Category Archives: LEED Certification

What is a “Green” lease?

A “green lease” is one that seeks to encourage sustainable practices by both the landlord and the tenant and to remove disincentives to increased recycling, reduced raw material, energy and water consumption, as well as the use of sustainable materials in tenant improvements.  Ensuring that tenants and landlords are required or strongly encouraged to adopt environmentally friendly practices is the purpose of such a lease.  One commercial landlord oriented green lease* states its objectives this way:

 

The Tenant acknowledges the Landlord’s intention to operate the Building so as to provide for:

 

(a) a comfortable, productive and healthy indoor environment;

(b) reduced energy use and reduced production, both direct and indirect, of Greenhouse Gases;

(c) reduced use of potable water and the use of recycled water where appropriate;

(d) the effective diversion of construction, demolition, and land-clearing waste from landfill and incineration disposal, and the recycling of tenant waste streams;

(e) the use of cleaning products certified in accordance with EcoLogoM (Canada), Green SealTM (United States) or equivalent standards;

(f) the facilitation of alternate transportation options for individuals attending at the Building; and

(g) the avoidance of high volatile organic compound materials, furniture and improvements within the Building and individual tenant premises.

 

The lease goes on to specify how this is to be done, the related responsibility of each party, the metrics and methods to measure compliance, the allocation of related costs, and how it is to be enforced.

 

*  The lease, entitled “REALpac National Standard Green Office Lease for Single-Building Projects – 1.01 – 2008,” was developed by the Real Property Association of Canada, and can be seen in its entirety at

http://designersi.com/users/12415/downloads/NSGOL_Single_

Version1.01clean_Released01June08.pdf”.

 

            COMING NEXT: How do most leases now discourage being green?

 

With over 35 years experience Stu Heller helps his clients understand and improve their business and real estate transactions.  His blogs on leasing can be found on Blogspot, WordPress, Squidoo and Hubpages, and his “Superb” attorney rating and profile on AVVO.com.  He is an allied member of the Washington Restaurant and the Washington State Hotel & Lodging associations as well as a member of the King County Bar associations.  Contact him for a free initial consultation or to get his Legal Tips emailed to you or others you work with.  Be sure to consult your lawyer before applying any of the above to a particular situation.  Contact info:  Stuart A. Heller, 1325 Fourth Avenue, Suite 940, Seattle, WA 98101, 206-623-0579, fax 206-682-7972, heller@theleasinglawyer.com, hellerlaw@aol.com, www.theleasinglawyer.com.  ©2009, Stuart A. Heller, all rights reserved.  

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LEED and being GREEN

LEED is the acronym for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.”   It is best known for its rating system put together by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to determine how “green” the design, construction and operation of allegedly green buildings are.  The Council intends it to encourage and accelerate global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.  It is also intended to give building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ “green” performance.  LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

            According to the USGBC web site [http://www.usgbc.org/displaypage.aspx?CMsPageID=222] “architects, real estate professionals, facility managers, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, construction managers, lenders and government officials all use LEED to help transform the built environment to sustainability. State and local governments across the country are adopting LEED for public-owned and public-funded buildings; there are LEED initiatives in federal agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, Energy, and State; and LEED projects are in progress in 41 different countries, including Canada, Brazil, Mexico and India.”

LEED Rating Systems are said to be developed through an open, consensus-based process led by LEED Committees composed of a diverse group of volunteer practitioners and experts representing a cross-section of the building and construction industry. Among others there are now LEED rating systems for new construction, existing buildings, commercial interiors, schools, retail and healthcare structures, homes and neighborhood development.  To earn LEED certification, a project must satisfy all prerequisites and earn a minimum number of points outlined in the LEED Rating System under which it is registered.