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Real Estate Blog & Resources

Green Building Continues To Grow in Popularity, But What Does It Mean to a Consumer?

As part of a growing trend in the building industry, green real estate development is in demand from both consumers and investors. Consumers are increasingly becoming more eco-conscious, understanding that how and where they live impacts the environment, their health and their wallet. But what does green actually mean? There are a vast number of organizations that apply different standards to the term “green building” but they each have common foundations:

1. Efficiency
With more consumers focused on conserving resources, home efficiency has become a major economic and environmental issue when constructing new homes over the years. Green buildings are highly efficient because they consume less energy and cost less to operate compared to older homes. Since all buildings represent about 40 percent of energy consumption, reducing power usage through greater energy efficiency could lower greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. Green Building Council said.

Green_Building

A green building conserves precious materials and resources.

2. Resource Friendly
While the material or methodology of acquiring resources for building a home has an effect on its surroundings, consumers could choose to limit the impact on the environment by choosing resource-friendly new homes. Green homes offer both environmental and financial benefits as there are significant cost savings that stem from conserving electricity, water and other resources. Not only do these homes require less water, they also have less of a carbon footprint when it comes to producing and transporting materials.

3. Emissions and Indoor Air Quality
The materials in your home are often treated to enhance their quality or to facilitate production. While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stringent standards on what is an acceptable level of emissions into the home, green building standards are far more stringent. Air quality speaks to the health impact of a home on its residents, a critical component of green building.

According to a report by McGraw-Hill, the vast majority of consumers cited their concern for their health as a significant reason to invest in a green home. Green buildings tend to be made with materials that do not give off toxic fumes, which could improve the air quality of the home.

4. Sustainably Sourced
Compared to other structures, green homes will have their materials sourced in a way that didn’t eliminate or harm its source or any other part of the environment, and was specifically sourced through sustainable means. These include recycled materials, as cardboard, old lumber and other items diverted from landfills, according to the EPA. By using reclaimed materials when building a home, green structures prevent the use of limited resources.

Energy

Energy efficiency is key to reduce operating costs for green homes.