Green building certainly isn’t a new idea, but interest in the concept is ramping up. The reasons for this are simple: Green building can cut costs while providing benefits to the surrounding environment. Recent studies show trends in green building will continue during the coming months.

A recent report from Jerry Yudelson, a green building consultant and founder of Yudelson Associates, www.greenbuildconsult.com, Tucson, Ariz. predicted North America will continue to see strong growth in the sector during 2014. One of the major factors cited by Yudelson is the ability of green buildings to provide energy efficiency benefits.

Another report from TechNavio, www.technavio.com, Elmhurst, Ill., says the global green building material market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.9% during the period from 2012-2016. The analyst firm says one of the key factors contributing to the growth is the market’s need for enhanced cost reduction. Additionally, government bodies have also been getting involved, pushing for green building standards and initiatives. However, TechNavio believes a lack of awareness of the benefits of green building material could be a challenge the market needs to overcome.

Many homebuilders are offering green building options to customer. For example, MW Design, www.mwdesigngroup.com, Houston, Texas, is a custom homebuilder interested in green. The builder is offering ways for customers to include green components in construction planned for 2014.

Some of the options cited by MW Design include LED and CFL lighting in homes. The company says although these types of lighting can cost more to install, they will provide significant savings over the life of the home. Energy Star appliances can also save power costs. Another option is proper insulation, which can prevent a home from losing heating and cooling benefits.

Green building will likely be a strong trend in construction for many years. To take full advantage of its benefits, builders need to make sure customers understand their options, and what green materials can do for them.