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Singapore buildings put on a cool, green face

Eco-friendly certification scheme helps fulfill Lee Kuan Yew's garden city dreams

The Oasia Hotel Downtown in Singapore's Tanjong Pagar business district has trailing plants growing on its exterior to help cut the cost of cooling the building and to appeal to environmentally conscious guests. (Photo by Mayuko Tani)

SINGAPORE -- Hotels, stores and shopping malls in Singapore, looking for a way to cut their air conditioning bills and spruce up their environmental image, are increasingly adding greenery to their exterior walls.

The 27-story Oasia Hotel Downtown in the Tanjong Pagar business district, whose outer mesh cladding is swathed in trailing green plants, stands out among its high-rise neighbors. The Parkroyal on Pickering, a hotel in nearby Chinatown, has layers of balcony gardens.

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