Emphasis on utility management and sustainability has steadily risen in multifamily housing and become a regular conversation at industry events.
For the last 10 years, the RealPage Energy Summit has been the industry’s only conference focused on issues, trends and technology impacting what is the third-highest cost center for apartment operations.
This year’s conference, Feb. 25-27 at RealPage in Richardson, Texas, is taking a slightly different spin, one designed to instill thought-provoking conversation about where utility management and sustainability intersects with multifamily. Energy Summit 2020 has assembled a host of apartment leaders and government program administrators who will dig into sound utility management decision making through proven practices.
The free, invitational-only conference offers ways that multifamily operators can better conserve resources, improve NOI and more easily navigate a complex regulatory environment.
“Some best-in-class experts are presenting their experiences,” said Mary Nitschke, RealPage’s vice president of sustainability. “Leaders from some of the top companies in the multifamily arena will share how they’re overcoming tough challenges in utility management and sustainability practices that provide not just significant operational savings but benefit the financial and physical well-being of residents.”
Getting charged and healthy
Electric vehicle charging and building health are new subjects in sustainability that will get play at Energy Summit 2020.
EV charging, considered as an amenity today that will become more of a necessity in multifamily as electric cars pick up the pace, hasn’t gotten much attention on the conference circuit. However, sales in electric and hybrid vehicles is steadily climbing, and 30 percent of all vehicle sales in 2025 will be EVs or HEVs, according to J.P. Morgan.
The big challenge in multifamily is adapting charging stations with specific power requirements to properties built before electric vehicles started fasttracking.
Tim Haddon of PK Management will moderate “Deliver a Megawatt EV Charging Experience” at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday, quizzing leaders from AvalonBay Communities, Greystar and Fairfield Residential on EV charger strategies that are most appropriate for multifamily communities. The discussion will focus on power requirements, meeting fire codes and load balancing – ensuring that enough power is in place to manage high charging volume.
Optimizing health in buildings
A recent study by the University of Maryland’s Survey Research Center for the National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS) reported that Americans spend 87 percent of their time indoors and 6 percent of their time in enclosed vehicles, increasing the chances for spreading sickness.
The research supports a new movement of building construction that promotes healthier living of residents and employees. New designs help prevent mold and moisture issues, provide fresh air, ensure access to clean drinking water, prevent exposure to toxic chemicals, encourage fitness and support healthy circadian rhythms.
“Wellness Check: Fitwel and WELL Building Guidelines” features a panel of experts that will explore the latest on new building standards and certifications for optimizing health among those who live, work and play at apartment communities.
Fitwel is a global health certification system that evaluates evidence-based design and operational strategies in buildings that support human health. A Fitwel Certification is a signal to employees, residents, investors and others that wellness has been prioritized within design, development and operations of buildings and communities.
The WELL Building Standard reaches across a swath of rental housing with applications suitable from conventional multifamily housing to Affordable.
The vision for utility management programs
Also, Energy Summit 2020 features Environmental Protection Agency Program Manager Craig Haglund who will discuss benchmarking insights, as well as an update from GRESB Head of Americas Dan Winters. GRESB is an investor-driven organization assessing the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios and assets.
The conference also covers utility management procurement strategies, engaging on-site teams to ensure project success and coping with trash management.
In addition, RealPage SVP Utility Management Jason Lindwall will host panelists from Goldrich Kest, Greystar and Fairfield Residential in “A 2020 Vision for Utility Management Programs.” The panel discussion will also be webcast live to provide accessibility to those who are unable to attend the conference in person.
Qualified attendees will enjoy a complimentary stay at RealPage Suites, a living example of apartments of the future. Each suite is furnished with modern amenities and smart technology —including Alexa-operated conveniences.
For more on the conference, visit the Energy Summit 2020 website.