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Green Homes Could Account for Nearly 40% of Construction by 2016

The residential construction market could tilt toward green homes if today's preferences persist, with one recent study estimating that energy-efficient residences could account for anywhere from 29 percent to 38 percent of the playing field by 2016.


Unveiling the report at a homebuilders' conference Tuesday, ""McGraw-Hill Construction"":http://construction.com/ estimated that green homes amounted to 17 percent of the construction market last year.

The company said that new opportunities for green homes could represent anywhere from $87 billion to $114 billion in gains to be had by the construction industry.

It coordinated the study with the ""National Association of Home Builders"":http://www.nahb.org/ and ""Waste Management, Inc."":http://www.wm.com/index.jsp

""In the current residential market, there is an enormous need to differentiate your homes for consumers,"" ""Harvey Bernstein"":http://construction.com/AboutUs/ExecProfiles/HarveyBernstein_ExecProfile.pdf, a VP


with McGraw-Hill, said in a statement. ""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.""

The report highlighted several factors that it said contributes to the greener homes movement. Ninety percent of homebuilders feel energy efficiency is important, a finding complemented by ""strongly value-driven"" customers, whom two-thirds of respondents said tend to request green homes or remodeling projects to lower energy bills and save money.

Shifts in attitudes about practices and technology appeared to help nudge the construction industry toward greener homes as well. The study found that more than 80 percent of respondents, including homebuilders and remodelers, felt that energy efficiency helps make homes greener today than two years ago.

Sixty percent of homebuilders believe that indoor air quality helps qualify homes as green, with 95 percent of builders with high-volume construction projects saying that technological features impact the level of air quality present in homes.

More than 50 percent of the respondents also said that they consider durable materials extremely important to residential construction today.

""These findings confirm the shift we've seen in the market,"" added ""Jim Halter"":http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimhalter, VP of construction solutions with Waste Management. ""Builders and remodelers are placing more emphasis on energy efficiency, increases in sustainability focused waste management practices and more products made from post-consumer materials. These important factors are pushing our industry forward.""

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.

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