Environmentally Thinking
Global Green Property Services brings eco-friendly building sense to educational environment
by Rich Pietras

Already having carved out a career in the world of finance, real estate investment and management, Stephanie Kovacs decided two years ago that green meant go.

And so she went, and she’s not looking back.

Spending 15 years in California—a state that is far ahead in our country’s green movement—Kovacs was always environmentally conscious. Couple that with 20 years of experience in the senior levels of some of the nation’s most successful property and finance management firms, and she suddenly realized it was time to put her two passions together.

“As far as being environmentally conscious, California has always been ahead of the curve,” Kovacs says. “I also saw the economy was starting to take a turn for the worse and realized I could carve out a niche.”
Two years later that decision is paying off as Global Green Property Services (GGPS), based out of the Main Line area, has become an ever-evolving success.

Specializing in LEED-certified building projects for property owners, as well as capital improvements in that mold, technology and energy audits, and an array of other green-based services, GGPS has become a one-of-a-kind firm that manages and leases properties efficiently and economically.

Through a network of hundreds of people across the country, GGPS’s team is strengthened by experts in every aspect of environmentally friendly management—from contractors to engineers to suppliers—that not only show customers how to build and maintain a green property, but also show them how to save money.

“When I decided to try this, everyone told me I was going to fall flat on my face,” Kovacs says. “I knew I wanted to remain in this field, but I knew I couldn’t compete with the really large real estate management firms. But I also knew they wouldn’t be doing what I wanted to do.”

What Kovacs wanted to do was use her network to guide her customers in everything from smaller green renovations to building complete LEEDcertified projects from the ground up.

But as Kovacs’ niche company evolved, it found a specialty within itself that has brought GGPS to the forefront.

Kovacs began to focus on fraternities and sororities as clients with her new venue.

“I started to turn the focus to schools and churches,” she says, adding that sororities and fraternities are the single largest holders of real estate in the country, and are typically self-managed.

Another unique connection GGPS has with campus projects is that college students and administrators are open to the concept of green projects and encourage them.

“That’s one of the best things, when you realize that everyone is onboard with what we are doing,” Kovacs says.

Over the last year, GGPS completed $2 million in projects, mostly at colleges and universities.

Campuses that have benefited from the GGPS approach to project development include California State University-Long Beach, which installed a new deck as well as interior renovations that were bolstered through sustainable practices. The University of West Virginia also is enjoying new ecofriendly carpeting and lighting. One of the largest renovations was for a sorority house at the University of Maryland. All of the restrooms were renovated using low-flow toilets and showers and sustainable materials. Every renovation that GGPS does uses green building options to make their surroundings more environmentally friendly and safe.

And while GGPS can also set up and help customers set up and maintain recycling programs as well as supply green cleaning products, the building and renovation projects have been the focus.

Using eco-friendly, non-toxic paints, creating cool roofs, installing LED lighting, slow-flow shower heads and low-flow toilets, GGPS make a property more eco-sensitive as well as safer and more efficient.

Kovacs’ sorority house actually burned down in her college days before sprinklers were a consideration. “I was a sorority girl, and it’s nice to know you are helping to make their houses safer,” Kovacs says. “We currently are installing a new sprinkler system in a sorority house at East Carolina University.” All the cosmetic repairs in this project will be done using non-toxic paint on the ceilings and walls.

Kovacs’ growing nationwide network of suppliers, contractors, builders, engineers, architects and others was built from over a decade worth of experience in the field show the GGPS’ potential for growth in a growing green world are perhaps limitless.

Global Green Properties Services: 610-642-3266

Rich Pietras is a professional writer based in Doylestown.