The Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for Multifamily Buildings are one key part of the EPA’s approach to addressing our most severe environmental and public health priorities. The quality of the air that we breathe can influence how we think, how we perform, and our overall health. Given the high number of Americans currently living in multifamily homes—an estimated 80 million—standardizing good IAQ in these spaces is of the utmost importance. Let’s explore what this means for property managers and developers.
Vulnerable Groups in Multifamily Homes
With roughly 25% of the population living in multifamily homes, ensuring that every tenant has access to safe air is an area of distinct importance. Factoring in the reality that about 25% of those living in multifamily homes are below the poverty line and fall into at-risk groups, the focus on IAQ becomes even more crucial. Families with small children and the elderly are at the highest level of risk, with these groups being disproportionately affected by conditions like asthma, which can be greatly exacerbated by poor IAQ.
Energy Efficiency and Property Sustainability
The public’s focus on sustainability cannot be ignored, and it is influencing how companies are viewed by potential customers and stakeholders. The push for sustainability efforts in real estate is significant, and those who provide properties that do not meet common sustainability guidelines will find themselves at risk of losing business. Worse, they may very well end up falling behind on mandated guidelines.
Having energy-efficient systems can help property owners to meet these new standards and future-proof their investments. Making these changes is also in line with the continuous push towards renovation that more developers and property managers are exploring to meet new trends. While renovation might come with several benefits, the fact remains that renovations can increase and expose indoor pollutants, like radon, mold, chemicals, and dangerous particles. Having an effective system in place can ensure that sustainability-focused renovations do not come at the cost of the tenants’ health.
The Work from Home Challenge
Throughout COVID-19, countless employers switched to remote operations for their employees, with many of them choosing to remain this way after. The benefits awarded by remote work are clear, but they do mean big changes for real estate. As more people work from home, the need for properties that offer clean, high-quality air and meet sustainability guidelines becomes even more pertinent. People are looking more critically at what properties offer, and high-quality, sustainable HVAC systems can help properties to meet their standards.
Finding the Right Solutions for a Post-Pandemic World
The priorities of the average tenant have changed in several significant ways, with many focusing on multifamily homes that offer a key focus on health and sustainability. Property managers and developers are under extreme pressure to provide a higher standard of living without compromising on health or environmental awareness.
To meet these new standards in the most efficient way possible, property managers and developers must stay informed and drive business decisions using data. Technology and access to dedicated data can help companies to find the best path to meet these new standards without compromising business success—and enables these groups to continue improving them.
This information can be used to strategically monitor and maintain clean air standards in multifamily properties using technology that meets these new standards. Localized HEPA filters, for example, can improve IAQ, but they are also fairly inexpensive and use very little energy. Implementing sensors and other affordable investments can help property owners to support their tenants and the environment at the same time as long as you have the right strategy. Access to good, clean air can offer tenants a more positive experience, and the real estate world must adapt to meet these needs.
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