Condo Media - March 2012 - (Page 46)

LANDSCAPING by Bill Butts Maximizing Value Water Management and Conservation oday, more than ever, smarter water management plans are required at properties. It’s important to examine all aspects of a budget to find ways to maximize value, yet still achieve the highest standards of operational performance. Water efficiency programs can help create value, improve the environment and produce impressive results for the bottom line. ty at peak efficiency at all times, not just when irrigation restrictions exist. Cutting costs through sustainable practices makes financial sense as well because landscape management can enhance the bottom line in a number of ways, including making the grounds more aesthetically pleasing and more sustainable. T Where to Start Smart water conservation programs could include adopting more ecologically friendly landscape programs and reducing landscape operating costs at the same time. A good starting place is to create a landscape management plan that focuses on three components: 1. Horticultural improvements 2. Reducing water consumption 3. Sending less waste to landfills Initially, that means determining water consumption and maintenance costs required to sustain the current level of landscape, identifying plants that require the most water, and determining fertilizer needs — all of which can reveal some opportunities for improvement. The landscape program may also encompass a plant density reduction plan, resulting in the removal of some plants that required significant amounts of water. Plants that required watering five days can be replaced with shrubs requiring only two days of irrigation. Cutting costs through sustainable practices makes financial sense because landscape management can enhance the bottom line in a number of ways. Adopting a smart water management program is critical to operating a property at peak efficiency. For many, water conservation is a fact of life. But for others, water may not be perceived as a precious resource simply because it seems to be plentiful in their area. Even though water is relatively inexpensive, it is a limited natural resource. As the population increases, the earth’s available fresh water remains constant. Thus, as demand increases, so too will the price. Adopting a smart water management program now is a critical component to operate a proper- Water Management Tips Water-conserving drip irrigation systems can be systematically installed and properties can be retrofitted with smart, weather-based controllers, which lower irrigation water usage by an average of 24 percent a year. Despite the initial investment, programs can contribute significant reductions in long-term costs. Other water smart measures include practicing hydro-zoning, converting onsite tree trimmings into natural mulch, converting shallow-rooted ground cover into drought tolerant shrubs with a drip rather than spray irrigation system, and reducing turf areas under canopy trees. These tips and examples show that positive results occur when a landscape is treated as an asset, and sustainable principles, such as water and waste reduction, are practiced. Ultimately, a smart water management program can promote efficiency, which is good news for the environment and bottom line. CM Bill Butts is the Regional Sales Leader with ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance with offices in Belmont, Billerica, Boston and Foxboro, Mass. 46 CONDO MEDIA • MARCH 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - March 2012

Condo Media - March 2012
From the CED’s Desk
Editorial Board
CAI News
CAI Regional News
Asked & Answered
Homeowner’s Corner
Volunteer Spotlight
Vendor Spotlight
Self-Managed Association Boards
2012 CAI-NE Spring/Summer Service Directory
Advertisers Index
Classified Service Directory

Condo Media - March 2012