ABSTRACT

Although the term “green leasing” is not yet well defined, its primary purpose is clear. With an aim to create a collaborative environment through legal provisions between a building owner and a tenant, green leasing may ultimately help resolve the energy paradox in tenanted properties. Issues surrounding split-incentives are driven by a mismatch between owners' capital expenditures on improving building energy efficiency and an uncertainty of tenant or occupant behavior that might affect a building's energy consumption. Though some countries have started to develop guidelines promoting the adoption of green leasing, especially in government buildings and commercial real estate, implementation has not been overly successful globally. This study has two focuses, the first of which is to compare green leasing guidelines from various countries and to suggest six comprehensive categories of green leasing components: management relationships, information sharing, certificates, legal stipulations, financial factors, and operation. The second core area of research places government-tenanted properties' lease agreement contracts. The goal is to find any evidence in a legal condition between a building owner and a tenant, in this case federal government, to improve building energy efficiency with less environmental impact in the United States. The findings of the study indicated 41 out of 400 leases had green clauses. Three out of six categories proposed in this study were found in the U.S. government-tenanted properties, while the other three types were not shown. The findings of this study also suggest categories of green leasing clauses can contribute to defining green leasing and provide empirical evidence of green leasing in governmenttenanted properties. Ultimately, this study produces arguments for possible reasoning behind the employment of some green lease categories but the lack of use of others, specifically in the U.S. office market and government-tenanted buildings.

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Author notes

1–3. School of Building Construction, Georgia Institute of Technology