Green housing developments on the rise

Eco-friendly homes made up 17 percent of the overall residential construction market in 2011.

Assumptions about the housing market may lead some to believe that home shoppers shy away from green housing thinking that it will require either too much of adjustment or too large of an investment. While historically those suppositions may have been accurate, new data indicates that there has been an exponential growth of green homeowners, a trend that is expected to continue well into the next decade.

At the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders' Show in Orlando, Florida McGraw-Hill Construction revealed results from their Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study, which showed that green homes made up 17 percent of the overall residential construction market in 2011.

"This study demonstrates phenomenal growth in green building and indicates that we can expect even larger increases in the coming years," NAHB chairman Barry Rutenberg said in a press release. "In a sample of NAHB builder and remodeler members, nearly 90 percent reported building green at some level. This is a powerful testament to the importance of green home building – and transforms the way we think of homes overall."

Based on the results of the study, researchers estimated that green residential home construction should comprise between 29 and 38 percent of the market by 2016. Using those figures, they are predicting a growth in the green housing development market from $17 billion in 2011 to upwards of $114 billion in 2016.

While the American housing market has declined in recent years, Harvey Bernstein, the vice president of McGraw-Hill Construction, explained in the statement that the importance of going green has trumped the impact of a weakened U.S. economy.

The NAHB indicated that consumers are realizing that environmentally friendly homes generate lower bills and a valuable long-term savings.

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