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Rendering of new Boulder Commons. Image courtesy of Morgan Creek Ventures

Net-Zero Energy Leasing

RMI is working with industry leaders to deliver leases that save energy and costs for landlords and tenants alike. RMI’s green leasing resources helped it secure a Green Lease Leaders award through the Department of Energy and the Institute for Market Transformation.

What Is Net-Zero Energy Leasing?

RMI is developing green leasing guidelines that landlords across the public and private sectors can use to drive buildings to use less energy, benefit landlords and tenants financially, and support the benefits of healthier, more productive workplaces.

Why It Matters

Net-zero energy buildings have experienced a boom in popularity. But despite industry progress, the number of leased NZE buildings lags significantly behind the number of owner-occupied projects. Over half of commercial buildings nationally are leased, so this presents a significant impediment to meeting carbon reduction targets.

Who's Involved

RMI has worked with the federal government (GSA and Department of Energy), the Urban Land Institute, and the Institute for Market Transformation on national efforts. At Boulder Commons, Morgan Creek Ventures worked with RMI and its counsel, the legal team at Holland & Hart, to develop a first-of-its-kind lease structure that built a strong business case for both tenants and landlords to actively contribute to meet the development’s goals.

What We’ve Accomplished

  • RMI worked with the team at Boulder Commons to develop Colorado’s first NZE lease, and the first NZE lease in the country for a project of this size, setting a new precedent for other landlords and tenants to follow.
  • RMI helped lead the GSA Green Building Advisory Committee develop clear, simple and actionable model green lease criteria that can be used by the federal government and the commercial real estate industry to drive toward green leasing practices.
  • RMI developed the guide Best Practices for Leasing NZE Buildings, which demonstrates the value proposition for tenants and landlords alike of net zero energy in leased buildings. This guide provides national case studies, lease terms, and a step-by-step guide, and most importantly, it breaks down the business case.

Resources

Designing a Successful Net-Zero Energy Lease

BOMA Magazine, September 2018

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Report

Best Practices for Leasing NZE Buildings, 2018

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Contract

RMI Net-Zero Lease Agreement at Boulder Commons (Redacted), 2017

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Application

Completed application for Boulder Commons Green Lease Leaders, 2017

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Collaboration

BOMA Tenant/Landlord Engagement

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Article

How Low Can you Go? Boulder Net Zero Office Tests New Ways to Save Energy—Colorado Public Radio, 2017

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Blog

Boulder Commons Sets New Standard for Net-Zero Leases, 2017

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Blog

Three Top Trends Driving Green Lease Leaders, 2017

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Article

The hidden secrets of Rocky Mountain Institute's new net-zero office—Virgin.com, 2017

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Article

Sustainability Gets Serious: Drafting Multi-Tenant Office Leases for Net Zero Energy Buildings—American Bar Association, 2017

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Our Partners

US General Services Administration

Partner

Urban Land Institute

Partner

Morgan Creek Ventures

Partner

Department of Energy Green Lease Leaders

Partner

Institute for Market Transformation

Partner

John Madden Company

Partner