The green housing market continues to grow, with green projects making up 20 percent of all newly built homes last year, according to McGraw Hill Construction. Researchers predict the share will rise to 29 percent and 38 percent of new U.S. homes by 2016.
“The green building market has evolved beyond the crunchy-granola, Boulder types,” says David Johnston, co-author of “Toward a Zero Energy Home,” who is based in Colorado. “We have mainstream builders doing this.”
Big homebuilders, such as KB Home and Nexus Energy, are moving energy efficiency to standard practice.
The government is also providing federal tax credits to help spur demand of green home features, such as tax credits for insulation that reduces energy loss or for geothermal heat pumps. Home owners may be eligible to claim rebates from their utility company, town, or state for certain green features as well.
Green homes tend to cost between 5 percent and 10 percent more than traditional homes, according to Nexus Energy Homes COO Bruce W. McIntosh.
But when it comes time to sell, studies suggest home owners will likely see a boost in price. Homes in California with a green label sold for about 9 percent more than comparable homes without the green label, according to a 2012 study by professors at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Source: “Green Goes Mainstream for New Homes,” The Wall Street Journal (May 2, 2013)
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