America's Homebuilders Still Not On The Green Building Bandwagon

Even with all the interest in green building, most large scale homebuilders are weary of incorporating green building practices, citing consumers' lack of willingness to pay more.

"Green building as a cause has united disparate parties from environmental groups to big business to policymakers, but one key industry has struggled to react to the change in public sentiment."

"The major homebuilders, who account for 80 percent of all homebuilding activity in the nation, face a unique challenge in implementing green building on a widespread scale. Many have added energy-saving features and experimented with environmentally friendly materials but have not yet been able to sign on a critical mass of buyers willing to pay more for them."

"The National Association of Home Builders and McGraw-Hill Construction predict a rise in green building to 10 percent of homes by 2010 from 2 percent today, but experts say the large-scale residential builders have been slower to respond because of the extra costs and availability of materials."

" 'The residential market as I see it is the last one to take off,' said Mary Ann Lazarus, sustainable design director of the architectural firm HOK."

Full Story: Big Homebuilders Lag on Green Building

Comments

Comments

Judy Chang's picture
Alum

A more specific number

Just read a similar (and less optimistic) article put out by Reuters, which estimates that on average, a green home would cost about $7,000 more to build--$7,000 that four years of energy efficiency will put back in your pocket. Frankly, I don't really know how I feel about that estimate, but they also cite that consumers are "generally unwilling to invest" that kind of money unless it pays off in three. Sigh.

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