What’s the Importance of Sustainability for Multifamily Residents?
An open-air building has lush green plants hanging off of the terraces.

How are residents thinking about sustainability? 

Residents in multifamily communities are concerned more than ever about sustainable living and their roles as consumers of sustainable development. A majority of residents are concerned about climate change and want to be part of the solution.

Residents are thinking about sustainability holistically, from how a green apartment could benefit their quality of life to the broader impact of a sustainable multifamily community on the environment. According to AMLI Residential’s Sustainable Living Index for 2019, a survey conducted with more than 3,500 AMLI Residential apartment residents, 89% of AMLI residents are concerned about climate change, and more than 70% said their desire to find a solution has increased over the last five years. In addition, 80% of residents said they believe living in a green apartment is beneficial to their health, and more than 61% said they would be willing to pay more for a sustainable community.

Sustainable development generally includes community green initiatives (like robust recycling programs), energy efficient infrastructure (like smart thermostats, leak sensors, HVAC, and more), and water waste prevention measures, but the possibilities continue to grow. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)/Kingsley Associates Apartment Resident Preferences Report for 2019, which surveyed 373,000 apartment residents from 5,336 professionally managed apartment communities, residents state they are interested/won’t rent without a recycling program (79.3%), community green initiatives (73.0%), and on-site renewable energy (63.3%).

Can the Internet of Things (IoT) provide solutions for a more sustainable multifamily community?

What does sustainable development look like with IoT?

Smart technology and energy in multifamily bring energy efficiency advantages for all, from reducing utility costs across the building to ensuring residents’ comfort. Below are some examples of benefits:

Eliminate wasteful energy use (learn more about the benefits of smart thermostats here).

  • Through sensing and regulating humidity and temperature, smart thermostats can enable residents (with their in-unit thermostat) or property manager (for thermostats in vacant units, amenity areas, and common areas) to maximize comfort and energy efficiency settings.
  • By utilizing the resident’s smart phone’s location, smart thermostats can adjust temperatures automatically based on the resident’s proximity to their apartment unit. Leaving the virtual perimeter of the unit triggers the smart thermostat to adjust to a more energy efficient temperature when the resident is away and changes to the resident’s set optimal temperature once they near the unit.

Prevent water waste and related damages (learn more about the benefits of smart leak sensors here).

  • Smart leak sensors can detect leaks, freezes, or excess humidity early to alert property staff before escalating to the point of extensive damages.
  • A property manager could easily maintain the ideal humidity and temperature of amenity areas, common areas, and vacant units to protect appliances and pipes without manually adjusting the thermostat in each unit.

Sustainability isn’t a passing trend, but rather a powerful commitment that residents across the country are speaking up about. Aligning with what they are seeking through investing in green infrastructure and processes will allow communities to flourish for all stakeholders.


Learn more about the return on investment of IoT by downloading the white paper. 


STRATIS®, a RealPage Company, creates smart apartments and intelligent buildings and is the only platform of its kind built for the complexities of multifamily and student housing. STRATIS is installed worldwide across the U.S., in Japan, the UK, EU, and Latin America. STRATIS now serves hospitality, retail, and small to mid-size commercial, as well. STRATIS is an Inc. Magazine “Fastest Growing Company in America” and a Top Ten Entrepreneur Magazine “Best Company in America.” STRATIS was recently acquired by RealPage to enable CommunityConnect, a more connected lifestyle, and unleash hidden yield through new revenue streams.

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