Single and multifamily projects now account for about 45 percent of the value of all construction projects started in the U.S. this year and increasingly, these projects are investing in high-performance green building techniques, according to a new SmartMarket Report from McGraw Hill Construction. Not only did homebuilders and remodelers increase their acceptance and practice of high-performance building from 2006 to 2011, but they also anticipate continued growth of the green-building market, according to the report, "Green Multifamily and Single Family Homes: Growth in a Recovering Market."

The report surveyed builders and remodelers from the National Association of Home Builders and found the following evidence supporting the expansion of green building:


  • More than one-third of single-family builders (34 percent) are currently constructing more than 60 percent of their projects as green building, and market participation is expected to grow--Sixty-two percent of respondents anticipate building at this level of by 2018. What's more, while 19 percent of respondents in 2013 reported that 90 percent of their projects were green, 38 percent of respondents anticipate that they will be operating at this level by 2018.
  • The number of multifamily builders who are currently building 90 percent of their projects as green should triple by 2018, rising from the current 6 percent to 18 percent. The rest of the multifamily builders won't be left behind, however, as 23 percent of respondents in 2013 reported that more than 60 percent of their projects were green and 42 percent of respondents anticipate working at this level by 2018. What's more, by 2018, 79 percent of the market expects at least 16 percent of their portfolios to be green.

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  • An increasing number of builders and remodelers say that buyers will pay more for green homes. In 2013, 73 percent of single-family builders (up from 61 percent in 2011) and 79 percent of single-family remodelers (up from 66 percent in 2011) reported that buyers will pay a 3 to 5 percent premium for green homes. On the multifamily side, 68 percent of builders reported that customers would pay more, with 38 percent reporting that buyers will pay more than a 5 percent premium.

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  • Almost two-thirds of single-family and multifamily builders and developers (65 percent) are now offering renewable energy systems on their projects (either as a standard feature, an an option, or on owner request), with 8 percent of the market incorporating renewables on every project.

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The report also summarized key market drivers that respondents say affect their decision to build green, identifying three main triggers: energy cost increases; code, ordinance, and regulation changes; and green product availability and affordability. Other strong drivers were customer demand, government or utility incentives, and increased publicity for the builder.