Green Building for Healthy Homes

Since Dodge Data & Analytics and the National Association of Home Builders first began research on green building for homes in 2006, the market understanding of green has evolved. The research analyzed in this report, including a quantitative study of home builders and remodelers and qualitative interviews with recent homebuyers, demonstrated the degree to which some aspects of green, especially energy conservation, have become an expected practice in the industry, and how commitment to green construction of healthy homes is expected to grow.

Recent homebuyers expect homes built in the last five years to be more energy efficient and generally greener than those built earlier. This expectation is evident across the buyers of newer and older homes alike, reflecting a general consumer sentiment. Over half of builders expect that more than 60% of the homes that they build will be green by 2020, and over one third of remodelers expect the same level of green building in their projects.

One factor driving the growth of green in the residential sector is the association of green homes with healthy homes. Most of homebuilders and remodelers believe consumers are willing to pay more for a healthy home, even more than those who believe that consumers will pay more for a green home. As the building industry’s attention shifts to the impacts of buildings on the health of their occupants, the focus on health has the potential to boost the green residential market even further.

This research also reveals concerns about the cost of building green are growing, with a sharp spike in the percentage of builders who report a 5% or higher incremental cost for green in 2015 (77%), compared to those in 2014 (60%) or 2011 (58%). The issue of cost must be addressed by the industry in order to see the full potential of the green market achieved, especially as consumers have the expectation that a new home is green and therefore may not be willing to pay a premium for that level of performance.

 

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