Study: Strong Outlook for Green Homes

Consumers of all ages are interested in green, but a study they conducted finds consumers age 55 and older are the most important group driving the current green market.

WASHINGTON – Nov. 30, 2015 – Despite headwinds created by the cost of building green, a high percentage of homebuilders and remodelers already build green properties and expect to do so in the future. And it's not just for millennials. Homebuilders and remodelers say that consumers of all ages are interested in green, but a study they conducted finds consumers age 55 and older are the most important group driving the current green market.

The study, Green and Healthier Homes: Engaging Consumers of All Ages in Sustainable Living SmartMarket Report, was conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics in partnership with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Ply Gem Industries, a manufacturer of exterior building products in North America. It can be downloaded online.

Consumers' association of green with healthier homes leads to even higher potential for growth in the future, as do increased use of renewable technologies by 2018.

The 2015 study surveyed 232 builders and remodelers from across the U.S.

  • 54 percent of homebuilders are currently constructing at least 16 percent of their new homes green, and 39 percent of remodelers report that at least 16 percent of their remodeling projects are green.
  • By 2020, nearly all (81 percent) home builders will be constructing that level of green, with 51 percent building at least 60 percent of their new homes green.
  • By 2020, remodelers report a similar level of growth, with 74 percent making at least 16 percent of their projects green, and over one third (36 percent) completing over 60 percent of their projects green.

"Builders and remodelers have long recognized that green is the future of home building," says NAHB Chairman Tom Woods. "Since we first began partnering on this study with Dodge Data & Analytics in 2006, we've seen that commitment grow. The study's recent findings reinforce this continued growth, with new homeowner feedback showing a desire and expectation that new homes be high performing, particularly when it comes to energy conservation. Most builders recognize that they need to be at least conversant in green to stay competitive."

One key factor driving the growth of green is the association of green homes with healthier living. Builders and remodelers certainly recognize the potential: most (83 percent) believe that consumers will pay more for homes that are healthier.

"We have seen the commercial sector of the construction industry focus on the impact of buildings on the health of their occupants in the last few years, but these findings suggest that attention to healthier homes may offer an even higher gain for green in the residential market," said Steve Jones, Senior Director of Industry Insights at Dodge Data & Analytics.

Another factor leading to growth in the residential market is the increasing use of renewable energy. Renewable technologies is expected to grow across the board: By 2018, nearly half of home builders and remodelers expect to be using solar photovoltaic (48 percent) and ground source heat pump (52 percent) technologies.

Net zero homes are also emerging as an important trend, with nearly one quarter (21 percent) of home builders having built a net zero home in the last two years.

One interesting finding of the new study: The greatest impetus for green homes comes not from millennials as many people might expect, but from consumers age 55 and older.

Data from the study suggests that older adults' greater familiarity with home features leads to an emphasis on home performance. Therefore, as the environmentally minded millennials gain more experience with homeownership, it is quite possible that there could be even greater demand for green in the future.

© 2015 Florida Realtors® All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

1 reply
  1. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    The Palm Coast Project 1972

    1972 – ‘…An Approach to a New City: Palm Coast…’

    ‘…At Palm Coast, the preponderance of voices will have a city more satisfactory in the ecological sense than ever before anywhere….’

    It is self-evident that our earth is finite and that our population is growing. In ever increasing numbers, man must be sheltered, and the shelter, of course, must cover land. Transportation media to and from the shelter must cover land. Shops and service facilities must cover land. Who will say that land should not be cleared for at least these purposes, assuming an increase in population?
    Proceeding from this starting point, we quickly arrive at the most sensitive area of environmental turmoil: making certain that when man clears and improves land, he simultaneously maximizes environmental integrity and maintains ecosystem continuity. thus being the challenges to us at Palm Coast. In our deliveration on the environment and ecosystems, as will be seen, much consideration has been given to both plant and animal life. Every attempt has been and shall be made to assure maintenance of al parameters of life cycles. Literature, both scientific and lay, is full of differing criteria with regard to protection for various plants and animals. In all candor, there is no way that all the sincere voices can be satisfied.
    At Palm Coast, the preponderance of voices will have a city more satisfactory in the ecological sense than ever before anywhere. Neither perfection nor utopia will result…only the best that our talents, time, energies and resources can produce. At Palm Coast, given the fact of biological synergism, we do speak for plant life…and we do speak for animal…but most of all we speak for man.
    Dr. J. Norman Young
    Page 128

    What follows is of necessity an all too brief discussioni of an approach to a new city. The brevity is unfortunate considering the scores of thousands of words appearing in out technical studies. It is our hope that the reader will gain at least a few insights into our thinking, our philogophy, our science. We only ask him to keep in mind the alternative to what we are doing with our land. It, as is certain with land ownership, our land has been sold to independent subdividers, each of whom built a fifty unit subdivision ( moe than the average builder in the U.S.) there would arise at the very least 5,000 different subdivisions– unplanned, unintegrated, uncoordinated, and without all our controls. Such an eventuality would clearly be unacceptable …typical of the American tragic city-building past. There is another alternative, to be sure. Do not build at all; but then how would the necessity of shelter be provided for the expanding population? In a book published recently, Housing Crisis, U.S.A. 1 ) P. Fried estimates that in a ten year period in the United States in order to replace inadequate housing and build the new housing needed by our expanding population, some thirty-one million new units are required. We estimate that less than two-thirds of that requirement will indeed be built. Worse. What happens later? Do we not build at all? One might as well prepare a dirge for America’s funeral.
    Palm Coast will be neither a “sudden city’ nor an ‘instant’ one but will grow in accordance with a pre-planned program, no matter whether it flourishes twenty, thirty, or forty years from now. Palm Coast is a strip of land thirty miles long at its longest, ten miles wide at its widest, covering approximately 160 square miles. It is a fact that under the controls we will institute, despite its being larger in extent than Detroit or Philadelphia, it will have a density of say, Beverly Hills, California. But more on this later. Palm Coast has about six miles of ocean front, approximately twenty miles on the Intracoastal Waterway, and will have significant man made water areas. Again, these will be reviewed in the main body of the text.
    Now to a brief description of the terrain. Like other areas along the east coast of Florida, the property was formed primarily by sand dunes that have been build up by the interaction of winds, waves, tidal cycles, and ocean currents. This continued accretion of land as a repetitive process has caused the creation of lagoons between the new dune and the existing land mass. It is from these lagoon that the present salt water lagoons and marshlands evolved.
    Page 129
    (For the Newer Palm Coasters – I just xeroxed all this from a Copy I am Steward of. Tomorrow I’ll post this, yet another packet from me, to ‘ The Smithsonian ‘ per their request. I hope this gives a nice ‘ sense of place ‘ for everyone.)

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