Is the Green Lease dead?

A ‘green lease’ is a lease that includes provisions for specific responsibilities of the landlord and tenant regarding the sustainable operation of the property. These commonly relate to issues such as materials specification or energy and water efficiency but can consider the maintenance and operation of the building.

Previous versions of BREEAM (2008 and 2011) required elements of fit out to be included within a Green Lease or Green Building Guide particularly when the end user was not known and some guidance was available on the scope and nature of these.

The Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) were one of the first to help with their Green Lease Toolkit. The new 2014 version of BREEAM has removed the need for a Green Lease although tenants of older buildings may still face green clauses as part of older sustainability assessments.

However, developing in accordance with the green lease brings with it multiple benefits. This includes the cost savings associated with energy efficiency and water consumption but also designing an internal environment for health and wellbeing benefits. This not only benefits occupants but also leads to increased productivity in an office building or increased sales in retail development.

The BBP are now working to develop a Sustainable Fit-out Toolkit to provide industry best-practice on how sustainability can be incorporated in fit out projects.

It is clear that both owners and occupiers are becoming keen to ensure buildings reach increasing levels of environmental performance. Although Green Lease Agreements are now likely to be produced less frequently, compliance with fit out guides is more common and in turn increasingly focused on sustainability.

Greater consideration of these issues even when undertaking minor works to, for example, only a single floor in a building is important.

Greengage are seeing a number of owners and occupiers seeking to ensure that the relevant sustainability issues are practically and effectively incorporated into the fit out of commercial spaces and are assisting in this implementation.

For further details please contact Rob Miller.