Lord, the founder of Dallas-based LORD Green Real EstateStrategies, presented an overview called "Elements of Green Leases"that outlined how to go about creating green leases and offeredadvice to building owners on how to get tenants to go along withgreen requirements in leases. Conventional building leases ingeneral do not support green requirements and in fact can bebarriers to sustainability initiatives, Lord pointed out.

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"Green leases are standard leases that are modified to removethese barriers," Lord explained. She recommended against trying toalter existing, in-place leases but advised instead that buildingowners should fashion green leases that tenants can sign whenleases roll over.

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Lord noted that BOMA has created standard green lease languagethat its members can use as a model. The green lease language ispart of the organization's lease guide, called Guide to Writing aCommercial Real Estate Lease, features step-by-step instructions tohelp building owners and managers write green operations andmanagement practices into their leases.

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A green lease establishes environmental standards for a buildingand provides greater assurance for tenants and building ownersalike that environmental standards will be met, Lord said. Shenoted that recent surveys show that 54% of tenants who were polledsay that a high-performance, sustainable green building operationis either "important" or "very important" to them.

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Lord emphasized the importance of communicating with tenants toexplain the role that they play in greening a building and toinform them of the cost savings that they can realize through greenpractices relating to energy and water use, waste-disposalpractices, purchasing of green products and adoption of practicesto improve indoor quality. "Green practices are learnedbehavior--you're going to have to train them," Lord said. She alsoadvised building owners to school their leasing agents about theadvantages of green practices so that they will support the greenleasing effort.

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Lord's presentation was one of more than a doze on Tuesday'sfinal day of the annual BOMA conference and office building show,which this year focused on the business case for going green.Speakers and panelists addressed a host of subjects, ranging fromtechniques for implementing green operations in large portfolios topractical strategies for the continual improvement of existingbuildings.

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Throughout the conference, speakers and panelists emphasized theopportunities presented by adopting sustainable buildingdevelopment and management practices. Many of the conferencesessions focused on the cost savings that can be realized throughsuch practices and offered practical advice on how to introducegreen practices into every facet of building management.

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