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Check Out IREM's Alternative to LEED for Property Managers

Check Out IREM's Alternative to LEED for Property Managers

For all the environmentally responsible managers out there, the new IREM Certified Sustainable Property program will not only reward you for your green initiatives, but enable you to showcase your value as a manager to owners, tenants, residents and other stakeholders. But with something so revolutionary, a lot of questions come to mind. Here’s what you need to know.

Who’s it available to?

The program is being offered to managers of office properties, multifamily communities and shopping centers who show that they are able to attract tenants and residents demanding green space, train their staff to be sustainable, market their green initiatives and increase their savings. There are certain limitations based on size, occupancy and other factors that can be found in IREM’s workbooks and checklists.

Why did IREM Create the Program?

IREM says there are thousands of US office, multifamily and retail properties that are working towards sustainability but can’t get certified due to logistical or financial reasons. The IREM certification allows these properties to get the recognition they deserve without spending thousands for the certification or a consultant. 

How Was the Sustainability Certification Developed?

Using both its own research and a team of sustainability and property management experts, IREM created a set of baseline requirements that include management functions—such as financial operations, client relations, marketing and leasing—as well as fundamental sustainability activities such as benchmarking and policy setting. Managers then earn points in Energy, Water, Health, Recycling and Purchasing to get a property certified. The combination of management functions and sustainability performance enables IREM to target managers who want to take advantage of the opportunity to satisfy tenants and residents who associate sustainability with quality. 

What Is the Certification Process?

Upon downloading the certification materials, you’ll need to complete 15 baseline requirements for every property you have and make sure you accumulate 62 total points across the five sustainability categories (Energy, Water, Health, Recycling and Purchasing), with at least two points in each category. You can then submit an application (with a fee and certain documents) and IREM will inform you within three to five weeks whether you’re approved for certification.

How Much Does the Application Cost?

The program costs $400 for IREM members, and $800 for nonmembers per property.

How Long Does It Take to Get Certified? 

As one would expect, the amount of time it takes to complete the requirements and apply for certification depends on how far properties are in their own sustainability projects, but IREM estimates that getting all the documents and completing the necessary forms and checklist should take six to 12 hours, but it could take longer for your property to earn the points needed for approval. If you have other sustainability certifications, however, you should have everything you need already and be able to expedite the certification process. 

What Can I Do to Market My Certification?

IREM says that certified properties can market their certification by displaying the certificate that IREM gives, displaying the certification logo on the property website or other materials, placing an award plaque somewhere in the building, joining IREM in a press release, or even participating in a case study, webinar or other activities.

How Long Is the Certification Good For?

The certification lasts three years, and you then have an entire calendar year to recertify your property.

To learn more about this Bisnow partner or apply for the program, you can click here.