I am in the process of responding to a LEED reviewer comment concerning how to claim lighting power density reductions and improved HVAC efficiency in tenant spaces of a Core and Shell energy modeling submission.

For my initial LEED submission, I did provide the tenant lease agreement language which specified the minimum tenant HVAC efficiency requirements and the maximum tenant lighting power densities by space type. I was attempting to follow the direction given in LEED v4 manual on page 363 in the Core and Shell section: "projects can claim credit for energy reductions in tenant spaces if those reductions (such as lighting power density reductions or improved HVAC efficiency) are required through a tenant lease agreement or other legally binding document." I provided that information in my submission and therefore I claimed those tenant savings in my energy modeling.

However I received a LEED Design Review comment stating that an unsigned or sample lease agreement is not acceptable for claiming savings for the tenant spaces in the energy modeling. The LEED comment stated I needed to provide tenant lease agreements signed by both the building owner and tenants(s). In my case, I will need to provide multiple lease agreements as the project will have more than one building tenant. Finally, the comment said that cost savings cannot be claimed for any space for which there is not yet a tenant with a signed lease agreement.

The building owner right now is reluctant to provide the signed lease agreements because there being proprietary information within the agreements between the building owner and the various tenants. Unfortunately, given how the project is currently scoring overall, not taking credit for the tenant improvements could jeopardize whether the project becomes LEED certified.  

Differences in the LEED v4 manual and design review comment aside, my main question here is what is the best way to make everyone happy? Given the situation, my response to the LEED review comment is very important especially if I do not want to end up making further LEED appeals.

In my previous LEED Core and Shell design review experience (v2009), I understood that a signed letter of commitment from the building owner stating that a sample lease agreement (reviewed by LEED) used with future tenants was acceptable for claiming energy savings if the building was not fully occupied. The current LEED review comment I have states that is not the case anymore. Does anyone know if this requirement in fact has changed?

Any help or thoughts on this situation would be greatly apprenticed.

Thank you for your time in advance.