‘Green leases’ would reduce energy use in existing buildings

Keiber, Siemens

The energy performance of an existing building could be improved if there is an agreement between a building owner and a tenant, dubbed a ‘green lease’.

At a press conference in Taipei, attended by Middle East Architect, Dr Hubert Keiber, head of building automation for Siemens, asserted that most building owners are unwilling to invest in energy saving measures.

He said: “There is a dilemma that’s not solved at the moment. Who gets the profit if someone invests in an energy saving measure? The tenant gets it, but the owner has to take the investment.”


The chairman of the US Green Building Council, Mark MacCracken, retorted: “Work has been done on green leases, which deals with that dilemma. Essentially what happens is there’s an agreement.”

MacCracken elaborated: “Let’s say it’s $30 a square foot per year, to rent the space. The energy in the building may cost $2 a square foot, but the energy improvements might [bring it down] to 50 cents a square foot.

“The lease might say that the savings are split 50-50,  [but the tenant has to  pay an extra] 1$ per square foot difference per lease.  It’s just not that big a difference on top the initial $30. If you can get green leases to be standard, that will really make a big shift in the energy performance of existing buildings.”

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