The View From Here
by Ric Jackson
February 3rd, 2020

NAHB Report Shows Most Builders Are Focused on Energy Efficiency

The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) in conjunction with Dodge Data & Analytics just released their 2020 Green Single Family and Multifamily Homes SmartMarket Brief – and the data had some surprises.

We are still seeing steady and incremental growth in green building practices overall. Since 2014, dedicated green builders (those who do 90% of projects green) in the single-family market have risen from 18% to 21%. However, what first caught my eye was a drop among single-family remodelers building green from 12% in 2017 to 7% in 2019 and multifamily builders/remodelers dropped from 29% to 20%.

Why such a dramatic decrease? It turns out the definition of green homebuilding changed between reports.

2020 definition:

A green home incorporates strategies in design and construction that increase energy, water and resource efficiency, indoor environmental quality and minimize environmental impacts on the site; and/or is certified by a third party to the National Green Building Standard, LEED for Homes or any other green rating system.

2017 definition:

Homebuilding, remodeling/renovation and land development that incorporate environmentally sensitive site planning, resource efficiency, energy and water efficiency, improved indoor environmental quality and homeowner education, or projects that would comply with ICC 700 National Green Building Standard or other credible rating system.

As you can see, the definition has grown stricter and we are not looking at an apples-to-apples comparison between years.

What is meaningful from the report is that 91% of homebuilders use energy-efficient approaches and 69% do so on the majority of their projects – meaning that they might not be going through all the processes to be considered ‘officially’ green, but applying energy-efficient technologies is nearly commonplace.

I have always felt that once builders understand green drivers and have a better handle on costs, they will use green practices for most projects – and that seems to be happening. Likewise, as builders have promoted and educated consumers on green building, consumer demand has grown.

The View from Here

The View from Here is that while the definition might change and the criteria is becoming stricter to be considered green, demand for energy-efficient products and technologies is only going to increase. And that is always good for our industry.

What’s your View? Email me directly at Eric.Jackson@quanex.com.

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