Press Release

BOMA Releases Updated Green Lease Guide Written by Ballard Spahr's Katherine Noonan

June 11, 2018

Katherine M. Noonan, a Ballard Spahr real estate attorney who represents developers in mixed-use projects, including complex leasing transactions, served as lead writer for the first update in seven years to the model leasing guide published by Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International.

Green Lease Guide: A Guide for Landlords and Tenants to Collaborate on Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Practices is the most recent update to BOMA's model lease agreement, which the D.C.-based trade association has provided for more than 30 years. Starting in 2005, BOMA greened its model lease to provide the industry with a step-by-step guide on how to execute a lease with sustainability attributes.

The updated guide is a useful resource for both landlords and tenants who have made sustainability a priority. Green building standards and practices are constantly changing, and the revised form lease addresses a number of key advances while maintaining flexibility. The 2018 edition also includes sample provisions and negotiating tips to address energy efficiency and sustainable practices. It addresses how to write green operations and management practices into lease agreements, as well as legal language to facilitate ongoing implementation of sustainable building practices. The new Green Lease Guide covers all aspects of a standard lease agreement, such as models for prime lease agreements, guaranties of leases, and form subleases.

Based in Ballard Spahr's Washington, D.C., office, Ms. Noonan wrote the updated guide under the direction and with the assistance of a distinguished panel of BOMA editors, contributors, and Green Lease Task Force members.

The new guide highlights changes since the 2011 publication of BOMA International's Commercial Lease: Guide to Sustainable and Energy Efficient Leasing for High-Performance Buildings by Steven A. Teitelbaum. It includes updates on:

  • green certifications;
  • revised Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) rules;
  • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs;
  • green capital improvements;
  • electricity generation and energy usage; and
  • rooftop issues, including green roofs.

In her practice, Ms. Noonan has significant leasing experience representing both landlords and tenants in a range of office and retail lease matters. She also works with developer and association clients on compliance with governing documents and project operations, including compliance with local laws in the disposition of multifamily residential projects. She has represented lenders and borrowers in a variety of energy projects, including solar, hydroelectric, and gas-fired electric generation facilities, addressing the specific real estate issues related to acquisition and financing.

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a federation of 88 BOMA U.S. associations and 18 international affiliates. Founded in 1907, BOMA represents the owners and managers of all commercial property types including 10.5 billion square feet of U.S. office space that supports 1.7 million jobs and contributes $234.9 billion to the U.S. GDP. Its mission is to advance a vibrant commercial real estate industry through advocacy, influence, and knowledge.

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