Builders Respond to Growing Interest in Green Homes

Builders Respond to Growing Interest in Green Homes

Filed in Environmental, Home Building, Homeownership, Housing Trends on June 18, 2018 • 


During National Homeownership Month in June, we’re focusing on the critical role that the home plays in our lives and how NAHB members are finding innovative ways to build the American Dream.

Ongoing research by NAHB and its partners shows that many home buyers are interested in green, sustainable and high-performance building practices. NAHB’s report, Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation: How They Compare to Other Home Buyers, asked home buyers across four generations – millennials, Gen Xers, baby boomers and seniors – what features they consider essential/desirable in a new home.

Energy-efficient strategies, including ENERGY STAR appliances and windows and above-code insulation made the most-wanted list and would positively influence the purchase decision of 80% or more of all home buyers. Water-efficient features were also cited as essential/desirable by 72% of respondents.

Builders are responding to this interest by increasingly incorporating these strategies in new home construction.

“Homes constructed with green, sustainable and high-performance strategies offer home owners a product that can reduce their total cost of ownership through lower utility bills and can be resold at a premium in many markets,” said Troy Johns, founder of Urban Northwest Homes in Vancouver, Wash. “These homes also generally provide increased comfort and a healthier indoor environment for occupants.”

Approximately one-quarter of the single-family builders in NAHB’s 2017 Green Practices Survey are building with strategies that would qualify for at least Bronze-level certification under the requirements of the 2015 National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS).

The NGBS is the only green rating system approved by the American National Standards Institute and provides third-party certification for residential construction through six key categories: site design, resource efficiency, water efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and building operation and maintenance. Homes must meet a minimum threshold in each category to achieve certification.

The Green Practices Survey also showed that current home building practices among respondents met Bronze level certification in energy efficiency for 74% of the properties and over half met it for water, indoor environmental quality and operation/maintenance.

To help industry professionals respond to the growing interest in green building, NAHB offers the Certified Green Professional™ and Master Certified Green Professional designations. These designations recognize builders, remodelers and other industry professionals who incorporate green and sustainable building principles into homes. NAHB also offers educational courses in green building. Get started at

For more information about sustainable building practices, contact Michelle Diller.