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Today's tip is about how you can prepare a building for tenants who may be interested in certifying their space with the LEED for Commercial Interiors rating system. In today's ultracompetitive leasing environment, it's imperative that property managers do just about anything they can to give their buildings a competitive advantage. With more and more tenants interested in sustainability in general and LEED-CI certification in particular, a few tips to ease their certification goals can go along way.
For instance, make sure to conduct an inventory of building-level HVAC systems to determine if any still use CFC refrigerants. For tenants to achieve CI certification, they must be in a building whose HVAC uses only non-CFC refrigerants. It's a LEED-CI prerequisite. Another is compliance with ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for energy and ASHRAE 62.1 for ventilation for indoor air quality. If a tenant is interested in LEED-CI and your building doesn't meet that minimum energy and ventilation performance, there's a good chance they'll pass on to one that does.
Other strategies are simpler: Property managers should designate an area of the building for recycling collection and storage. This meets a Materials and Resources prerequisite. Another easy one - which is a no-brainer these days - is to prohibit smoking in a building and within 25 feet of entrances.
Finally, a good strategy is to put together a manual that familiarizes potential tenants with building-level systems, and shows them how they can implement LEED-based strategies in their space. This will help them along the path to certification.