More people in Hawaii are joining the eco-crowd
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GREEN USED TO BE for Hawaii's hippies, loners and true believers, but it's rapidly going mainstream. First, state public buildings sought higher efficiency. Then, island companies began building more eco-friendly offices. And now, residential developers and buyers are seeking greener communities.
The oil crisis and the cost of electricity alone have prompted many home and remodeling contractors, as well as business owners and residents, to consider greener living. Hawaii companies like Maui Land and Pineapple, Actus Lend Lease, Dowling Co. and Ferraro Choi & Associates Ltd. have taken up the mantra started by mainland companies like Harley Davidson, Genzyme, Goldman Sachs, Hearst, IBM, JP Morgan Chase and Toyota.
New developments are building with low-emitting materials, using state-of-the-art sustainable land-use management plans, creating below-ground storm water retention ponds and photovoltaic power systems. They're positioning the buildings to make the most of Hawaii's breezes and they are stocking them with energy-star appliances and long-lasting fluorescent lighting systems.
Green-building principles are changing how Hawaii constructs and uses its workplaces, as well as our homes, schools, stores, medical facilities, and civic and cultural institutions.