Many builders believe green certified homes are a niche product; that only the most environmentally conscious consumers care about green features. They contend that home buyer motivations are solely about the sales price. That might be the case, unless you’re selling to the following home buying segments.

The Persuadable Middle

Only 16% of consumers are considered “super greens” whose purchasing decisions are motivated by saving the Earth. At the same time, only 18% of Americans reject being environmentally conscious. That leaves the “persuadable middle,” a huge swath of home buyers that have good green intentions and would like to live a more sustainable lifestyle, but don’t know how to or think it will be too expensive. To reach this audience, builders should target their NGBS Green Certified homes to mainstream consumers.


If your target consumers include women, you might want to rethink the value of a green home. Women tend to lean green, and the female consumer is a growing force in nearly every segment of the marketplace: women currently account for $7 billion in buying power; in 40% of households with children, women are the breadwinners; and among home buyers, 20% are single women, and 31% are single women with kids.

The bottom line is that women are making, or substantially influencing, many home purchasing decisions today. And women care most about the health and well-being of their families; not necessarily energy efficiency.


Our youngest, largest generation is 87 million strong and represents 20% of the adult population. Millennials are sociable, globally conscious, and environmentally motivated—and 93% of them want to own a home. A hallmark of this generation is they’re inspired to pay more for goods and services if it’s beneficial to the environment. Well over half report they have a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society.

These buyers are not motivated to buy a high-performance, energy-efficient home because they will have lower utility bills. Rather, they want to buy a high-performance, green home because it is the right thing to do.


Aspirations are where granite and green come together. The aspirational audience seeks to combine style, social status, and sustainability. They are the largest consumer segment representing 37% of American adults. While their average age is 39, they cut across different generations and ethnic groups. What unifies this consumer segment is that they measure goods by style and quality, and an overwhelming percentage believe that Americans need to consume a lot less to improve the environment for future generations. These buyers want it all and don’t want to sacrifice on quality to gain quantity. Home builders that want to be relevant to these buyers should present homes that are high-performance, aesthetically pleasing, and of superior quality.

The Takeaway

Home buyers will always want a home they can afford in a desirable neighborhood. Once price and location criteria are satisfied, builders can help their homes stand out from the competition by offering high-performance features; a healthy indoor environment; and a home that’s part of a more sustainable lifestyle. All of these can be accomplished by attaining NGBS Green Certification. For more information, visit