Drafting, negotiating ‘green’ lease


Originally published in Colorado Real Estate Journal - September 1, 2010 - September 14, 2010.

Building “green” is an effort that appears to be here to stay. Nearly all new projects are now constructed with sustainability in mind, and the practice of building “green” has been recognized as a business best practice throughout the country. The more recent trend of green leasing is an offshoot that is gaining attention for its ability to improve worker productivity and satisfaction, provide cost savings over the life of the building and improve a building’s overall marketability. Consequently, most landlords, tenants and property managers eventually will draft or negotiate a green lease.

There are three major rating systems for green buildings in the United States: 1) the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star; 2) the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes system; and 3) the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System. Additionally, those interested in LEED certification for current retail projects must pursue LEED 2009 for New Construction or LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors. LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors addresses specifics of tenant spaces primarily in office, retail and institutional buildings. Pursuant to the USGBC’s Web site, the LEED for Retail rating system is scheduled to launch in late 2010.

Regardless of rating system, green leases address unique aspects of lease documents that conventional leases often miss, particularly when it comes to the relationship between landlord and tenant...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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