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As we approach summer 2012, organizations are beginning to report on this year’s green trends for multifamily and commercial properties. Staying on top of green industry trends can help your property to conserve energy, lower operating costs, and appeal to new residents. Is your organization up to date?

In January, the Earth Advantage Institute reported seeing a large spike in green multifamily building certifications over the course of 2011, especially in Northwestern and Midwestern states. The first multifamily apartments were given LEED Platinum certification in 2011 and certifications such as LEED and EnergyStar have already been on the rise in 2012. In fact, a recent University of Notre Dame study proved that LEED certified buildings actually had a measurable increase in business compared to those without any type of green certification.

The Earth Advantage Institute has also noted energy education is an industry-wide trend for 2012, especially in terms of commercial tenants. The institute explains that the adoption of commercial building energy reporting in major cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, is prompting property owners/operators to educate tenants on energy conservation. It is also extremely important that multifamily residents are educated on any energy efficient upgrades made to their properties.

Offering a less car-dependent lifestyle is another trend for both multifamily and commercial properties in 2012. “Walk scores” from walkscore.com are now included in most multifamily marketing material and mixed-use commercial and multifamily spaces have risen in popularity for their convenience. Many communities have situated themselves on public transportation lines and even offer shuttle services to town centers or amenities on the property.

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