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How to Use LEED-CI

Today's tip is about the LEED for Commercial Interiors rating system. If you manage tenant space, now is a good time to take a look at LEED-CI before the rating system changes next June.

One of the more surprising things about LEED-CI is that you can get up to 37 points for energy efficiency strategies in tenant space. Tenants often assume there isn’t much that can be done about energy use in their space, but LEED-CI provides a good blueprint for ways to be efficient — including lighting power, lighting controls, enhanced commissioning, and buying green power. Like most LEED-CI strategies, at the very least, the energy efficiency category provides a good opportunity to have a conversation with the owner, landlord and property managers about what can be done to reduce energy.

The next most points-rich category is sustainable sites, which again seems a bit illogical, since tenants are more or less locked into their sites. But this category provides points for strategies like access to public transportation - which means, if tenants have LEED-CI certification in their future plans, it behooves them to pick a building near such public transportation. But tenants also earn points for bicycle storage and changing rooms and parking availability.

Using sustainable materials and resources, including materials that enhance indoor air quality, in the tenant build-out is also a key way to earn LEED-CI points. Use certified wood, materials with recycled content, and paints, adhesives, flooring systems and systems furniture that meet acceptable levels of low-VOC emissions.

Ultimately, success or failure with LEED-CI comes down to a careful cooperation between the tenant, its occupants and landlords and property managers. But securing a sustainable tenant space can be a good way, as studies are increasingly showing, to attracting and retaining the top talent.


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