A product that screws into a faucet and adds air to the water; this reduces the amount of water consumed while also controlling the stream of water

Annual debt service (ADS)

The annual principal and interest on outstanding debt

Before-tax cash flow (BTCF)

The cash flow after debt service and capital expenditures are subtracted from net operating income, but before income-tax considerations


How a building performs in relation to its peers

Benefit-cost ratio (BCR)

A helpful calculation when carrying out a cost-benefit analysis to determine if a project makes sense from a financial standpoint


The human condition of seeking connection with nature and other living beings

Building acoustics

The control of sound in a building

Building lifecycle

The life of a building from idea conception to renovation or demolition

Building owner

Entity that holds title to the property

Built environment

Human-made environments where people live, work, and play

Capital expenditures (CAPEX)

Expenditures to increase the useful life of the property that last for more than one year

Carbon footprint

A measure of the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced by the daily activities of a person or company

Cash-on-cash return

Calculates the rate of return on the cash invested in a property based on the annual cash income earned

Climate Mobilization Act

One of the most ambitious plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the world, and pledges New York City to carbon neutrality by 2050

Climate risks

The risk of climate change causing consequences to the property

Climate transition plan

A plan that lays out how the property and organization will adjust building operations to incorporate climate science recommendations

Community engagement programs

Programming that engages the community to enhance the social dimension within health beyond building occupants

Community supported agriculture (CSA)

A system where community members and farmers are connected through community members purchasing a seasonal share of the farmer's crops and participating in the risks and benefits of the farmer's harvest

Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

A business model that takes into account the economic, social, and environmental impacts the corporation has on multiple stakeholders versus the impact solely on the owners of the company

Cost-benefit analysis

A decision-making tool to determine if the benefits outweigh the costs of a potential investment throughout the product lifecycle


The protection of the networking system, hardware, software, and data of a property and organization from cyber attacks


A technique that allows natural light into the building space and reduces the energy load requirements for lighting


Population data such as education, income, religion, gender, ethnicity, race, age, and marital status information

Discount rate

The cost of capital or a required "hurdle" rate of return metric that an investment must minimally achieve

Discounted payback period

An analysis that takes into account the time value of money by applying a discount rate to discount the future cash flows


The characteristics that make individuals unique, including race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, abilities, and others

Drip irrigation

An irrigation method that can save water and fertilizer by applying water directly to the root zone either on or below the soil surface through artificial methods

Effective gross income (EGI)

The net revenue of the property

Energy audit

An assessment of energy use and efficiency within the property

Energy burden

Household energy costs as a percentage of gross household income

Environmental justice

Fair treatment and meaningful involvement for all regarding environmental policies

Environmental Management System (EMS)

A framework to address resource management risks by increasing operational efficiency and mitigating environmental impacts

Environmental privilege

Allows groups with power to construct and use environmental amenities for themselves and deny these amenities to less privileged groups

Environmental regulations

Regulations at the federal, state, and/or local levels with the goal of improving environmental quality and protecting human health

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)

A set of standards used by socially conscious investors to evaluate investments

ESG reporting

The disclosure of environmental, social, and governance data

Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)

An assessment framework used as an ESG benchmark for real estate assets

Green building initiatives

Actions undertaken to minimize the environmental impact of a building

Green building management certifications

Green building certifications for the operations and maintenance phase of the building lifecycle such as LEED O+M, IREM CSP, BREEAM In-Use, and ENERGY STAR Certification

Green lease

A lease that involves collaboration between property owner, property manager, and property tenant to align green building interests by sharing in the costs and benefits of incorporating sustainable initiatives within the building space

Green Lease Leaders

A national program that provides a framework for implementing green lease standards

Greenhouse gas (GHG)

Gases that trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere

Greenhouse Gas Protocol

An international standard that helps account for, report, and mitigate GHG emissions in a standardized framework


A marketing tactic that portrays a property to be greener than it actually is


A “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” as defined by The World Health Organization (WHO)

Heat island effect

When structures like buildings and parking lots absorb and re-emit more heat from the sun than natural surfaces and create higher temperatures

Holding period

The length of time a property is owned


Excessive consumption of goods


Creating a culture where everyone feels a sense of belonging and is valued for their unique perspectives and contributions

Indoor air quality (IAQ)

The quality of the air within a building space

Indoor environmental quality (IEQ)

Indoor environmental quality that encompasses indoor air quality, acoustics, thermal comfort, lighting, and views from a building

Integrated pest management (IPM)

A pest control program that encompasses a more holistic strategy to lower the risks to people and the environment and focuses on the building and the surrounding landscape areas

Irrigation systems

Systems that supply water to land through artificial methods


A mindfulness tool constructed of detailed passageways that can foster relaxation

Lease request for proposal (RFP)

A request submitted by a tenant to building owners to compare various building space opportunities

Leasing plan

A plan containing guidelines concerning leasing parameters such as rent, rent term, concessions, tenant allowances, and common area maintenance pass-throughs

LEED certification

A third-party green building certification

Light pollution

When artificial light is used excessively or inappropriately at night

Management agreement

A contract between the building owner and property management company outlining the responsibilities of the property management company

Market analysis

The analysis of demographic and economic profiles of the region and neighborhood as they relate to the subject property

Marketing plan

A plan containing the marketing goals for the property in order to attract tenants

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

A theory stating that lower-level needs have to be satisfied before moving to higher-level needs


A mindfulness practice that can be restorative in nature

Mental dimension of human health

The psychological aspect of human health such as emotional well-being

Merchant builders

Builders that build buildings for resale in the near future


Focusing on the present moment without judgment

Net metering

Renewable energy metering that provides a renewable energy certificate (REC) from a public-utility provider for power generated but not used by the building, power which can then be sold to others or used as a credit against the building’s energy usage

Net operating income (NOI)

Total Operating Revenue minus Total Operating Expenses

Net positive energy

Buildings that consume less energy than they produce

Net present value (NPV)

A helpful calculation when carrying out a cost-benefit analysis to determine if an investor will move forward with a project

Net zero energy

Buildings that consume as much energy as they produce

Non-potable water

Water that is not of drinking quality

Nonrenewable energy

An energy source that will eventually run out, such as fossil fuels

Operating expenses (OPEX)

Regularly occurring costs for operating and maintaining the day-to-day activities at a property

Paris Agreement, The

A legally binding international treaty on climate change with the aim of limiting global warming

Payback period

The time period it takes to recover the initial capital outlay of an investment through revenue or cost savings

Physical dimension of human health

The physical aspect of human health such as blood pressure level, weight, and physical exercise

Plug loads

The energy used by products that are plugged into an outlet

Potable water

Water that is of drinking quality


Revenue minus expenses

Proforma statement of cash flow

A forecasted statement of cash flow

Property management

Management of a property during the operations and maintenance phase of the building lifecycle

Property management company

Entity that manages the operations and maintenance of the property

Rainwater harvesting

The collection of rainwater runoff to a storage system, such as a tank, that can be used later

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT)

Entities that own or finance income-producing real estate through capital from many investors

Replacement reserves

Where funds are put annually to save for planned building component replacements as well as serve as an emergency fund

Resource management

How resources such as energy, water, and waste are handled at a property

Return on investment (ROI)

Calculation that takes into account the gain or loss over the life of ownership divided by the invested debt and equity

Risk management process model

A model used to minimize the negative impact of risks


Entities that own shares in a company's stock

Sick building syndrome (SBS)

When contaminants and pollutants reach a certain level within the building and cause building occupants severe discomfort including headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and/or irritation to the eyes, nose, or throat

Simple payback period

A calculation that determines the amount of time it takes to recover the upfront costs of an investment

Smart buildings

Buildings with building systems such as HVAC, lighting, and security that are linked with real-time sensors that provide information to enable building automation with the goal of increasing building efficiencies as well as lowering operational costs

Smart device

An electronic device with a level of interactivity and autonomy

Smart irrigation technology

Technology that uses soil moisture sensors or weather data to determine irrigation needs

Social dimension of human health

The social aspect of human health such as relationships with others

Social equity

Social policies that are just and fair for all people

Socialization amenities

Amenities that encourage socialization


Entities that are impacted by a company's operations

Statement of cash flows

A financial statement that illustrates the financial health of the property

Stormwater runoff

Rain and snowmelt that does not soak into the ground

Supply chain

Services and supplies used to operate the property and organization


The ability to meet current generation needs without compromising future generation needs

Sustainable property management

Implementation of green building initiatives during the operations and maintenance phase of the building lifecycle, taking into account their environmental, social, and economic impacts

Sustainable property management plan

An operating plan developed by the property management company, with collaboration from various stakeholders, that outlines sustainability initiatives to be undertaken at the property and how these initiatives align with property ownership goals

Systems theory

The theory that individual stakeholder groups do not exist alone but in a system where they are interdependent on each other


Entity that occupies the property leased from a landlord

Tenant education programs

Programs to help tenants learn about ways to incorporate sustainable property management practices on a regular basis

Tenant satisfaction survey

A survey administered to tenants to receive feedback on property management and operations that can inform recommendations for the property moving forward

Thermal comfort

The sense of whether a person feels too hot or too cold

Time value of money

The idea that an amount of money is worth more now than the same amount of money in the future

Total Resource Use and Efficiency (TRUE)

A third-party zero waste certification

United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Seventeen interconnected goals, introduced in 2015 with the intention to be achieved by 2030, that provide pathways for a more sustainable future for all

Universal design

Built environment design that creates accessibility to the greatest extent possible

Upfront costs

The initial capital outlay for a product or service


Contractors and suppliers that provide services and supplies to the property

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Airborne chemicals that are emitted from many products such as paint, carpeting, furniture, office equipment, and cleaning supplies

Walk Score

A third-party scoring metric that illustrates the walkability level of the property

Waste management

A strategy implemented at the property for waste disposal, reduction, reuse, and prevention


A labeling program for water-efficient products sponsored by the EPA


Helps building users access and navigate the building space by providing identification, directional, orientation, and regulation signage

Wider community members

Community members not directly involved with building operations


Using native drought-resistant plants


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Sustainable Property Management Copyright © 2023 by Erin Hopkins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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