How Your Lease Can Make Your Buildings Better Green Lease Leaderspast recipients This year, Spring brings a fresh start, not only from new buds on the trees, but also from continued vaccine rollout that is sparking fresh conversations about what a return to offices, schools, and other public gathering spaces look like. Many of these conversations, of course, focus on how space design and operations can address health and safety concerns. Can the ventilation system provide enough fresh air? Can the office layout shift to accommodate more flexible spacing and schedules? But who is responsible for investing in which improvements? For most landlords and tenants, the answer lies in the lease. Many leases complicate the challenges of making upgrades, because they cause split incentives. This means that in many leases, one party (say, the tenant) might reap the benefits of an intervention (such as a healthier space and lower energy bills as a result of an HVAC upgrade) but the other party (the landlord in this case) would need to pay for it without seeing the direct benefits. Quite often, no action is taken, and both sides miss out on potential savings and health benefits. The good news is that the lease doesn’t have to be a barrier to landlord-tenant collaboration. If you look at the application for IMT's long-standing Green Lease Leaders program, you'll see the template for a more productive lease. You can also look at past recipients to learn more about what this lease looks like in execution. The template's use also extends far beyond the recognition program itself, as you can see below in our new work kicking off with the City of Cincinnati. If you'd like to learn more about how a green lease might work for you, feel free to reach out. As the world begins to reopen, we hope we can all take the opportunity to rethink how buildings can better operate to improve health, reduce energy, save money and better serve communities. Quick Read The Green Lease Leaders program awards forward-thinking landlords, tenants, and transaction teams who are using their lease as a tool for reaching health, efficiency, and sustainability goals. Last year, the 2020 Green Lease Leaders represented portfolios totaling more than 1 billion square feet and comprised a diverse range of buildings. Learn more about the program and apply for national recognition by March 31. Quick Read From city government leaders and real estate innovators to technology implementers, these changemakers are positively transforming their communities through high-performance buildings. Catch up on stories from the women of energy efficiency, and meet some new IMT faces in the process. Governmental Members Lose Right to Vote on Model Energy Code eliminate governmental member votingEnergy-Efficient Codes Coalition The International Code Council (ICC) Board of Directors voted to eliminate governmental member voting from the final determination of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), leaving local, state, and federal government members without a voice in the code development process. Despite this unfortunate decision, IMT and the Energy-Efficient Codes Coalition will continue to push forward and promote adoption of the 2021 IECC, which is the most efficient model code to date. How This Impacts Our Building's Future Quick Read IMT is collaborating with The WarmUp Cincy capital grants program in a pilot program to explore how green leasing best practices, and the Green Lease Leader (GLL) program, can benefit small affordable multifamily building owners in Cincinnati. With support from the American Cities Climate Challenge, IMT is engaging building owners to complete a baseline assessment of their energy efficiency practices and plan efficiency improvements. WarmUp Cincy will provide up to $5000 in matching grants for energy efficiency upgrades to Cincinnati multifamily building owners with tenants at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. From this pilot, IMT will create a toolkit designed for small multifamily buildings owners that will inform best practices of communication, energy data, and operational action to ensure the capital projects will see deeper savings for tenants and owners. By using GLL, the pilot will also give building owners a national opportunity to be recognized for their actions.