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Preiss brings green to student housing.


The Preiss Company (TPCO), an off-campus student housing provider at North Carolina State University, Clemson University, Auburn University in Alabama and the University of Texas in Austin, and the second largest provider at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has completed upgrades to its Austin property--University Estates at Austin--with $1.3 million in "green" capital expenditures work. University Estates at Austin is a 1,548-bed apartment community located fewer than three miles from the University of Texas.

Kyle Barger, Director of Construction Management for TPCO, says that the company evaluates current and future communities in terms of "green" needs to determine where money should be invested to enhance the community, as well as to cut overall expenses. Although changes are occurring throughout TPCO's portfolio, so far, most have occurred at the Austin community.

"At University Estates at Austin alone, [TPCO] has spent more than $550,000 in Energy Star-rated appliances," says Barger. "University Estates clearly will serve as the benchmark for how we develop our communities in the future."

At the Austin community, TPCO installed high-efficiency aerators and showerheads to help conserve water without losing performance, installed compact fluorescent lighting in the kitchen and entry way of upgraded units, used 100 percent recycled carpet, installed motion sensors at all the model sites, replaced exterior office lights with high-efficiency lighting, converted to Energy Star appliances, replaced the HVAC in 85 units to improve efficiency and used a laminate faux wood product, which is more sustainable and has a longer life than carpet.

Barger says that this year, in Austin and across all TPCO properties, he wants to continue installing and replacing compact fluorescent lighting where possible, using low- or no-VOC paint, regularly replacing filters to increase efficiency and replacing existing toilets with high-efficiency flapperless toilets--ones that do not use chains, levers and flapper systems to empty the tank's contents into the bowl--to conserve water. He also wants to look into the possibility of purchasing tankless water heaters.

"The changes we've made thus far and the changes we will continue to make will enhance University Estates, make it more attractive inside and out, and will create a more sustainable, long-term community," Barger says. "We're proud that our improvements not only enhance our residents' qualities of life, but also make our properties more efficient and help us continue to preserve our precious natural resources."

Amy Barger is Marketing Director for The Preiss Company. She can be reached at 919/291-9224 or
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Author:Barger, Amy
Date:Jun 1, 2009
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