The number of multi-family housing buildings in the U.S. has ebbed and flowed over the past two decades starting at 338,000 in 2000, dropping to 109,000 in 2009, and soaring back up to a high of 397,000 in 2015 and continuing that trend to present day. This categorization covers everything from apartments to duplexes to townhomes and condos. Amenities and perks for these buildings commonly include swimming pools, residential recreational rooms, and city views. While these offerings are still important to tenants, more customized amenities like 24-hour gyms, onsite activities, and everyday conveniences like dry cleaning, free grocery delivery, and hydration stations are commonplace. In many cases, these are now expected from residents moving in.
With the variety of options, new tenants have their share of choices which makes it more difficult for apartment buildings and condominiums to stand out from the competition. Especially in big cities where it’s more common to rent than own a home, amenities are key. The addition of purified water refill stations is a sustainable amenity residential buildings can now offer. These stations help to reduce plastic waste, support the health of tenants, and reduce operational costs due to the little to no maintenance required.
Lastly, water refill stations stay cleaner than drinking fountains, and they encourage tenants to congregate in communal areas and spend time outside of their own units. All of this provides extra incentive for residents and more value for the buildings themselves. They are a modern way to meet the needs of individuals on various levels and accommodate people who prefer and are accustomed to these types of built-in bonuses.
Benefit #1: Promotes Sustainability With an Eco-Friendly Solution
According to research from the National Multifamily Housing Council, 53% of residents live in multi-family housing. Of this percentage, 54% fall into the Millennial or Gen X generations. Both groups are known for supporting and seeking out sustainable brands and alternatives. The addition of a multi-gallon water cooler or individual plastic water bottles doesn’t appeal to this demographic and may even be a reason for them to not consider living somewhere. By having a convenient way to fill up their reusable water bottles, it aligns with one of their core values of being kind to the environment.
A water refill station also helps to reduce the amount of plastic waste overall. Without the need for plastic water bottles, this eliminates the need for vendors responsible for regular deliveries (a huge labor and product cost saving for the property) and employees who have to maintain or stock the water supply. By swapping out one-time use water bottles with a FloWater Water Refill Station, it results in a much cleaner carbon footprint with less energy and plastic waste impacting the environment. It allows everyone to do a small part in helping the planet.
Benefit #2: Supports Tenant Health
Multi-family residential buildings often come equipped with a fully-equipped gym, outdoor play or recreation area, and other amenities that speak to a tenant’s health and wellness goals and priorities. Buildings now offer onsite juice bars, running groups, and other activities to support what the majority of their tenants seek and consider when choosing where they live. The addition of water dispensers and hydration stations is part of this focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Hydration is the center of any fitness or wellness goal and is easy to accommodate through a water dispenser that doesn’t require plastic bottles. Flowater’s 7x Advanced Purification ensures a cool, fresh taste that removes up to 99% of impurities found in normal tap water. It starts at the sediment phase, which removes dirt, rust, and solids, then continues to the carbon filter phase where it removes particles like chlorine and hydrogen sulfide that may leave lingering odors and unpleasant metallic flavors. These filters last about a year depending on usage before they have to be changed. Since the Refill Station self-monitors, a message will flash on the LCD panel with a phone number so any member of the staff can quickly schedule a replacement, eliminating the risk of losing track of the filter schedule and ensuring the Refill Station is always running at the most optimal level.
From there, the process involves premium purification and sanitization through advanced osmosis and activated oxygen. Components such as electrolytes and a proprietary blend of ten trace minerals are added to the water to balance the pH level and support the body’s immune system, cell repair, and bone strength. The final part of the process is the unique seventh filter which is made of coconut husks and is part of the reason FloWater has such a delicious taste.
Research has shown FloWater has helped increase residential tenant wellness with 76% of residents drinking more water, 77% using a refillable container, and 54% stopping the usage of plastic water bottles. Many people like the idea of a more sustainable way to get their water intake but until a solution is provided, they’re likely to stick with the tried and true. By offering a hydration station solution, it shifts the way tenants view other health habits and allows them to appreciate the amenities their building has to offer.
Benefit #3: Reduces Costs Due to Minimal Maintenance
FloWater’s Water Refill Station was designed with the consumer in mind. There’s little to no maintenance required. A certified FloWater technician sets up the station and a dedicated customer support team is available to answer any questions along the way. However, the self-sanitizing water feature and clean design mean maintenance is not regularly necessary. Each station has a recessed dispense nozzle, one-touch fill button, and a hidden catchment tray, which means less grime and germs than your average water cooler or drinking fountain. Furthermore, thanks to activated oxygen as part of the extensive filtration process, there is chemical-free sanitization in the tanks and internal system.
Every time water is dispensed, the tanks automatically refill with drinking water at an optimal 42 degrees. Plus, the internal drain system means you’ll never have to empty the drain tray or worry about debris clogging the drain. It’s a dream for busy, residential buildings that need a sustainable solution that doesn’t require constant quality checks. Buildings that use water coolers have to swap out jugs periodically. Water fountains need ongoing maintenance. And, plastic water bottles result in tons of waste that is harmful to the planet. One of the biggest issues with single-use bottles is that it has a major effect on the plastic pollution of our oceans, as well as our environment and our personal health. In order to combat this, we need to start making changes to more sustainable options for drinking water.
A refill station eliminates this stress and hassle and provides a go-to solution to appeal to both residents and building owners. Additionally, an indirect way it can help with costs is the encouragement it provides tenants who are considering moving out. When they have all of their needs taken care of with their current building, there will be a higher likelihood that they’ll stay where they are and renew their lease. This results in fewer turnover rates, which means less cleaning fees, less painting or renovations, and less empty spaces.
Benefit #4: Stays Cleaner Than Drinking Fountains
Water fountains aren’t ideal when compared to a purified water station. Certain tap water isn’t the best fit for human consumption. While some tap water might be safe to drink, not all cities adhere to water quality guidelines closely or consistently. Although the water may not be dangerous to drink, often it doesn’t taste good. Also, the germs spread through a water fountain through the grime around the drain area and people putting their mouths or bottle openings too close to the spout. That’s not a problem with the large fill area of a hydration station.
It accommodates anything from a coffee mug to a gallon jug under the dispenser without the lip touching the spout at any point. The way it’s designed allows for a continual source of purified water. It holds seven gallons at a time and is automatically replenished after water is dispensed. No need to change out jugs like with standard water coolers or perform constant quality checks on water fountains.
Once the refill station has been installed, it’s ready to run on its own. The filter is long-lasting and when it needs to be changed, a technician will come out and take care of it. The station also cuts down on cup waste and overflowing trash bins that must be emptied on a regular basis. Residents can bring their own sustainable cup, bottle, or jug of choice to fill up on water whenever they want without leaving anything behind.
Benefit #5: Initiates Engagement Among Tenants
No one lines up at the water fountain to have a chat and water cooler gatherings with plastic cone cups aren’t a regular occurrence in today’s modern world. However, strategically placed water refill stations can encourage impromptu conversations and also, hydrate a crowd at special events. For example, if your building is hosting a residential potluck or block party, renting a few refill stations give people an alternative to any party beverages served at the event in a way that doesn’t require any extra supplies.
Residential buildings know that offering adequate space is only part of what people are looking for when they are selecting a place. They want to make sure there’s enough room, good lighting and included utilities. But that’s not what’s keeping the main multi-family residential building competitive. Water refill stations allow tenants to fill up their reusable water bottles or jugs with purified water whenever they need it. By stationing these water systems throughout the building, it provides a convenient way for tenants to stay hydrated and connected with their neighbors.
Benefit #6: Drives Positive Reviews
In addition to all the benefits freshwater refill stations provide tenants, it also gives back to residential buildings by way of reviews. With the market as competitive as it is, peer-to-peer influences are some of the most impactful. Many times, it’s the attention to detail that makes the biggest difference. In the grand scheme of things, an Olympic-sized pool may seem like a greater amenity than a purified water station, but when you add it to the mix of what’s being offered, it adds value to the tenant’s overall experience and prompts more positive reviews.
It also allows building managers to hear firsthand what residents do or don’t like about the building in order to make improvements and adjustments along the way. The one thing people seek is more customization. They ask themselves questions like:
- How well does a building align with my everyday needs?
- How much do they understand what’s important to me as a tenant?
- What conveniences do they offer that other buildings don’t?
These are the kinds of things potential residents consider when making a decision about where they’ll call home. Think about the convenience and cost-effectiveness that purified water stations can bring, in addition to how it answers the needs of those who want an alternative solution to tap water and water coolers. It’s not only one thing that creates a positive (or negative) experience for a resident. The overall experience is what they take into account when leaving a review. Make it a point to check in with residents and ask about their changing needs and wants.
Reap the Benefits of a Purified Water Refill Station
If you’ve solely relied on tap water or plastic bottled water offerings and haven’t thought about adding a pure water amenity for residents, think about making a switch to accommodate the growing needs of today’s tenants. That want go-to solutions at their fingertips that are free, convenient, and gives them the feeling of getting more than they originally expected. It helps if the add-on is eco-friendly and necessary for day-to-day activities.
By offering purified water refill stations where they live, it promotes healthy habits and encourages people to engage with each other more often. Hydration is important for everyone and the need for pure-tasting water that doesn’t result in plastic waste is becoming more sought after as people swap plastic water bottles for reusable containers. It is also a cleaner and more cost-effective solution for building managers that want to minimize costs but maximize value.
Once tenants realize how easy and convenient water dispensers are to use and how much it helps to eliminate waste in their own environment, the need for it becomes standard. It benefits everyone from both sides. This advanced freshwater system solution helps to keep people happy, which in turn benefits residential buildings that want tenants to feel at home and loyal to where they live.