The push to green commercial buildings and their leases has grown steadily in recent years, and now a project by major players in the space is going beyond the call for action. They plan to show how it's done by putting their own work on display.
The initiative helmed by the Natural Resource Defense Council involves real estate services company Jones Lang LaSalle, building solutions firm Johnson Controls, Malkin Holdings and several others.
For the next three years, the project partners intend to work with tenants and clients to incorporate efficiency measures in retrofits or buildouts as leases come up for renewal, or new agreements are signed. The participants are expected to share details of their work so others can see the benefits and follow in their footsteps -- as well as learn from any missteps. Coalition members also are to add to the tools and resources the NRDC is compiling about High-Performance Tenant Spaces.
The effort comes together under the banner of the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings businesses, government and NGOs together to tackle sustainability issues. As the organization holds its annual meeting in New York this week, a number of new commitments to attack problems are being made. The green tenant project is one of them.
The project partners cover the spectrum of stakeholders that emerge when the interests of leasing and managing commercial space, improving building performance, financing retrofits, increasing tenancy and growing revenue converge.
LinkedIn and Bloomberg, for example, are participating as tenants. Vorado is identifying tenants that would be good candidates for the project. Malkin will do the same. With Jones Lang LaSalle and Johnson Controls, Malkin also will share its expertise in green building retrofits, which are key to all three firms. The companies were among the partners in the Empire State Building's green makeover and documented their work for public use.
The Empire State Building project is fast becoming a legend among green retrofits and green leasing efforts. And while resources on such leasing and its benefits may seem legion to green building advocates [here is a roundup of efforts and tool kits, and here is a study showing the real estate and revenue opportunities yielded from green commercial space}, the practice hasn't caught on. The market seems to persist in believing that creating and leasing green tenant space as a matter of routine is too complicated, too costly and might not pay off in cost savings, increased revenue or environmental benefits.
That's where the NRDC project hopes to help.
"We have a tendency to assume that we know how to do this stuff because we've been doing it for a long time, but the fact of the matter is that there are different tools and technologies and different ways to incorporate newer concepts and approaches," said Lauren Yarmuth, principal at sustainability consulting firm YR&G, in an NRDC video.
Ultimately, the project partners hope to make green leasing and the idea of continuous efficiency improvements in tenant space standard practice for commercial properties.
Image CC licensed by Flickr user 96dpi.