When we develop new buildings and when we renovate existing ones, we focus on the impact our buildings have on the environment. We make careful design decisions regarding energy efficiency, water usage, and sustainable materials. During construction, we focus on waste reduction and recycling. And when we manage and operate communities, we take an environmentally sustainable approach, improving energy efficiency, limiting the amount of chemicals we use in landscaping, and maintaining our properties well so that they last. The result is communities with a measurably minimized environmental footprint.
Social Sustainability. For us, sustainability is not only about protecting the environment but also about promoting human wellbeing. We design healthy and efficient homes at affordable rents so that residents can live more fulfilling, productive lives. In addition, the energy efficiency measures we undertake often benefit residents directly through lower utility bills.
Taking care of the environment and people who inhabit it creates a more stable future for residents, for Beacon as a company, and for the planet – another way we are Living Well by Design.
Beacon’s sustainability initiatives include:
- Since 2008, all but one of our new developments have been LEED-certified, receiving multiple certifications that include LEED for Homes Midrise Platinum, LEED for Homes Platinum, and LEED for New Construction Gold. We also anticipate receiving a LEED for Neighborhood Development certification.
- Thirty-three households enjoy near-zero-net-energy single-family homes at our Homes at Easthampton Meadow development.
- Through the adaptive reuse of historic buildings as well as the renovation of existing housing developments, we significantly reduce the amount of construction materials used and new infrastructure needed when creating housing.
- Beacon has accepted the US Department of Energy’s Better Building Challenge to reduce our portfolio-wide energy usage by 20% over 10 years.
- Throughout our portfolio, we have undertaken energy-efficiency retrofit initiatives including installing new co-generation combined heat and power systems, adding additional insulation, air sealing attics, and installing LED interior and exterior lights. These improvements are ongoing, with many complete and many underway.
- We have implemented water saving initiatives across our entire property portfolio, including low flow toilets, showerheads, and aerators.
- We invest in renewable energy through solar power purchase agreements at several properties.
- We plan on entering into solar virtual net metering contracts to offset the electricity use across our Massachusetts properties.
- We provide healthier living environments for our residents and healthier work environments for our staff with a smoke-free policy across all our properties.