A recent study shows green homes sell for more money and sell faster than standard-built homes. This might be a key reason for homebuilders to consider building more energy-efficient homes today.

Carson Matthews, associate broker of Atlanta Fine Homes, www.atlantafinehomes.com, Atlanta, Ga., has been collecting and recording results for years, showing certified-green homes sell in less time and closer to asking price.

Recently, Matthews combined the 2009 and 2010 reports to see a cumulative view of the data. The research shows the average home sold in 104 days, which is 21.2% less time on the market than conventional new construction, and for 94.9% of the list price, which is 3.4% closer to asking price than conventional new construction.

Certified-green homes include ENERGY STAR-certified homes, NAHB Green Homes, LEED for Homes, and EarthCraft House.

For example, the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Assn., www.atlantahomebuilders.com, Atlanta, Ga., launched a certified-green home program in 1999. EarthCraft House is a residential green building program that is designed to address the climate conditions of the Southeast.

This particular program addresses energy-efficient appliances and lighting, indoor air quality, and water conservation, among others. EarthCraft technical advisors provide assistance to builders during the initial design review and throughout construction.

AHT (automated-home technology) has a place in building energy-efficient homes. In particular, lighting controls, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) controls, and smart-water irrigation systems, among others, can have a large role to play in making homes more energy efficient.

This type of technology can be put into homes during new construction or remodeling projects. In the end, the technology will give owners more control over systems in the home, helping reduce energy consumption and costs for the homebuyer.

With green homes selling faster than standard-built homes, it might be time to consider making the switch toward more energy-efficient building. Technology can help improve energy efficiency in the homes long term. It is up to builders to decide which technology platform is best suited for the homes.