Field Guide to Green Property Management
(Updated January 2016)
Green leases (also known as aligned leases, high performance leases, or energy efficient leases) align the financial and energy incentives of building owners and tenants so they can work together to save money, conserve resources, and ensure the efficient operation of buildings. Energy and environmental performance are emerging as key benchmarks in how commercial real estate buildings are judged and priced in today's market. According to a recent survey, 88% of corporate and developer respondents expect to own, manage or lease some green properties five years from now. This field guide introduces the importance and value of environmental sound practices in property management as well as giving some ideas on trends, certification programs, and other resources for the green property manager. (M. Glick, Senior Information Specialist)
Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.
Looking for more formal training in green property management? NAR's Green designation has a property management track. The Green designation provides real estate professionals with the knowledge and awareness of green building principles applied in residences, commercial properties, developments, and communities so that they can list, market, and manage green properties as well as guide buyer-clients in purchasing green homes and buildings.
For more information, visit the Green Resource Council webpage.
Why Go Green?
Data links sustainability with office tenant satisfaction, (National Real Estate Investor, Feb. 27, 2015).
The Business Case for Green Building, (U.S. Green Building Council, Feb. 10, 2015).
Better Buildings Alliance, (U.S. Department of Energy).
As Baby Boomers Leave, Property Management Goes Green, (National Real Estate Investor, Mar. 17, 2014).
Green Noise or Green Value? Measuring the Effects of Environmental Certification on Office Values [PDF], (Real Estate Economics, Spring 2011). – Compared to buildings in the same submarkets, eco-certified buildings have both a rental and sale price premium.
Do Green Buildings Make Dollars and Sense? (USD-BMC Working Paper 09-11, Nov. 2009). – An analysis of operating costs, energy impacts, productivity and tenant attitudes from a major real estate portfolio. Results suggest green management practices are increasingly important to tenants.
Getting Started with Sustainability, (Journal of Property Management, Jan./Feb. 2009). – You've gotten on board and have decided it's time to enhance your portfolio's sustainability. Now the question is, where do you start, given these economically challenging times? Q
Coming up green, (Journal of Property Management, Nov./Dec. 2008). – Retrofitting existing properties into sustainable, green buildings isn't an easy task, but it is one that can offer substantial payback for your properties. Q
The Greening of Leasing, (National Real Estate Investor, July 2, 2015).
Green leases could save US office buildings $3.3 billion annually, (Clean Technica, May 25, 2015).
How to find good tenants by using green leases, (Aquicore, Apr. 23, 2015).
10 Green Leasing Tips for Building Owners, (U.S. Department of Energy, 2014).
Green Leasing: An Effective Tenant/Landlord Strategy for Energy Efficiency, (A Better City, Dec. 2014).
Green Leasing - It's not just about capital expenditures, (Probate and Property, Mar./Apr. 2013). – A comprehensive green lease has sustainability provisions permeating the instrument. Q
Green Lease Policies and Procedures, (GSA, Mar. 1, 2012). – With a few exceptions government offices are mandated to lease space in Energy Star labeled buildings if available.
LEED, Liability, and YOU, (Buildings, Aug. 2011). – With multiple parties working on one project’s LEED certification, there's enough blame to go around when something doesn't go as expected, but deciding which party owns the blame becomes the challenge. Q
Avoid Red Ink With Green Leases, (Journal of Property Management, Sept./Oct. 2010). – The movement toward sustainable or green building is well past its infancy, and continues to gain momentum. Green leases need to keep pace, and reflect the environmental and economic goals of both tenants and landlords. Q
The Importance of 'Greening' Your Commercial Lease, (Real Estate Issues, Spring 2010). – With demand increasing for leasable space in green buildings, it may be surprising that there is no widely accepted definition of a "green" lease. Q
New law to allow tenants to showcase their energy efficiency efforts, (National Real Estate Investor, May 15, 2015).
Bullitt Center tops its green goals, is making energy to spare, (The Seattle Times, Mar. 28, 2015).
White House Acknowledges EAH Housing for Commitment to Solar, (EAH, June 25, 2014).
The ABCs of “Greening” the Warehouse Facility, (Area Development Site and Facility Planning, Summer 2013). – Determining the warehouse facility's carbon footprint - and then reducing it as much as possible - can put your company on the road to environmental sustainability. Q
New Building Standards Focus on Efficiency, Comfort, and Lighting, (Buildings, June 2011). – Three organizations aim to boost commercial building performance by premiering new standards and guidelines. Q
Lighting Upgrades 101, (Journal of Property Management, Sept./Oct. 2010). – Lighting upgrades are a simple way to cut costs, reduce energy, enhance property valuation and support the environment. Q
Property Managers Can Reduce Energy Use & Expenses Through Green Practices, (Journal of Property Management, May/June 2009). Q
Low-cost fixes can yield big savings, (National Real Estate Investor, Oct. 2008). – Property owners and managers can ease into a green operations program by taking low-cost measures to conserve energy before committing to a complete green building renovation.
Other Ways to Green Your Management
7 Easy Ways to Make Your Rental Property Management Business Greener, (Propertyware, Oct. 27, 2015).
Xeriscaping cuts properties’ water use, maintenance, (Environmental Leader, Apr. 23, 2015).
Green day: the city and landlords are going green, (Commercial Observer, Apr. 22, 2015).
Should commercial properties harvest rainwater to save money?, (Fluid Treatment Systems, Feb. 12, 2015).
A Path to Net-zero Water, (Buildings, Aug. 2013). – Flood your building with these water reclamation strategies. Q
Compost Moves Up in NYC, (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 21, 2013). – Half-eaten salads tossed out by Midtown office workers these days can end up being carted to an upstate compost farm and then returned to Midtown buildings for use as fertilizer on green rooftops.
We Kid You Not: Goats Offer a Greener—And Leaner—Way to Manage Your Land, (Journal of Property Management, Nov./Dec. 2010). – If you're interested in greening your property, you might want to enlist the help of some goats. Q
Going Native, (Planning, Nov. 2008). – One California city uses indigenous plants—and saves water—in three small parks. Q
Raise the Roof, (Journal of Property Management, July/Aug. 2008). – Green roofs can provide many benefits that a typical roof system cannot, such as decreased heating and cooling costs, better property aesthetics and increased roof life. Q
Websites, Journals & Certification Programs
Building and Environment — Original papers and review articles on research, technology, and tool development related to building science and human interaction with the built environment.
Journal of Green Building — A research journal, focused on green building, in which half of the articles are peer-reviewed.
Journal of Sustainable Real Estate — This independent journal intends to foster truth surrounding the myriad questions of how to become more efficient, healthier, and more productive while recognizing that economics and regulation will drive the sustainable real estate market.
US Green Building Council — Committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.
Energy Star for Buildings and Plants — Created in 1992 by the EPA, the Energy Star program has since gone international and is one of the leading marks for energy efficiency in the world for consumer goods, homes and buildings.
The Green — BOMA International's green resource page.
Green Resource Council — The website for NAR's Green designation.
IREM First: Sustainability — The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) is dedicated to supporting real estate management strategies that advance an environmentally sustainable and economically prosperous future.
LEED Rating Systems — The leading commercial building certification standard in the United States, sponsored by the US Green Building Council.
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
The Green Building Bottom Line (Adobe Reader)
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Greening Your Business (Kindle, Adobe Reader)
Green Buildings A to Z (Kindle, Adobe Reader)
Green Business Practices for Dummies® (Kindle, Adobe Reader)
The Landlord’s Kit (Adobe eReader)
Land Use Law for Sustainable Development (Adobe Reader)
Smart Green: How to Implement Sustainable Business Practices in Any Industry—And Make Money (Kindle, Adobe Reader)
Sustainable Energy Systems in Architectural Design (Adobe Reader)
Sustainable Facilities (Adobe Reader)
Sustainable Property Development (Adobe Reader)
Sustainable Residential Development (Adobe eReader)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.
A Practical Guide to Green Real Estate Management, (Chicago: IREM, 2009).
Lease Guide: Guide to Writing a Commercial Real Estate Lease including Green Lease Language, (Chicago: BOMA International, 2008).
Green Retail: Selected Readings, Oct. 2007, (Washington DC: Urban Land Institute, 2007).
Green Buildings: Selected References, September 2006, (Washington DC: Urban Land Institute, 2006).
Sustainable Property Development: A Guide to Real Estate and the Environment, (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2004).
Green Buildings Pay, (New York: Spon Press, 2003).
Field Guides & More
These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:
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