2014 Environmental Sustainability Work: First Blog
Last year CAP Management began operation of its environmental sustainability department.
The performed work included the design and implementation of a community garden, replacement of turf grass with xeric landscaping, and the replacement of obsolete five-gallon-per-flush toilets, all at one of our largest HOAs. Here is a look into that department’s work in 2014.
Where we have been:
The toilet replacement, xeriscaping and community garden work performed in 2013 at our Strawberry 1 at Heatherridge Association in Aurora, Colorado resulted in that association earning the CAI-RMC “HOA of the Year” award. This is a big deal! Apparently the word has spread because we now have four HOAs with whom we will be doing sustainability work in 2014 – a huge increase in business!
Strawberry was able to save well over $800 on their water bill in the past year just through the replacement of a portion of their toilet stock. This year we will at least double those savings in a second phase of toilet replacement. Because Aurora Water, who provides rebates to finance the project, sets a cap on the total dollar amount that can be claimed each year, the project at Strawberry must be broken into phases. The community is looking forward to these improvements as it will further their sustainability and cost savings goals.
A bigger project, new in 2014, is the sweeping retrofitting at our Shadow Wood HOA in Denver. This 328-unit association is replacing ALL of their toilets this year. Unlike the limits set in Aurora, Denver Water does not cap the amount of rebate money that can be claimed in any one year. In fact, we are so pleased to say that they have offered to pay for the project almost in its entirety at Shadow Wood! The Association will only be responsible for about two-thirds of the installation cost. How wonderful is that?! This is part of Denver Water’s “WaterSense Challenge” and we couldn’t be happier to be a part.
In addition to the toilets, the Association will undergo a full revitalization of its irrigation system. This begins with a free audit, also performed by Denver Water, which will determine where the current system is underperforming. Following the audit and the recommended fixes resultant of it, new high-efficiency sprinkler heads and weather detectors will be installed to provide to the landscaping only the volume of water that is needed to keep it healthy and not any more.
Beyond the irrigation improvements, other landscaping changes include switching the lawn care company to one who uses only all-natural products (per the request of community members) and exploring landscape improvements, such as the installation of a community garden. While these improvements may not be realized in 2014, due to the intensively of the other projects, the community is gathering to get the implementation process started.
To a much lesser degree, CAP Management is working with Denver’s 888 Condominium Association to help them achieve their sustainability goals. In an advisory role, CAP will help with toilet replacement, xeric landscaping and energy conservation.
Our newest HOA, and the first fully managed by now full-time property manager Jess Pletcher, will undergo a toilet replacement project this summer as well.