Report Finds Things Looking Greener Than Ever for Green Building

McGraw-Hill Construction, in conjunction with the ...

McGraw-Hill Construction, in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders, recently released a report on residential green building trends.

And it seems green building may be one of the most successful word-of-mouth marketing campaigns of the past few years, according to the article talking points.

The major findings of the report include:

  • The green homes market is expected to rise from $2 billion to possibly $20 billion over the next five years(!)
  • Pre-existing home remodeling jobs are including 40% green products.
  • Green homeowners are recommending their sustainable home offerings much more than other industries are being recommended.
  • Operating costs, energy reduction and family health are all driving factors in investing in a green home.

Another key report finding? Education and awareness was ranked more important than any other obstacle to green building. Previous surveys showed cost perception was most important. That’s interesting, given the growth the study found would indicate green building is more widely known than it’s ever been — but as previous surveys have found, cost perception is often an issue, with industry experts sometimes overestimating the true cost of building green.

Yet more good green news is on the way: The NAHB is launching a National Green Building Program and green building residential standards, which National Association of Homebuilders CEO Jerry Howard said in a speech this week would be available by year’s end.

And the USGBC’s residential LEED for Homes standards are still due out this fall, according to its Web site — in development since 2000, the guidelines are expected to further influence green building in the residential community. (Although it’s unclear yet what the associated certification costs may be because they will be based on factors like home size and numbers of homes being built, which may deter some small builders.)

But do we still need to spread the green word? Absolutely. The over-time energy and other savings that can offset initial building expenses are a valid point; more builders, homeowners and developers need to know that.

Green homes are popular with homebuyers — and are selling: More industry players need to know that, too.

The bottom line: Green is going strong — but we’ve still got a lot of room to grow.