With terms like sustainability, energy efficiency, and green becoming buzzwords across the nation, Big Builder Online recently asked readers what they're doing in terms of "green" in their communities and what kind of interest they're seeing from prospective buyers.

The majority of respondents said prospective buyers are showing more interest in sustainable and/or energy-efficient homes?50% said they were seeing moderate interest while 31.3% said they are seeing robust interest.

"Buyers are interested in features that will save them money on their utility bills," noted one respondent.

However, 12.5% of respondents said interest in sustainable and/or energy-efficient homes is minimal, while 6.3% said it's nonexistent.

Half of the respondents said they are currently utilizing sustainable and/or energy-efficient building products and/or construction techniques in all of their communities, with the other half only using green products and/or techniques in some of their communities. "It is a good value for the consumer," one respondent said.

When it comes to who should pay the additional costs of going green, more than half?56.3%?said the burden should be shared by both the builders and the buyers since they both have ownership in the end product. The remaining 43.8% of respondents said they believe the buyers should pay the additional costs because they'll get the return on potential savings in the long term.

And what's the primary reason builders are going green? Three-quarters of respondents said they are doing so to help differentiate their product from the competition; 12.5% said they are doing it because that's what the customers are asking for; and the remaining 12.5% said they are doing it to set themselves apart from the competition, to meet state energy codes, and to benefit their customers and the overall environment.