Real Property Association of Canada develops Canadian "green" standard office lease for the commercial property sector



    TORONTO, June 3 /CNW/ - The Real Property Association of Canada today
released the first "green" office lease for the Canadian commercial real
estate industry. The National Standard Green Office Lease is a modified
version of the National Standard Office Lease, which REALpac has published
continuously since 2002.
    The REALpac Green Office Lease incorporates the latest sustainability
principles and objectives into REALpac's state-of-the-art National Standard
Office Lease, and enables landlords and tenants to set targets for energy,
water, indoor air quality, and recycling, and enables landlords to carry out
"green" renovations to existing building stock. The Lease also anticipates and
provides for both carbon offsetting by a landlord, and future carbon trading.
    Until now, office leases generally did not encourage environmentally
sustainable behaviours, nor deal with new issues such as mandated energy and
water conservation, and the availability of new, sustainable, building
materials, equipment and furniture. Indeed, some leases restrain a landlord's
ability to upgrade buildings and to make them consume less energy, water and
raw materials.
    The REALpac Green Office Lease is flexible enough to accommodate the
required adjustments in environmental operations and standards in the future.
"We knew as an industry, the Canadian commercial property sector could do more
to reduce its resource consumption and become more efficient," said Michael
Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of REALpac.
    Canada's commercial landlords have consistently sought to reduce energy
consumption over the years, through improved insulation and windows, by
undertaking lighting retrofits, heating, ventilation and air conditioning
retrofits, installation of energy efficient equipment, and through best
practices in energy measuring, monitoring and management. With the REALpac
Green Office Lease, tenants have an opportunity to both support landlords'
energy and resource conservation initiatives and facilitate the social change
necessary within their organizations to achieve real reductions in direct and
indirect energy consumption and natural resource use. "Both landlords and
tenants must have the same goal, and be ready to make the changes needed to
achieve these goals," Brooks added.
    REALpac's "National Standard Green Office Lease for Single-Building
Projects - 1.01 - 2008" was developed through the Association's Green Lease
Committee, comprised of lawyers, sustainability experts, leasing specialists
and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(R)) Accredited
Professionals. REALpac would like to thank the members of its Green Lease
Committee which included representation from the following REALpac Member
Companies: Allied Properties REIT, Bentall Capital LP, CB Richard Ellis
Limited, Colliers International Inc., Cushman & Wakefield LePage Inc., FCB
Property Management Services, GWL Realty Advisors Inc., Ivanhoe Cambridge,
Manulife Financial, Ontario Realty Corporation, Oxford Properties Group Inc.,
Redcliff Realty Management Inc., Scotiabank, Sun Life Assurance Company of
Canada, and The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited. "The members of the
Green Lease Committee and the companies they represent value REALpac's
commitment to helping Canada's commercial real estate industry develop and
apply leading environmental principles. The REALpac Green Office Lease is an
example of that commitment in action", said Alec Svoboda, Assistant
Vice-President and Senior Counsel at Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada and
a member of the Green Lease Committee.
    In fulfilling REALpac's values of Excellence, Leadership and Citizenship,
the REALpac Green Office Lease is available as a free download from the
Association's website at www.realpac.ca. While the application of the REALpac
Green Office Lease is intended for office projects, the "green" elements of
the lease, particularly the Environmental Management Plan contained as
Schedule "E", are also transposable with appropriate modification to retail
and institutional leases. It is REALpac's goal that the Green Office Lease
will become the industry standard model lease for landlords, large and small,
and their tenants.

    About the Real Property Association of Canada

    REALpac is Canada's premier industry association for investment real
property leaders. REALpac's mission is to bring together the country's real
property investment leaders to collectively influence public policy, to
educate government and the public, and to ensure stable and beneficial real
estate capital and property markets in Canada.
    REALpac Members currently own in excess of CDN $150 Billion in real
estate assets located in the major centres across Canada and include real
estate investment trusts, publicly traded and large private companies, banks,
brokerages, crown corporations, investment dealers, life companies, and
pension funds. Visit REALpac at www.realpac.ca.


    
    Backgrounder

            Real Property Association of Canada develops Canadian
       "green" standard office lease for the commercial property sector
    

    While the need for and benefits of "green" commercial buildings have been
discussed for several years, it became apparent to the Real Property
Association of Canada (REALpac) that commercial office landlords increasingly
needed a "green" lease to maintain new "green" buildings, and to effectively
convert existing buildings to make them more sustainable in their energy
performance, water and resource consumption, and indoor air quality.
    REALpac recognised this need and took the initiative to develop a Green
Office Lease based on its existing National Standard Office Lease, a precedent
commercial office lease that was developed by REALpac and based on the best in
class lease documents in place with major landlords. The National Standard
Office Lease has been continuously updated over the years, and has been widely
used in the marketplace. It has been offered as a free download on the
Association's website since 2002 (www.realpac.ca under "Standards"). REALpac's
National Standard Office Lease provided an excellent platform from which to
build the new "National Standard Green Office Lease for Single-Building
Projects - 1.01 - 2008".
    Traditional commercial office leases determine the business relationship
between a landlord and tenant including what space is being occupied, the
rent, who can do what, when, how, and who pays. Most commercial office leases
do not clearly state environmental goals that landlords and tenants should try
to achieve, do not set rules to enable the building to get there, do not allow
for costs to be appropriately allocated, nor do they anticipate future green
issues such as carbon trading.
    By contrast, the REALpac Green Office Lease encourages the use of
sustainable materials in tenant improvements, and encourages sustainable
practices by both the landlord and the tenant in the management, use and
occupation of the building. The REALpac Green Office Lease removes
disincentives to reduced energy, water and raw material consumption,
encourages increased recycling, and works to ensure that tenants and landlords
adopt environmentally friendly practices.
    Among other things, the REALpac Green Lease enables the following to be
addressed:

    
    -   Energy conservation/efficiency targets;
    -   Water conservation measures;
    -   Comprehensive landlord and tenant procurement guidelines;
    -   Requirements for natural or low water consumption landscaping;
    -   The ability to specify higher cost but sustainable energy sources;
    -   Indoor air quality standards;
    -   Use of environmentally friendly carpet cleaning products by the
        landlord and tenant;
    -   Daylighting, and the usage of screens to shield the sun's rays;
    -   Efficient appliances and fixtures;
    -   Waterless urinals, low flow faucets and taps;
    -   The use of EnergyStar rated photocopiers and printers that reuse
        paper, or print double sided;
    -   A building operations and management standard, such as LEED EB or Go
        Green Plus;
    -   Incentives to invest in new energy efficient equipment, and cost
        apportionment of the capital costs;
    -   Heating, ventilation and air conditioning specifications;
    -   Requirements to limit waste production by the tenant, both in initial
        fit-out, and in ongoing operations;
    -   Obligations for the landlord to recycle with multiple waste streams;
    -   Obligations for the landlord to reconcile the targeted building
        maintenance standard (e.g. "first class office building") to an
        emerging green standard (e.g. Leadership in Energy and Environmental
        Design Existing Building (LEED EB) or equivalent standard;
    -   The allocation of carbon credits;
    -   The ability of the landlord to purchase "green power", even if it
        costs more, and pass the costs on to the tenants; and
    -   Dispute resolution procedures and references to third party experts.
    

    Commercial leases are long lived agreements, and landlords need to be
able to update these documents now to ensure their ability to upgrade
buildings within the next 5 to 10 years. The REALpac Green Lease may be used
"as is" by landlords and tenants, large and small. In addition, users are
welcome to use individual clauses or wording from the REALpac Green Lease that
are applicable to their unique situation.





For further information:

For further information: Michael Brooks, Chief Executive Officer,
REALpac, (416) 642-2700 x.225, or refer to the Backgrounder.

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