Colorado’s booming housing market is creating uniquely greener lifestyle options for residents and newcomers. Much of Colorado’s recent real estate growth has been focused on multifamily living, which offers many advantages for individuals and the greater community. This is especially true for those seeking a healthier and more responsible lifestyle. In an effort to capture that sentiment and further build upon it, we recently created the “Green Manifesto,” which maps out the advantages of apartment living and could be a guide for Colorado developers to adopt green initiatives that will produce healthier and more environmentally responsible buildings. The manifesto guides AMLI in its construction and facility management efforts from the moment the ink first lands on the blueprints.
Studies have shown that apartment life is an unequivocally greener lifestyle choice compared to single-family housing. Continuing to expand Colorado’s multifamily real estate developments based on the perspectives mapped out in the Green Manifesto could be a major step toward building a healthier environment for the community as a whole.
•Thinking small. Apartments are sensibly sized. They use fewer resources during construction and the lifecycle of the development. With more appropriately sized dwellings, apartment renters also use less energy and water, saving both the owner and resident money. Additionally, limited storage space discourages unnecessary consumption of goods and resources, which is a main component of living a greener lifestyle.
Studies also show that per capita, apartment dwellers drive fewer miles than those choosing single-family living, because the density of housing units supports greener transportation options, such as mass transit, carpooling, bicycling and walking. Shared outdoor space limits the amount of water needed for asthenic purposes such as lawn irrigation. Materially less energy and water usage can be attributed to more shared walls, roofs and community amenities. Collectively, this can easily help individuals lower their carbon footprint with little effort.
•Healthy living. Our recent Sustainability Index, which surveyed 380 residents in the Denver area, found that more than 85 percent of residents believed that living in communities with green amenities was beneficial to their health.
This is understandable given that many apartment homes are held to higher building and maintenance standards, making them more likely to utilize low- or no volatile-organic-compound emitting materials. Moreover, apartment communities often include healthy amenities like fitness centers and are located in dense, walkable communities that encourage a more active lifestyle.