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Americans find out about green homes through word-of-mouth, TV and the Internet

Research shows growing momentum for green home building and remodeling for 2007-2010

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Green Homeowner Smart Market Report

McGraw-Hill Construction released The Green Homeowner SmartMarket(TM) Report (Oct 2007), produced in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders, providing insight into the mindset of the "green" homeowner and the homeowner remodeler using green products.

Green Home Market Trends

The major findings of the report include:
  • The market for true(1) green homes is expected to rise from $2 billion to up to $20 billion over the next five years.
  • Standard homes are becoming increasingly green, with homeowners using green products for 40% of their remodeling work.
  • Most Americans find out about green homes through word-of-mouth, followed by television and the Internet.
  • Green homeowners are happy with their homes and are recommending them at rates significantly higher than recommendation levels of other industries.
  • Homeowners are buying green homes because they are concerned about the health of their families, as well as to reduce energy and other home operating costs.
  • Education and awareness of green ranks as the most important obstacles, slightly higher even than the additional first costs associated with building green.

Market Trends for Green Homes and Remodeling

"Our findings are particularly powerful because they point to the reasons behind the market trends we're seeing of the increasing number of green homes," said Harvey M. Bernstein, vice president of industry analytics, alliances and strategic initiatives for McGraw-Hill Construction. "People are spreading the word about their green homes, which is most effective because that's how buyers are hearing about the opportunities of green. It's a cycle that is bearing out in the marketplace."

Most Important Issue is Lack of Awareness

McGraw-Hill Construction found in prior studies that residential builders and the commercial industry believed that the additional costs of green were by far the most significant challenge to more rapid growth in green building. But for homeowners, today's survey shows that while costs and the availability of green homes are still an obstacle, the most important issue is lack of awareness.

"This information gap is actually a great opportunity for the industry, as well as for the media, nongovernmental organizations and government itself to provide more effective communication of the advantages of green homes," added Bernstein.

Windows, Heating and Cooling Systems Top Remodeling Purchases

The size of the homeowner remodeling market that is using green products is large: 40% of homeowners remodeling their houses are doing so with green products, especially their windows and heating and cooling systems.

As Bernstein concludes, "Again, the industry needs to listen to what the consumer is starting to want in their homes. As we look at changes within the slow residential market, green is a phenomenal opportunity area."

Green the Home Building and Remodeling Sectors

"This study reinforces the need for the steps we have already taken to help "green" the home building and remodeling market," said Ray Tonjes, chair of the Green Building Subcommittee for the National Association of Home Builders.

"We're almost finished with the first consensus-based standard for green home building and remodeling, we've significantly expanded our education offerings and we're launching the NAHB National Green Building Program. NAHB is bringing green to the mainstream," Tonjes said.

The research comprising the core findings of The Green Homeowner SmartMarket(TM) Report was conducted with NAHB support. The definitions of a green home were pulled from the NAHB's Model Green Home Building Guidelines, which can be found at For more information on The Green Homeowner SmartMarket(TM) Report, please visit

(1) Definition of a True Green Home: True Green Homes are defined more narrowly as homes that contain elements in 3 of 5 environmental building categories: Energy Efficiency, Indoor Air Quality, Water Efficiency, Resource Efficiency, and Site Management.

For more information on the National Association of Home Builders, please visit

About McGraw-Hill Construction:

McGraw-Hill Construction, part of The McGraw-Hill Companies , connects people, projects and products across the design and construction industry. Backed by the power of Dodge, Sweets (, Engineering News-Record (, Architectural Record (, GreenSource (, and Regional Publications, the company provides information, intelligence, tools, applications and resources to help customers grow their business. McGraw-Hill Construction serves more than one million customers within the $4.6 trillion global construction community.

For more information, visit

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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