The New York Times has quietly added a new search item to their online real estate section that is sure to please anyone in the market for eco-friendly new digs. You can now search for “green buildings” along with other popular features like dishwashers, swimming pools and pre-war buildings!

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The Times’ inclusion of “green buildings” may be a little forward-thinking, as our searches kept rendering the message, “We’re sorry, but no listings match your specified criteria at this time”. However, it’s not that there aren’t any green listings on The New York Times’s site – it’s just that they aren’t currently flagged as such. For example, a search for the address of The Lucida, a luxury LEED-certified condo development uptown, renders nine listings. Hopefully brokers listing apartments will catch on to the new search term, so that eco-conscious buyers can easily find homes that meet their green needs.

Interestingly, you are only given the option to search for “green building” in the for sale section of the listings, not in the rentals. This seems like an odd distinction to make, especially with green rental buildings like the Tribeca Green and the Solaire. A quick scan of other major newspapers didn’t turn up any other sites with an eco-friendly search term in their real estate listings, suggesting the Times seems to be the first to offer the option.

When we tried to reach The New York Times to discover how long this new search item had been in place, no one was available for comment. Meanwhile, a Times sales-rep whom we spoke to seem surprised to hear that it was an option in the real estate listings. Anyone know when the Times decided to include “green buildings” as a search term?

+ New York Times Real Estate