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Two years post crash and builders are re-discovering the cost efficiencies of building to green, or specifically USGBC’s LEED standards. Suddenly, it seems, every new building project – the relatively few there are – proudly proclaims intentions to design to LEED Gold or higher standards. New leases as well, at least those that entail build outs, also take pains to point to their adherence to LEED. Increasingly, though, I am also noticing builders venture out into new areas of green that don’t come with the bona fides of USGBC’s green stamp of approval. In Oahu, Hawaii, for instance, Pearlridge Center is mulling over whether it will install photovoltaic solar panels. Energy savings are a driver, but the main point of the project is to provide shade to the roughly 3,000 uncovered parking spaces as the immense mall, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. (Pearlridge, as an aside, was purchased in a JV between Glimcher Realty Trust and an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors for $245 million last year.)

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