From the Floor Up

Multi-Family Building Goes Green

Posted by Daltile Team on Mar 29, 2017 10:30:00 AM

going green

If you haven’t heard yet, green has come to multi-family building—and it’s big business! The bottom line is that green sells. It’s what tenants want. And it’s increasingly easier to build green without sacrificing quality or going over budget.

Here are a few ways to join the green trend on the multi-family scene.


One major downside to multi-family buildings is the lack of green space, especially green space tenants can use to garden. An agrihood is simply the inclusion of a farm in the middle of a development and usually in the city.

Agrihoods are well worth the effort and cost for multi-family builders. Emphasis on farm-to-table eating and general health-centered lifestyles make the idea of an agrihood very attractive to potential tenants.

Co-founder of Farmscape, Lara Hermanson, told Builder Magazine that installing this type of green space can cost as little as $20K and can increase the property’s value by 28%. A basic green space requires only 500 square feet or can be acres.

Green space is an excellent investment for multi-family builders because there is a huge outdoor living trend for homeowners and this is the equivalent in the renters’ sphere. American Home Furnishings Alliance vice president of public relations and marketing, Jackie Hirschhaut, says. “Many of us have so little time off that our backyards and balconies have become our primary refuge for relaxation.” Renters need that nature time as much as homeowners do.


The attention sustainable and green building is getting lately, there is a huge amount of help available. Fannie Mae announced $3.5 Billion in new financing in 2016. They created a whole division dedicated to multi-family green financing.

HUD has grants and loans available for retrofitting multi-family housing with green technology and amenities

Take advantage of LEED and WELL programs to earn credits and get tax rebates, zoning allowances, and higher property value all while building green and healthy. You can advertise that your building is certified by LEED or WELL, which will add interest and benefit for potential tenants.

Smaller Projects

Can’t retrofit your whole building right now? That’s ok. It’s better to retrofit little by little than not to do it at all.

Simple projects like replacing water heaters, appliances, water fixtures, lighting, and thermostats as needed with the latest in green products can make a big difference. Weatherization updates can cut costs of heating and cooling and increase health of the environment and the family.

Bigger projects like updating HVAC can make a substantial difference and create savings on utility bills. Waste diversion systems that sort waste into trash, recyclables, and compost begin returning on the investment within one year.

Assistance in the way of grants and other federal funds are available for these types of projects so check out your options before getting started.


Daltile is dedicated to helping you build green. Check out our Greenworks program today.

Learn More about Greenworks & LEED

Topics: Sustainability, News

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