Green construction is rapidly gaining traction among both single- and multi-family home builders, according to the latest in a series of studies conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics in partnership with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). At least one-third of single- and multi-family builders that were surveyed said that green building is a significant portion of their overall activity (more than 60% of their portfolio). By 2022, this number should increase to nearly one-half in both the single- and multi-family sectors. Within this group, nearly 30% of multi-family builders fall into the category of “dedicated” green builders (more than 90% of their portfolio). On the single-family side, the percentage of “dedicated” green builders is nearly 20%, but that share is expected to grow sizably by 2022.

“These findings show that green building has become an established part of the residential construction landscape,” said Granger MacDonald, NAHB chairman and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “It is no longer a niche business; our members recognize the value of building green and are incorporating these elements into their standard business practices.”

Increasing energy efficiency continues to be the most common method of improving the performance of a green home, followed by creating a healthy indoor living environment. “As consumers become more familiar with the impact that their homes can have on their health and well-being, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the influence of this factor continue to grow,” said Steve Jones, Dodge’s senior director of Industry Insights Research. “Homes are following the larger trend that Dodge has been tracking across commercial and institutional sectors for healthier buildings to become an increasingly important part of being sustainable.”

The report also found that a considerable number of builders are developing net-zero homes or plan to build net-zero homes in the near future. Among those surveyed, 29% of single-family home builders have built a net-zero home in the past two years, and 44% expect to do so in the next two years. Builders see increased customer demand and a competitive advantage as the top two drivers to develop net-zero homes.

Another reason for the rise in net-zero homes is the increasing use of renewable technologies, especially solar photovoltaic panels. In two years, the percentage of builders that used these panels increased from 19 to 23%. Nearly half (43%) of the builders surveyed expect to use this technology in the future.

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