Earlier this month, McGraw-Hill Construction released a whopper of a report at the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) National Green Building Conference and Expo in Nashville that provides some interesting/ encouraging insight into the $17 billion green home construction and remodeling market. As I previously reported, construction of eco-friendly, single-family homes represented an impressive 17 percent of the overall American residential construction market in 2011 and is forecasted to rise 29 to 38 percent by 2016.
The 56-page “SmartMarket Report: New and Remodeled Green Homes: Transforming the Residential Market” goes into greater detail in describing the trends and key practices in green construction and remodeling and, not too surprisingly, energy-efficient features are huge … “pervasive” as a summary of the report puts it. Of the 416 builders and remodelers surveyed for the report, 80 percent said that the use of energy-efficient technologies is what’s making homes greener than they were two years ago. Also big is indoor air quality, with 60 percent of those surveyed reporting that an emphasis on indoor air quality-improving features is making homes greener compared to two years ago. More than half of builders and remodelers surveyed pinpointed the use of durable/high-quality building materials as another key practice that's making homes more green.
So what’s driving growth in the green home construction and remodeling market? Those surveyed single out two factors: quality and value. Roughly two thirds of builders report that customers, many who perceive green homes as being of better quality than traditional homes, go the green route to save money and to lower their utility bills. Potential utility bill savings is twice as more predominant than any other growth factor. Additionally, high initial costs are reported as being much less of an obstacle for green builders and remodelers than they were several years ago.
Says Harvey Bernstein, vice president of Industry Insights and Alliances at McGraw-Hill Construction, in a release summarizing the findings:
In the current residential market, there is an enormous need to differentiate your homes for consumers. When builders are able to offer homes that not only are green, but also offer the combination of higher quality and better value, they have a major competitive edge over those building traditional homes.
Click here to download the entire report for free.