Live in an Old Condo Building? You Can Still Make it Sustainable and Save

Live in an Old Condo Building? You Can Still Make it Sustainable and Save

by author specializing in environmentally-friendly building technologies, renewable energy and all things green

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, commercial and residential buildings contribute about 39% of the CO2 emissions in the US every year. Other studies have that figure even higher at around 50%, but that is changing as our building codes are updated. Even in older condo buildings, residents and owners can make changes to reduce their energy usage and their impact on the environment. Here are just some of the ways you can update your old condo building to reduce your monthly bills and your impact on Mother Nature.

Solar Energy: Owners can get ahead of the curve and slash your monthly energy bills by installing a solar panel system on your condo roof. For condo boards, this can reduce your monthly costs if hydro is not paid by the individual tenants. The cost of solar systems has dropped drastically in the last decade and the return on investment will be greater with condos than it will be for residential systems as costs are shared by residents.

Roof Gardens: These provide a welcome reprieve from the concrete jungle for both condo owners and animals like birds. Use your roof garden to grow vegetables, herbs, and fruit which provide residents with organic, locally-grown produce.

Permeable Pavers: Reduce water run-off and the chance of flooding and water damage while providing natural drainage that helps to bolster water table levels.

Energy Star Appliances: Using these energy-efficient models in laundry rooms, party rooms and gyms will help to reduce energy bills that are paid by condo boards. Energy-star heating and cooling systems will also reduce costs and the environmental impact of your condo building.

Get an in-home energy usage display through programs like Peaksaver Plus for tenants who pay their own electricity bills. Studies show that when residents can monitor their energy usage, they are more likely to reduce consumption.

Lightbulbs: While replacing lights does require a capital outlay for owners and tenants who pay their own bills, just changing your five most used bulbs will save you $75 a year. Energy-efficient lightbulbs not only use less energy, they also last longer than incandescents. Installing LED fixtures can reduce your lighting bill by up to 50%.

Peak Hours: Post notices in the elevator or lobby which remind residents of peak-hour pricing for energy. Running appliances during the off-peak hours can really help to reduce your monthly bills.

Individual Metering: Heating and cooling accounts for about 49% of condo energy costs. Tenants who have to pay for the heating and cooling of their units tend to use less energy. Encourage the use of smart thermostats which reduce heating and cooling activities when tenants are away at work or sleeping.

Water Heaters: Residents should also reduce water heater temperatures to 115-120°F so large tanks of water aren’t constantly maintained at high temperatures.

Low-flow fixtures: Installing low-flow 6 liter toilets can reduce water usage by 50%. Low-flow shower heads and faucets will also contribute to water savings.


10 Eco Building Materials Revolutionizing Home Construction

10 Eco Building Materials Revolutionizing Home Construction

Want to hear some good news? According to the World Green Building Trends 2018 report from Dodge Data and Analytics, green building is officially a “global trend” and energy conservation is a top priority for people all over the planet. There are many choices of new (and old) materials which are being used in revolutionary ways.

Produce And Manage Your Own Clean Energy With Sunpower Solar

Produce And Manage Your Own Clean Energy With Sunpower Solar

With grid outages an ever common occurrence, you deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have access to safe, renewable energy.

SunPower leads the way in sustainability, having garnered more than 1,000 patents for solar innovation and bringing long-lasting clean energy to the masses. With over 35 years experience, their Maxeon solar cell and SunVault battery team up to create an efficient and resilient energy solution.

Get inspiration delivered to your inbox



Copyright © 2021 ElementalGreen® and Contributors

ElementalGreen and the logo are registered trademarks of ElementalGreen

Need some inspiration?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our free ebook “Why Go Green"

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.