The theory of “build it and they will come” may no longer apply in today’s housing market. “Build it green and they will come” may be a more appropriate phrase for current market conditions, and builders that look towards the appropriate technologies may stand to benefit.
A recent Webinar presented by the National Assn. of Home Builders,www.nahb.org, Washington, D.C., points to Generation X—young families and adults ages 31-45—as the demographic likely to lead the recovery. Such a demographic will certainly have strong opinions about not only the design of their new home, but also the efficiency.
A survey conducted for the Webinar showed 70% of buyers would be willing to pay $5,000 more for a green home. However, many buyers are expected their new home to already have many green technologies and features encompassed into the home.
We have seen more builders make the strong commitment to going green. One announcement in particular that stands out from the pack is McGuyer Homebuilders, Inc. (MHI), www.mcguyerhomebuilders.com, Dallas, Texas, looking to become “the greenest homebuilder in Texas.” It is rare for a production builder to pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes, but this is precisely what McGuyer is doing by seeking certification for all homes under its signature brands: Plantation Homes, Coventry Homes, and Carmel Builders. The commitment, across the greater Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, comes in at an estimated 300 homes.
When it comes to pursuing LEED certification for projects more builders are turning to online tools that help select and specify green products. One such example is GreenWizard, www.greenwizard.com, Charleston, S.C., an online tool that helps builders search and compare products for applicability to the project, specify products in design/development; accumulate and review pricing quotes for products; find replacement products as you work through construction; and even store all the appropriate documentation associated with the process; among other functions.
“While Gen X numbers are smaller than the birth cohorts before and after them, their numbers have been enlarged by steady immigration,” says David Crowe, chief economist, NAHB. “Gen X may wait longer than their predecessors to establish their own household or buy a home because of the recent recession impacts, but the trends are still likely to occur as they have for past generations.”
Regardless of how fast this trend will develop, builders have more tools and options at their disposal these days to ensure the homes they are building are indeed matching to green requirements of any buyer demographic.