Give your apartment block the wow factor with a sustainability upgrade

Property Management | 10 July 2023

Apartment block owners and managers – how about making your property portfolio more valuable and easier to sell?

Improving sustainability credentials is a fast-track way to boost the desirability of your block.

Research by Legal & General found that the average buyer is willing to pay a 10% premium for a low carbon home. For younger Gen Z, typically more concerned about the environment, that rises to 20%.

The same research found that homebuyers are ranking sustainability features as more important than the size of the properties they’re considering.

If you want to future-proof your portfolio and attract more buyers and renters, eco upgrades should be at the top of your to-do list.

Here are our top six suggestions for boosting your block’s sustainability creds.

1. Upgrade to LEDs: low energy, long life

If you’ve still got incandescent or halogen lightbulbs, switching to LEDs will modernise your communal areas and save you cash.

They use up to 90% less energy than their old-fashioned predecessors.

They also have a much longer lifespan, typically lasting around 50,000 hours. If you’ve got communal lighting on for eight hours per day, you can expect your bulbs to last 17 years!
LEDs cost less to run, they last an age, and they’ll help your eco-creds shine. What’s not to like?

2. Lighting only when it’s needed

Motion sensors for lighting in your communal areas are another quick win.

When the sensors detect movement, the lights come on. Once they stop detecting movement, they wait a bit and then turn the lights off automatically.

No more lights left on unnecessarily. And no need for those timer switches that turn off while your residents are scrabbling for their keys in the bottom of a bag.

3. Harness the sun

If you can make them work, a solar panel array can be the jewel in the crown of your sustainable apartment block.

They look great, everybody associates them with modern, net zero buildings, and – perhaps more to the point – they provide free, zero carbon electricity throughout the year.

For apartment blocks, there are a few extra things to consider. Check out our guide to installing solar for apartment managers.

4. Don’t let the heat escape

There’s no point paying to generate heat, then letting it escape. That’s like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it.

Insulation starts with easy wins. They’re low-tech, but draught excluders around external doors and windows can have a big impact.

Meatier upgrades include cavity wall and roof insulation.

Most buildings built after 1920 have an inner and outer wall, with an air gap in between. This cavity can be filled with insulation to reduce heat escaping through the walls.
If you have a loft space, you can look at loft insulation too. Eco friendly options include sheep’s wool, cork, and hemp.

If you’ve got a flat roof, insulation boards are available. It can, however, be tricky to retrofit to an existing building, because it involves pulling up the existing waterproof membrane.

5. Triple glaze your windows

When it comes to windows, triple glazed is the gold standard.

With three panes of glass, there are two insulating air pockets filled with either air or inert gas, such as argon. They’re 50% more efficient than standard double glazing.

Sound insulation is better too – potentially important if your block is in an urban setting.

If you’re doing a significant upgrade such as windows, be sure to check the leasehold and freehold terms to work out who pays, what process you need to follow, and what agreements you need in place.

6. Electrify your communal parking spaces

EV chargepoints won’t improve the energy efficiency of your building, but they will make it possible for residents to make the switch to electric.

The electric vehicle market is booming. Over 40% of new car registrations are electric, with no sign of it slowing down.

In the not-too-distant future, a communal parking space without a chargepoint won’t be worth the tarmac it’s made from.

Right now, apartment block owners and managers can access a government grant that covers up to 75% of the cost of new chargepoints. These grants won’t be around forever though. Our advice? Get in quick.

Check out our guide to installing EV chargepoints for apartment managers for everything you need to know.

About Powerverse

We’re a one-stop shop for EV chargepoints, solar panels, and smart energy systems. We only use the best installers and products, and pride ourselves on top notch customer service. Speak to us about our end-to-end EV chargepoint solution for apartment managers today.

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