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Carswell, A T and Smith, S (2009) The greening of the multifamily residential sector. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, 7(01), 65–80.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: buildings; residential homes; sustainable development; USA
  • ISBN/ISSN: 1726-0531
  • URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/17260530910947268
  • Abstract:
    Purpose The green building phenomenon has only recently extended to the residential sector. The purpose of this paper is to provide context on the prevalence of green building within the multifamily residential sector. The decisions on where green apartment buildings are sited are also examined. Design/methodology/approach A series of comparative analyses are performed on green criteria scorecards provided by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) across property types. Comparisons are made to determine whether the climate and rents differ substantially between green multifamily locations and the area means. Findings Green multifamily properties underperform other property types in each of the six categories that the USGBC uses in its green scoring criteria. While the siting of green multifamily properties was inordinately located in areas with high heating degree days during the early years of USGBC certification, green apartment buildings have since diffused to communities with more normal temperature patterns, suggesting an appeal of green buildings beyond simply energy savings. Finally, the median rents for areas where green apartments are located far outpace those of the surrounding areas, raising affordability concerns. Research limitations/implications The nascence of the green movement within the multifamily residential sector limits the amount of available data for use within this research project. Originality/value This research represents one of the first attempts outside of the housing trade industry at examining green multifamily residential properties. This research helps policy makers understand how the multifamily sector differs from other property sectors seeking green certification.