Units Articles

Help Wanted: Careers in Sustainability

by UNITS Magazine, November 2017

Sustainability practices within property management have created a growing opportunity for apartment industry professionals. Read More


Gables Joins Better Buildings Alliance

by UNITS Magazine, November 2017

As part of Gables Residential’s continuing efforts to integrate sustainability into all aspects of its business and apartment management practices, the company has selected to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Alliance. Read More


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Why It Matters

by Jen Piccotti and Doug Miller, October 2017

It’s showing up in the headlines, in annual reports and on industry conference agendas: CSR—Corporate Social Responsibility. It’s important to understand how it applies to the apartment industry, as well as how it will affect the way we invest, live, work and play. Read More


Ecoluxury: From Trend to Industry Design Standard

by Erica Rascon, September 2017

“Ecoluxury” is not a term for opulence, rather, it is a phrase that denotes something that is precious and of optimal caliber.Read More


AC Refrigerant: A Really Hot Topic

by Paul Rhodes, CAMT, September 2017

As maintenance teams look back at the number of air-conditioning service calls they performed this summer, some might want to check out their supplier partner’s catalog or website and review the myriad repair options. Read More


Green Globes Helps Developers Save on Financing Rates

by UNITS, September 2017

Apartment developers have an important resource to help them secure reduced Fannie Mae financing—the Green Building Initiative®. Read More


Five Cost-Effective Bathroom Updates

by Sarah Fishburne, August 2017

Small changes to the bathroom make a big impact, providing a lasting return on investment to residential properties. Read More


It’s Time for Energy-Efficient Summer Upgrades

by Rachel Komlosi, July 2017

Summer is here, and with it comes heat and high utility bills. With power usage top of mind, now may be the time to invest in some cost-effective upgrades. Read More


Adding Life to Residents' Living Spaces

by Janice Nath, June 2017

When considering ways to spruce up the appearance of existing apartment buildings or achieve trendy, modern looks inside new communities, foliage remains a worthy option. Read More


The Bright Lights of Energy Efficiency

by Paul R. Bergeron III, May 2017

There was little doubt in the minds of the team at The Fenestra apartment community managed by Bozzuto that it would see significant energy-efficiency improvement after its lighting retrofit upgrade to LED bulbs. Read More


Transit and Apartments: A Winning Combination

by Paula Munger, April 2017

The automobile has fallen out of favor in recent years thanks to increased congestion and longer commute times in fast-growing metropolitan areas across the country. Ride-sharing, ride-sourcing, car-sharing, bike-sharing and living in walkable environments are also driving consumers away from car ownership. Read More


Second and Delaware: Second to None

by Jonathan Arnold, Arnold Development, March 2017

A look inside the nation’s largest Passive House-certified structure in the world. Second and Delaware (2+D) multifamily apartment community is currently under development in downtown Kansas City. Read More


Water ConservationWater Conservation: One Drip at a Time

by Paul R. Bergeron III, February 2017

Daily usage reports lead to big savings for communities, residents. There was a time when the Bozzuto maintenance team was not privy to when its apartment homes were wasting water through leaks or other faulty plumbing. Read More


The Perks of a Preventive Maintenance Plan

by Travis Tindle, February 2017

An in-depth preventive maintenance plan is crucial for effective property management. At the beginning of a new year, it is important to re-evaluate the current program and make updates to gear up for spring. Read More


Price Incentives Power Solar Market

by Darien Crimmin, WinnProperties, February 2017

A large apartment community can now install solar on its roof for below $2 per watt, a dramatic reduction from years past. Solar power experienced tremendous growth during the past decade in the United States and globally. Read More


Shedding Light On LED Retrofits

by Dan Gaddis, January 2017

By now, everyone in the apartment industry has heard about light emitting diode (LED) lighting and its many effects on operations and bottom lines. LED retrofits are one of the easiest and fastest ways to begin a strategy toward greater energy efficiency at a community. Read More


Refresh for Renters: Bath Updates for 2017

by Travis Tindle, January 2017

As spring approaches, now is the perfect time to upgrade the bathroom, which is one of the most-used rooms in any residence. Read More


A Green Result for Two Communities

by UNITS Magazine, December 2016

When it comes to apartment communities Eco Modern Flats and Heritage House, the developers did not intend to focus on how to create a low-impact environmental footprint.  Read More


Resident Engagement in Sustainability Programs

by Greystar, November 2016

Greystar Focuses on Engaging Residents in the Organization’s Overall Strategy. To support Greystar’s mission, to enrich the lives we touch by doing things the right way, the organization has developed a sustainability program, Redefining Green. Read More


From Practice to Profit: Sustainability in Affordable Housing

by Jun Sakumoto, October 2016

An examination of how sustainability initiatives help one firm drive ROI for affordable housing investors.  Read More


NAA Board Issues Energy Benchmarking Statement

by UNITS Magazine, September 2016

The NAA Board of Directors on June 14 approved a statement of policy on energy efficiency benchmarking requirements for apartments. Read More


Calculating Utility Allowance: The New Rules

by Michal Semko, August 2016

There are differences in the possible benefits to the owner that may be derived from each new rule, especially for smaller owners. Read More



Leverage High-Efficiency Energy Upgrades, Win Residents

by UNITS Magazine, July 2016

The trend toward sustainable buildings is growing across the real estate industry.This shift in the green industry is affecting property managers and making these renovations worth their investment.  Read More


Industry Professionals' Working Group Focuses on EV Charging Stations

by UNITS Magazine, June 2016

At that time, apartment owners and managers, including those outside of California, were beginning to ponder the idea of installing charges stations, while others had already put the wheels in motion to “make room” for this eco-friendly “amenity.”  Read More


Keeping Your Cool Where HVAC Is Concerned

by UNITS Magazine, May 2016

Maintenance technicians who serve the nation's apartment communities face a number of challenges regarding HVAC repairs and upkeep. A changing regulatory environment, advancements in technology and new efficiency standards are just a few.  Read More


Seeing In A Whole New Light

by UNITS Magazine, April 2016

Despite what you may have heard, converting an entire portfolio—or even a single community—to energy-efficient lighting is harder than flipping a switch. Lighting is assumed to be one of the lowest-hanging fruits for owners or investors who are demanding improved bottom lines. Read More


Green Certifications: A Long-Tail View

by Tom Spangler, March 2016

By stepping outside its familiar "simple-step syndrome," developers will see the value in building with sustainability in mind. Green has finally arrived in multifamily. Read More


Green Builders Honors ZOM Communities

by UNITS Magazine, February 2016

ZOM was recognized at the annual GreenTrends conference as one of Florida’s Top Green Home Builders by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC), garnering third place among the leading 15 builders selected. Read More


Selling Eco-Friendly: Choose Your Words Carefully

by Paul R. Bergeron III, January 2016

Selling "eco-friendly" benefits for a healthier lifestyle began more than 10 years ago. The Shelton Group, which has studied the marketing angle to sustainability, conducted a nationwide survey with 2,007 consumers in April 2015 and results range from... Read More



Newsletter Articles

Boston Company Develops a Bench that Measures Amenity Usage

by Les Shaver, October 2017

Soofa has developed a bench that charges residents’ phones and measures how many people are using an amenity area. Read More


Contemporary Design Drives Lighting Choices

Lighting trends in apartments are driven by two forces—style and technology. While LED technology influences innovation and cost savings, design trends propelled by social media determine what it is ultimately popular.​ Read More


Big Wave of Ultra-Efficient Apartments Coming in the Northeast

Passive house construction is gaining popularity the United States. In fact, the Chicago-based Passive House Institute doubled the amount of buildings that it certified, according to WNPR’s Fred Bever. Read More


4 Ways for Owners and Managers to Improve NOI

by Les Shaver, June 2017

Want to increase your returns in this low cap rate environment? Here are some simple onsite upgrades that can help. Read More


Instant Green Makeover

by Les Shaver, June 2017

Shortly after completing a record-breaking deal, Pensam puts its stamp on a mammoth Denver community. Here’s why and how the Florida-based owner did it. Read More


A Secret Weapon Helps Secure New Boiler for Boston Area Property

by Les Shaver, June 2017

When the application for funding to help replace the boiler at Julia Martin House stalled, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) and Peabody Properties deployed a secret weapon—the 87-year-old woman for whom the community was named. Read More


How to Choose the Correct Air Conditioning System

With summer here, having the right air conditioning system takes on greater importance. Here the strengths and minus of the primary options. Read More


5 Environment-Friendly Tips for Decreasing Weeds

There’s no doubt about it: Weeds are ugly and they will hurt your apartment community’s curb appeal. But you don’t have to attack them with chemicals, which can be toxic to humans and wildlife. Read More


Smart Thermostat is First to Earn Energy Star Certification

For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency has conferred its Energy Star certification on a smart thermostat. Read More


‘Parasitic’ Apartment Renovation to Increase Energy Efficiency

Parasitic housing might sound awful, but in Paris, an architect is using the concept to add light, insulation and architectural panache to a 1970s apartment building. Read More



How to Best Recover Utility Costs

If your apartment community is master-metered—there is one meter for each utility for each building—you have figured out a way to recover utility costs from residents. But is it the best way? Read More


Track Utility Data for Increased Savings

Tracking utility data is the first step in cutting these costs. It’s not hard to do and well worth the effort. Read More


Low-Income Renters Face High Energy Burdens

If you're black, Latino or low-income or you live in a multifamily dwelling or rent your property, you're more likely to spend a greater share of your paycheck on energy bills than other households. Read More


How Three Cities Are Tackling Apartment Recycling

A lack of incentive, resident turnover and infrastructure problems can conspire to keep recycling rates lower than they could be in apartment communities. Read More



Eco-Friendly Apartments Open in LA

Hanover, a Houston-based developer, recently unveiled its new solar-powered “eco-green” apartments in downtown Los Angeles. Each apartment building powers itself via 10 solar panels on its roof... Read More



Baby Boomers Demand Eco-Friendly Living

While protesting in front of the White House for environmentally friendly policies is often the domain of younger people, “green living” is being taken over by seniors, thanks to an increased demand in sustainable retirement homes, according to the Balance Sheet. Read More


Sustainably Developed Apartments Growing in Popularity

Recent surveys and data suggest that apartments offering bike rooms, “green” windows, water-saving appliances and other sustainable features are growing in popularity among apartment seekers. Read More


Strategies for Cutting Down on Wasteful Water Usage

Property managers who face unexpectedly high water bills may try to pass the costs on to their tenants. This won’t solve the problem, however; you’ll just end up with angry residents. The solution is to find strategies to control costs and eliminate unnecessary water use.  Read More


Eco Trend, Combined Colors Lead Design Ideas in 2016

Natural materials, curved furniture and celestial decor highlight the biggest decoration trends for apartments in 2016. Read More



High Construction Costs Fuel Demand for Efficient Building Designs

Building efficiencies have become top of mind for multifamily property developers, thanks to rising costs for materials and labor...  Read More



Loans for Energy-Efficient Improvements Exempt From GSE Lending Cap

In its 2016 Scorecard, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) established a $31 million lending cap on apartment communities for each government-sponsored enterprise.  Read More



Why You Should Educate Residents on Energy Consumption

Even when not in use, home devices can still consume a large amount of energy — and that energy consumption is costly.  Read More