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Environmental Request to Landlord

Recycle: Environment Friendly 2The information in this section helps lawyers who rent space communicate to their landlords reasons for becoming environmentally conscious, and how to start the process.

Why make your building green?

Buildings have a tremendous effect on the environment. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, buildings in America consume more than 30 percent of the total energy and 60 percent of the annual electricity. They also consume 5 billion gallons of potable water each day. An average commercial construction project will produce up to 2.5 pounds of solid waste per square foot of floor space.

By implementing green building practices, you can substantially reduce these negative environmental impacts. You will also receive the added benefits of reducing your operating costs, enhancing your building's marketability, increasing tenant/worker productivity and reducing your potential liability resulting from indoor air quality issues.

The bottom line is that by making your building green, you are creating an environment that is more healthy and more energy and resource efficient.

The financial misconception of making your building green

There is a misconception that taking steps to make your building green is not worth the investment. In fact, the opposite is true in most cases. As it relates to energy reduction, many corporations will fund your entire energy savings project by the savings that the project creates. These companies will also guarantee the savings in writing. The reality is that once you have completed steps to make your building green, it becomes more attractive and marketable to potential tenants and buyers.

Another misconception is that making a building green is not worth the time or effort because landlords can simply charge all operational costs back to the tenant. Again, the opposite is true in most cases. For example, if the landlord is able to achieve operational savings by making the building green, the landlord can actually receive a higher effective rent. This is simply because all marketable rents contain a rent component and an operational component. If the operational component goes down, then the effective rent component can be increased.

The bottom line is that as more buildings go green, the ones that have not taken steps to become more efficient will lose value on a relative basis.

For more information, or to get involved e-mail Eco-challenge.

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association