The recession apparently hit those builders experienced in green construction with less severity than other home builders according to a new study on energy-efficient and green home building which found those builders remained in business at higher proportions than those not knowledgeable on the subject. The Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study was unveiled Monday by McGraw Hill Construction at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) annual conference.
Green homes made up 23 percent of the overall residential construction market in 2013 and are expected to grow to between 26 percent and one-third of the market by 2016. This equates to a doubling in the value of green home construction over three years, growing from $36 billion in 2013 to $83-$105 billion in 2016, based on the current McGraw Hill Construction forecast for total residential construction.
The publisher says the green growth is occurring as the economy improves because communities have incorporated green principles into building codes, ordinances, and regulations. There is also improving quality, wider availability and affordability of green products. More educated consumers and rising energy costs are also providing green construction a growing competitive advantage.
The study found that
- 51% of builders and remodelers find that it is easier to market green homes, up from 46% in 2012 and 40% in 2008.
- 68% of builders (up from 61% in 2011) report their customers will pay more for green, with 23% reporting that their customer will pay more than 5%
- 84% of remodelers report the same (up from 66% in 2011), with 55% reporting their customers will pay more than 5% for green features.
In 2013, 16% of builders were dedicated
to green building with more than 90% of their projects green, and another 20%
were highly invested in green activity with 61% to 90% of their projects green.
By 2015, that is expected to increase, with 20% of builders expecting to be
exclusively working on green buildings, and 24% doing 61% to 90% green work.
Remodelers are also increasing their attention to green work, with 16%
reporting more than 60% of their projects are green today, expected to grow to
23% doing this amount of green remodeling in 2015 and 32% by 2018.
The research indicates that as the residential market improves, construction is becoming bifurcated, with green builders accelerating the depth of their green work, and new or returned entrants into the market focusing on traditional construction practices.
"Green experience was a significant part of what kept builders in business during the recession," said Harvey M. Bernstein, VP of Industry Insights and Alliances, McGraw Hill Construction, "and now, those same firms are embracing the competitive advantage they earned by deepening their delivery of energy-efficient and green homes. We also see firms reentering the market that are using traditional home building practices versus green practices because that's what they know. However, the broader availability of green building products and practices, a more educated consumer and an increase in activity at the regulatory level will also encourage this group of builders to learn green practices over time."
"This study shows that more and more builders are incorporating environmentally sensitive and energy and resource efficient techniques into traditional home building practices, and we expect to see even stronger growth in the coming years," said Matt Belcher Co-Chair of NAHB's Energy & Green Building Subcommittee. "Green building expertise provided builders and remodelers with a competitive advantage during the housing downturn, and now as the market continues to recover, NAHB members stand ready to meet the increased demand."