Resources for Community Development is a non-profit developer of multifamily housing in the San Francisco Bay area. RCD currently owns 45 properties of all shapes, sizes and ages. RCD is, increasingly, seen as a leader of green affordable development and has many properties with green features, including a few with solar PV and solar hot water. Their newest buildings are LEED certified. In an effort to extend their commitment to resource efficiency and healthy buildings across their portfolio, they hired O’Brien & Company to develop a Green O&M guide to share with their property management company for use at all their facilities.
To kick off the green O&M initiative, O’Brien & Company met with stakeholders, including representatives from all levels of the property management company, to identify opportunities and challenges to develop a set of guidelines that would be meaningful and easy to use.
Then O’Brien & Company worked with RCD’s asset management staff to research products, third-party certifications and other standards that would help all properties “green” their operations and maintenance protocols. The property management company was so pleased with the recommendations that many of the green checklist items were integrated directly into their policies statewide.
The final product is a 60-page binder with tabs for green checklists, factsheets of best practices, green purchasing and vendor guides, and local utility incentive programs. To introduce the document to staff, O’Brien & Company facilitated a 3-hour training featuring hands-on activities to connect participants in the content. Participants reported that the event was surprisingly engaging and that they gained a deeper awareness of the concept of “greenwashing” that would inform their purchasing practices.