Last week at the International Builders' Show
in Las Vegas, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shared the results of a country-wide survey commissioned in order to more accurately gauge the satisfaction levels of green homeowners
. And not at all surprisingly, a majority of the 187 respondents that participated in the survey are happy as clams with 94 percent of them stating that they’d enthusiastically recommend purchasing a green home to friends and family.
Conducted by GuildQuality on behalf of the NAHB, the survey
consisted of 37 qualitative and quantitative questions specifically geared toward the original owners of National Green Building Standard
-certified homes built within the last three years. Although the homes in question were largely of the single-family variety, a small number of NGBS-certified condos and townhomes also played into the mix.
Fifty-percent of respondents acknowledged that the price tags on their homes were a bit higher than comparable conventional counterparts lacking energy- and water-saving features but believe the benefits ultimately outweigh the costs. Eighty-eight percent of respondents “strongly agreed” that they were fully aware that they were buying/building a certified green home and when asked if they would purchase another green home in the future, 92 percent of respondents answered “yes.”
Perhaps the most interesting takeaway of the survey has to do with the specific green attributes that were most important to homeowners when buying or building an eco-friendly abode. The phrase “insulation” came up repeatedly as did “efficiency.” Other desired features singled out by respondents were “heating/cooling,” “geothermal,” “solar,” and “windows.”
Breaking down overall satisfaction levels, green homeowners were most satisfied with “low utility bills” and “energy efficiency” (both 25) followed by “insulation” (22) and “heating and air systems” (17). When asked what green aspects of their home that they were least satisfied with, 87 of respondents opted to list nothing while 20 pinpointed “water efficiency/usage” as being an area that could use some work.
Matt Belcher, a Missouri-based builder and co-chair of the NAHB's Energy & Green Building Subcommittee, explains the importance of switching things and conducting a customer satisfaction survey instead of, once again, tapping builders for their thoughts on the topic of green building trends: “Historically, studies have focused on interest in green among buyers in the market or on trends as reported by industry professionals. While that’s certainly important information for all those in the industry, it doesn’t always get to the heart of what new buyers want to know, which is: ‘How satisfied are green homeowners with their decision?’ This data provides groundbreaking information that can be of value to the general public as well as the industry.”
You can take a look at the full survey results here
(PDF). Certified green homeowners (and not just NGBS homeowners): Are you fully satisfied with your decision? What features of your home are you most or least pleased with? Any specific regrets? And what was your motivation in the first place? Was it influenced more by sustainability and the long-term health of the planet or more of a financial choice? A lil' bit of both?
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