Homeowners associations in Virginia, Texas, and Colorado are recognized for their environmental initiatives.
Community Associations Institute (CAI) is proud to recognize three exceptional communities—Loudoun Valley II in Ashburn, Va.; Sun City Georgetown Community Association in Georgetown, Tex.; and Highlands Ranch Community Association in Highlands Ranch, Colo.—as model examples of the 2018 CAI Lives Green campaign, a year-long initiative to honor and empower sustainable community associations worldwide. These three communities were selected from more than 100 submissions.
According to a 2017 CAI Lives Green survey, more than 80 percent of community associations incorporate environmental or green initiatives into their activities. Community associations that participated in the CAI Lives Green campaign reported saving energy and money through a variety of environmental programs that include: switching to LED lights in common areas; participating in recycling programs; and incorporating water conservation, composting, and gardening.
To honor these exemplary communities and recognize environmental strides being made around the world, CAI launched the CAI Lives Green initiative last March to showcase the ideas, choices, lifestyles, amenities, and—most importantly—efficiencies that community association neighbors value. In addition to highlighting these long-standing endeavors, through its Green Resolution Challenge, CAI encouraged communities to pledge to launch a new sustainability program in 2017. Loudoun Valley II's recycling program and energy-saving measures included incorporating LED lights, programming thermostats, and incorporating water-saving, drought-resistant landscaping in the community's common areas.
Through education and other resources, Sun City Georgetown Community Association assisted residents in effectively recycling and properly disposing of household waste. Throughout the year, the association's recycling committee held two townhall meetings, developed a website, and sponsored six paper shredding days.
In the past year, Highlands Ranch Community Association improved energy efficiency at all recreation centers—and saved the association more than $170,000—and upgraded the swimming pool's temperature control unit, resulting in energy savings and water conservation. The association recently opened a community solar garden project that will save the community an estimated $1.9 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.
More than 69 million Americans live in community associations, also known as planned communities, e.g., homeowners associations, condominiums, and housing cooperatives. Since the 1960s, community association developers and leaders have increasingly embraced green thinking and design. Even in communities without “green" language in their covenants, the core principles of community associations often engender sustainable practices and approaches. Large-scale, master-planned communities such as Reston, Va., Irvine, Calif., and Columbia, Md., are focused on land preservation, according to Best Practices: Green Communities, published by Foundation for Community Association Research (FCAR).
“For more than 40 years, architects, developers, and builders have considered planned communities as places where residents can share resources, thereby saving each member the cost of building resources themselves," says Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, CAI's chief executive officer. “Community associations have long paved the way as models for saving energy, land, and other resources. Today, we honor the innovative actions that our member communities are taking to foster environments that yield sustainable results for the future of individual neighborhoods, as well as neighborhoods around the globe."
For more information on the CAI Lives Green campaign, please go to www.caionline.org/CAILivesGreen.
About Community Associations Institute Since 1973, Community Associations Institute (CAI) has been the leading provider of resources and information for homeowners, volunteer board leaders, professional managers, and business professionals in 342,000 homeowners associations, condominiums, and co-ops in the United States and millions of communities worldwide. With nearly 40,000 members, CAI works in partnership with 36 legislative action committees and 63 affiliated chapters within the U.S., Canada, United Arab Emirates, and South Africa, as well as with housing leaders in several other countries including Australia, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom. A global nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization, CAI is the foremost authority in community association management, governance, education, and advocacy. Our mission is to inspire professionalism, effective leadership, and responsible citizenship—ideals reflected in community associations that are preferred places to call home. Visit us at www.caionline.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @CAISocial.
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