upgrade for properties by helping to monitor and save water. Green roofs have popped up all over Manhattan as well, which offer up a multitude of benefits, including tax breaks for property owners for participation. Green roof installations can enhance water quality, reduce stormwater management, save energy, increase roof longevity, reduce noise and air pollution, increase biodiversity, and provide a space for urban agriculture, according to studies conducted by Michigan State University.
In addition, personal health has been shown to improve due to improved methods at regulating ventilation and temperature within homes and businesses. The benefits of green living are also psychological. By living sustainably, it forces you and those around you to start thinking more about the preservation and protection of the planet. It may sound small and insignificant, but anything helps. By going green, you help promote a movement that will have major importance to everyone in the coming decades, if not already.
The other aspect of sustainable living is the financial benefits and for both building owners and tenants, an aspect that people are often surprised by. due to long-standing beliefs that going green means spending more green. However, by choosing to live in an eco-friendly space, you will open up economic possibilities, not only for yourself but for others in your community as well. An important example of this can be seen in lower operating costs, mainly in energy and water usage. Like all technology, green-specialized tech will only grow cheaper over time, making now the best time to go green from an economic standpoint. The green revolution has also made building and owning sustainable homes better than ever. For owners, this offers up the enticing potential for increased property value. According to the US Green Building Council, green building owners had their ROI (Return on Investment) improved by over 19% for existing building green projects and about 10% on new projects. As Manhattan Real Estate Broker David Aharoni notes “The market for green housing has never been more viable. People are more willing to pay for environmentally-friendly homes, with the expectation that they will eventually come to dominate the housing landscape. Now is the wisest time to invest in going green because demand will only go up in the years to come.”
Aharoni’s point is valid; the Green Building Council also found that the green residential projects underwent a $30 billion dollar increase in the market from 2009 to 2013. These results, conducted in the aftermath of the 2008 housing crisis, prove the viability of green housing going into the future, even when in the midst of economic downturn. Rental rates also appear to go up as a result, as even those without the means or desire to own a home still wish to live more responsibly. It appears that sustainable living may eventually become the primary way of living, especially for New York City residents. In the end, the environmental and economic benefits of green living seem almost too good to pass up.
Although it is new and somewhat questionable to some, the technology being used to change the housing market is no gimmick. By cutting down both harmful emissions and steep costs on utilities, while boosting property value, sustainable living is a rare win-win for both homeowners and renters alike. Even though it may still be hard to find green housing in certain neighborhoods, that doesn’t seem poised to last. The green revolution is here to stay in New York; the wisest course of action is to join the movement.
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