Wall Street Journal: Outoors–the new indoors!
It probably hasn’t escaped your notice–the increasing number of friends and relations developing, and furnishing, their backyards and outdoor spaces to become full-fledged extensions of their indoor living space–and according to the WSJ, the trend is here to stay. We’ve all seen the full-size outdoor couches, kitchens and amenities that homeowners have built into their plein-aire spaces…and with the current trends in smaller rental units with more outdoor and shared space, it’s only a matter of time before the trend comes full-force to the apartment industry. Current innovations include outdoor heating and cooling, as well as our favorite: automatic mosquito control. Read more.
Apartment Therapy: Soundproofing upper floors is easier than you think.
If you own a multi-floor apartment building, you know: renters on upper floors can create quite the headache for those renting down below. If their headaches have become yours, you may want to think about installing soundproofing in the floors–and this article from Apartment Therapy lays out the easiest options. Most of the options involve a layer installed under carpeting, and won’t work in units with hardwood flooring; but if you do decide to use carpet, the choices for what to put under it are numerous, including “a dense cellulose fiberboard” called 440 Homasote. Read more.
Greentech: Multifamily energy use has dropped nearly 40% since 1980.
Good news for renters and landlords who are keen to be green–according to a new article from Greentech, households in multifamily buildings with 5 or more units use dramatically less energy than single-family homes. And that’s not all–since 1980, energy use in apartments has dropped by 38%, even with the split-incentive factor (where landlords shoulder part of the energy burden and reward, while tenants shoulder the other part). Energy use for heating has dropped even more drastically in the past thirty years–it’s down 50%! While multifamily units are understandably easier to heat and cool than single-family homes, which tend to be larger and have more windows and surfaces exposed to the outdoors, the fact that energy use has dropped so much within apartment households is encouraging–and much of the thanks is owed to more efficient technologies that have been installed as they have become available. See, technology’s not just fun–it saves the world! Read more.
Refinery 29: Locked out again? Go visit the kiosk!
Awhile back, we reported on a new smartphone lock in development–and now we’ve got more news on the “how will I ever get into my apartment?” front. This time, the news hails from New York City, where company KeyMe has installed the first of five locksmith kiosks (keyosks?) that allow people 24-hour access to a digital locksmith. Customers store a digital copy of their key for free, and can order a copy made while they wait, utilizing fingerprint security, for $19.99. No word yet on how, and if, this technology could figure into the rental market…could we see Concierge kiosks in our future? For now, we’ll see how KeyMe’s pilot program goes. Read more.