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How to Convince Property Managers to Invest in Sustainable Plumbing

Source: Contractor; Rose Morrison; September 16, 2022



Many industries have adopted green initiatives to meet consumer demand for sustainability. From how consumers shop to what they purchase, it’s impossible to overlook market transformations worldwide.

According to the recent Sustainability and Consumer Behavior 2022 report by Deloitte, 52% of consumers are limiting water use as part of an overall effort to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. 21% would spend more on goods and services for company or brand committed to saving water and other natural resources.

This is excellent news for contractors who have streamlined their business processes toward the same mission of enhanced sustainability. Additionally, property managers should see a more significant opportunity for growth.

Real estate experts expect 88% of commercial properties to align financial and energy incentives in the form of green leases in the next five years. As a result, tenants and renters will perceive sustainable properties as a chance to live their green lifestyle. However, not all property managers understand the impact of investing their money in sustainability. Contractors are crucial players in convincing property managers to transition toward sustainable plumbing. Advocating for Savings Changing consumer behaviors and demands for greener living have prioritized sustainability in commercial real estate, yet not enough people are talking about green plumbing. Explaining the value of integrating or updating plumbing systems to drive more energy-efficient and water-saving technologies is often left up to the contractor. However, their promotion of sustainable plumbing can go a long way in helping property managers with their business goals.

A McKinsey study showed 63% of those implementing environmental, social and governance (ESG) propositions see positive results. Contractors must educate property owners on the benefits of establishing sustainable plumbing for their bottom line. Research has proven eco-friendliness is a critical driver of profitability, generating a return on investment for property owners who make the switch.

For instance, the Harvard Business Review found a 29% increase in sustainable product sales from 2013 to 2019. This is clear evidence green businesses attract a broader scale of consumers and help build brand loyalty. It’s important to note the commercial property management industry can view this as a chance to reach more rental prospects and retain current tenants long-term.

Of course, mechanical contracting professionals should also demonstrate a commitment to sustainability by building out their own green business practices. Relying on renewables to power their offices, installing the same green products they use in their clients’ properties, investing in the latest green technologies and applying for green certifications—“walk it like you talk it”—will impress wary property managers. Benefits of Sustainable Plumbing The benefits of installing sustainable plumbing are likely obvious. In addition to lowering water bills, property managers can improve their buildings’ water and energy efficiency, increase the marketability of commercial properties and secure building longevity. There are several opportunities for property managers to implement green plumbing, including: ● Installing low-flow faucets and showerheads ● Installing waterless urinals ● Installing or retrofitting high-efficiency water heating systems ● Installing or retrofitting solar or heat-pump water heaters ● Installing high-efficiency toilets

While some of these solutions do present higher up-front costs, good data about the return on investment such systems offer is now more easily available than ever before. Swapping older toilets for high efficiency models can greatly benefit a property owner’s bottom line, and the new low-flow technology means end-users will see no impact on performance. Toilets meeting the requirements for WaterSense certification guarantee 20% savings above the federal flushing standards. Likewise, the most efficient ENERGY STAR-certified gas-fired water heaters can help property owners save $740 on their commercial property utility bills.

Commercial Concerns Commercial buildings have dire effects on the environment. Their carbon emissions, water consumption and air pollution account for 90% of commercial real estate’s environmental impact.

Property managers who install sustainable plumbing join an elite market of green buildings helping to improve the environment and resource availability. The US Environmental Protection Agency says 40 state water managers anticipate resource shortages within the next 10 years.

Commercial buildings already use a lot of water. The 2017 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey reported commercial buildings over 200,000 square feet consumed an average of 22,000 gallons of water per building daily in 2012. By integrating sustainable plumbing, property managers can significantly reduce their water use. It’s never been more critical for property managers to meet the moment for green building efficiency. While they don’t have to be experts in sustainable plumbing, reducing water consumption with green materials and replacing old systems with the latest technology can help ease environmental impact and safeguard public health. The Contractor’s Role Property managers may not fully understand how sustainable plumbing could improve their bottom line and help them meet consumer demand for green infrastructure. Mechanical systems contractors should leverage their skills and expertise to help promote water efficiency in the commercial sphere.

Rose Morrison is a freelance writer who covers construction, home improvement, and contracting topics. She is also the managing editor of Renovated.com, a site dedicated to the latest trends in the home industry. She has a passion for innovative technologies that are making the home industry sustainable and efficient. Check out Renovated.com to see more of her work.

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