In a rapidly-changing environment, businesses are becoming more focused on the interplay of energy and environmental issues and how they impact both short-and long-term costs. As with many endeavors, “green” concepts have spilled over into commercial real estate through the development of green buildings and green leases.
This trend should not be surprising, since an office lease can represent a substantial portion of a company’s overall costs, and buildings account for a significant percentage of energy use in this country (nearly three-quarters of the nation’s consumption of electricity and nearly forty percent of the country’s energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions, according to the U.S. Green Building Council). As such, businesses that lease commercial office space must understand the risks and rewards of green leases, particularly when commercial leases typically extend upwards of five to twenty years.
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