Builders are increasingly committed in to green building, according to a McGraw Hill Construction’s Dodge Construction Market Forecast released Wednesday morning.
The 2015 Smart Market Report, taking both quantitative and qualitative approaches, surveyed a total of 249 builders, remodelers, multifamily firms, and conducted nine in-depth interviews with homebuyers who purchased a home within the last year.
Nearly one-third (31%) of builders report that over 60% of home projects they've built this year featured green technology. By 2020, more than half (51%) of builders project that they'll reach that same level of green work.
“Our studies demonstrate that home builders still think of green homes as an important trend,” said Dr. Donna Laquidara-Carr, industry insights research director at Dodge Data & Analytics, during a Wednesday presentation at the 2015 Greenbuild conference in Washington, D.C.
Builders are driven by multiple factors to build greener homes, including customer demand (68%), energy cost increases (66%), green product availability and affordability (66%), greater valued recognized appraisers (66%), and code, ordinance, and regulation changes (65%).
One thing worth noting this year is that builders are considering those top five triggers almost equally important, instead of one or two triggers being dominant. According to Laquidara-Carr, this is a sign of a maturing green market.
The use of renewable technology has also grown over time. This year, 76% of surveyed builders report offering renewable energy on their projects, compared to 65% two years ago. By the year 2018, 85% of builders will offer renewable energy on their products.
“The numbers that we have here are really striking,” said Dr. Laquidara-Carr. “We believe that builders are building greener because homeowners are gaining more knowledge, and there’s a greater consumer interest in these kind of projects.”
In terms of potential buyers, more builders believe that baby boomers, rather than millennials, are the most crucial customers in green home markets. This belief is echoed by builder and remodeler responses to how influential green home options are to home buyers by age:
“Older buyers with previous home buying experience simply have more knowledge about homes, and therefore will value high-performance homes better,” explained Laquidara-Carr. “Millennials, however, have limited financial resources to invest in greener homes, and are also more motivated by convenience than home performance.”