Report: More homebuilders turn to green construction
Single- and multifamily homebuilders are increasingly using green construction methods and products, according to a report from Dodge Data & Analytics and the National Association of Home Builders. One-third of builder respondents said green building represented more than 60% of their activity, with projections that half of all builders will say the same by 2022.
The report also found a marked push toward net-zero energy homes, with 29% of single-family builders reporting they had built such a home in the past two years and 44% anticipating doing so in the next two years.
The study attributes the push toward green construction to a maturing market with greater demand, more affordable and readily available products, higher return on a homeowner's investment, government or utility incentives, and regulatory changes.
It's been well-documented that green homes can command a higher price-point, but efforts to green the construction space go far beyond residential. From heavy industry to commercial offices, the desire to operate more efficiently is one factor driving renewable energy production.
That's helping construction, too. Energy-related projects accounted for more than 2 million construction jobs in 2016, or roughly a third of the entire construction workforce, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That number only stands to increase as more such projects come online, particularly in the renewable energy space.
Adding to that push is a growing interest from cities aiming to cut their carbon footprints. Chicago, which now houses the most green office space in the country, earlier this year announced plans to transition 900-city owned buildings to completely renewable energy by 2025.
Aspen, CO, Burlington, VT, and San Francisco have all recently made similar pushes. In September, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took aim at the city's biggest and most-polluting buildings by proposing an efficiency program to counteract their negative environmental impact.
Barring regulations, more property owners are voluntarily turning to energy efficiency, prompting AEC professionals strive to meet that demand. Renewable power source installation reached a record-high 138.5 gigawatts of capacity added globally in 2016. That figure nearly equals the total energy capacity of the world's 16 largest power plants.
- Dodge Data & Analytics Study Finds Green Home Building Continues to Gain Traction
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