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Residents Will Pay More for Sustainable Spaces, Says Survey

Good news for commercial building owners and real estate developers who build sustainable living spaces: a new survey indicates that a majority of residents are willing to pay slightly more to live in a “green” community. A survey from AMLI Residential shows that 64% of respondents are willing to pay more for sustainable housing, while 84% say living in sustainable homes is important to them. And 85% believe living in sustainable homes is beneficial to their health.

In its first AMLI Sustainable Living Index, AMLI surveyed residents on their views regarding sustainability and green living. Among other noteworthy findings:

  • Respondents valued the following green features most highly: a smoke-free community (94%); energy- and water-efficient features (93%); access to public transit/ strong walk and bike scores (85%);
  • Most respondents (77%) said that AMLI’s green living features have saved them money in utility costs;
  • A majority (64%) of respondents would pay slightly more to live in a green community.

Developers have increasingly been incorporating green elements into the living and office spaces they design. Research has shown that constructing buildings with more efficient systems in place can lead to higher rents, longer leases, and significant cost savings. A study from the US Green Building Council (USGBC) showed that buildings with lower operating costs and better indoor environmental quality are more attractive to a growing group of buyers. And a recent study of Bentall Kennedy’s North American real estate portfolio found that environmentally friendly office properties net 3.7% higher rents.

Green buildings are also more resilient to environmental factors. “Utility price increases, unpredictable power outages and other unforeseen events just don’t affect them as much as their less environmentally-friendly counterparts,” Erin Hatcher, VP of sustainability for AMLI Residential, told Environmental Leader earlier this summer.

 

 

About the Survey

The survey of AMLI residents was conducted in August 2017 at properties in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Seattle, Southern California and Southeast Florida. AMLI designed the survey to help understand its residents’ interest in sustainable living. AMLI will use the survey results to advance its sustainability efforts and enhance its residents’ living experiences. Roughly 12% of the 2,812 respondents were younger than age 25, 47% were ages 25-34, 16% were ages 35-44, and the remaining 25% were 45 or older.

The survey highlights that AMLI is making smart decisions in terms of its buildings: AMLI’s communities include a range of features for environmentally and health conscious residents, including: energy-efficient lighting and appliances, plumbing that reduces water consumption, community recycling programs, use of native plants in landscaping to reduce water demand, electric car charging stations, bike storage and repair shops, healthy, low or no VOC building materials, fresh air ventilation, and premium air filters.

AMLI says 28 of its properties (more than a third of its portfolio) are LEED certified, and 15 AMLI communities are ENERGY STAR certified.

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