Every year, it seems, there’s a new green rating program for homes. A long but still incomplete list includes: DOE Zero Energy Ready Home, EarthCraft, ENERGY STAR®, GreenStar, HERS®, LEED® for Homes, Living Building Challenge™, National Green Building Standard™ and Passive House. In short, builders and homeowners are going green.
Recent studies corroborate this trend. In 2016, McGraw Hill surveyed 116 builders regarding their green building practices. Over a third of those builders completed green projects, which accounted for more than 60 percent of their business. By 2018, the percentage of green projects completed by those builders is expected to rise to 90 percent. Over the same period, just 16 percent of builders are expected not to embrace green building.
The U.S. Green Building Council has attempted to understand why builders and homeowners have sustainability in mind. The top reasons driving this upswing in green building include strong market demand, homeowner cost savings, health, building codes and property values. There doesn’t appear to be one single reason the market is going green, but there is a theme among the reasons: to build and live sustainably.
It helps that green building goes hand-in-hand with advancing technology and decreasing footprints. We’re in an era of high expectations when it comes to convenience, which ultimately means that technology – and often-smart technology – must be integrated throughout a space. It’s also an era of smaller houses as homeowners look to control costs, locate themselves more centrally and live meaningfully. The result is that builders are tasked with providing homes that meet all of the market’s previous demands, but that are also contemporary when it comes to technology and footprint.
Fortunately, builders have tools at their disposal to solve this challenge. Manufacturers are offering mobile apps, products and even entire mechanical systems that help builders create homes they can stand by, and homes people want.
If you want to read more about the continual rise in sustainable building and living, check out our Builder newsletter here.