Green building is now the name of the game in both new construction and the retrofitting of existing homes. The real estate industry has joined consumers, builders, and local government codes in recognizing the importance of green building and renovating. Here’s what’s happening.
Buyer demand for green building
Today’s home buyers are savvy about protecting the environment. They want more than just low energy bills and a well-insulated house. Consumers are looking for green buildings with energy-efficient HVAC systems, energy- and water-conserving appliances, landscaping that requires less water and maintenance, building materials that do not emit toxic gases, and more.
Vendors and local governments fully engaged
Builders, reconstruction contractors and manufacturers of home-building materials and appliances all are stepping up to supply what consumers demand. These players understand that consumers want a holistic, integrated approach to green buildings, not just a few individual green components. Today’s renovations often involve turning “brown” buildings more green.
More municipalities are enacting codes to enforce green building practices in both residential and commercial construction.
The real estate industry takes a leading step
Because real estate agents are the link between millions of home shoppers and the housing market, the real estate industry is training its agents to provide valuable expertise in finding truly integrated green homes. The Green REsource Council (GRC), founded in 2008 by a National Association of REALTORS® subsidiary, educates agents on green building methods and sustainable practices. Agents with this training, known as NAR Green Designees, can spot “greenwashing,” a disingenuous method of marketing homes that don’t actually meet the applicable standards. You can use this handy search tool to help find a NAR Green Designee in your area.
Additionally, local Multiple Listing Service listings may now highlight green energy features. This helps agents and their clients zero in on homes meeting green building requirements.