Single Source for Quality
When selecting plumbing fixtures, these apartment housing designers know what matters.
Susie Maglich, Director of Design Resources at AvalonBay Communities, has learned through experience that not all plumbing products are created equal. An equity REIT, AvalonBay currently has 282 apartment communities, with more than 82,000 units.
“You can have a low-flow showerhead with the same flow rate as another showerhead from another company, but you will get a completely different experience,” Maglich says. “It comes down to the technology a company uses in that showerhead. You really have to find a manufacturer that has a proven track record.”
Carin Herring, Director of Design at Forest City, an owner, operator and developer of apartment housing properties across the country, agrees that quality is critical, particularly because Forest City, like AvalonBay, holds on to its developments. “We manage our own properties, so we make a longer-term investment into higher-quality products,” Herring says.
To get that quality for all their new construction and redevelopments, both AvalonBay and Forest City use Moen plumbing fixtures for the kitchen and bath.
And while long-term performance is the No. 1 reason they’ve gone with Moen, it’s not the only one. Following are the other important things Maglich and Herring need from kitchen sinks, faucets and bath accessories — and the reasons they’ve gone with Moen:
Design. Good performance over time is critical, but looks matter, too. “Design is a big consideration for us,” Herring says. “Having multiple lines to choose from at multiple price points and with multiple finish options is important.”
Maglich agrees. “When tenants step into a unit, they want quality products that are easy to use, stylish and offer longevity. Moen is always coming out with new styles, so we are always able to refresh our designs and select a product that meets our needs.”
Brand recognition. Using Moen faucets and kitchen sinks throughout an apartment is a consumer benefit, Maglich says. “It provides our residents with a sense of quality and dependability when you see a brand that you know and trust.” On the front end, customers like to know Moen is there. On the back end, maintenance teams like to know it’s a product line they can trust and that’s easy to work with, she added.
Eco-performance. Forest City develops LEED Gold, Silver and Certified buildings, so water-saving plumbing fixtures are a must. Similarly, AvalonBay’s corporate responsibility goals include water savings. Both companies use Moen’s Eco-Performance products. “We’re able to provide products that perform well and save water at the same time,” Maglich says. “That’s a big win-win for us.”
Benefits of a Single Vendor. Besides avoiding a mish-mash of brands and styles in an apartment, using one vendor for kitchen sinks, faucets and bath accessories is more efficient and cost-effective during design and construction, and for maintenance.
“We get questions all the time from our architects and contractors. It’s nice to know that the entire package is represented by one vendor,” Herring says.
Volume pricing is good for the bottom line, too. “Because we are able to drive our costs down through volume purchasing, we are now able to invest more on upgraded products and features, like premium faucets or higher-quality stainless steel sinks that we can offer to our residents” Maglich says.
With a single source, maintenance is also streamlined as it’s much easier for property managers and technicians to obtain any replacement parts or products when needed.
Customer Service Throughout. Moen customer service representatives are available before, during and after all stages of construction.
“Our Moen rep acts as a true partner throughout the purchasing process, they work closely with our construction teams to make sure the bidders are bidding our standard products,” Maglich says. “They’re also there for us to help review our bid documents and construction plans to make sure our standards are being spec’d correctly. That’s a huge value-add up front for us.”
Because many Forest City developments are LEED buildings, help from vendors during construction is particularly critical. Buildings must accrue a certain number of points to achieve a particular LEED certification, and points are constantly being recalculated as changes occur during construction. “If we need more water-saving points, we may need to change our specs for the showerhead,” Herring says. “When we’ve had to change plumbing fixtures midstream, our Moen rep was quick to present solutions that met our needs.”
And Moen’s national footprint means local representatives can come to a site to ensure installation is going smoothly. In addition, they can provide training on replacement parts to maintenance teams.
In the end, though, using Moen products comes down to quality – quality and depth of product offerings, durability, performance and quality of service. “When you are living in one of our apartment homes, you expect everything to perform as it should and both our residents and property teams have that peace of mind with Moen,” Maglich says.