What do consumers think makes a green home? And, what do they feel is the most important elements of a green-built home? Builders and other industry professionals now have an opportunity to find out what green means to home buyers with a new publication from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

NAHB’s publishing arm recently released a document, What Green Means to Home Buyers: Perceptions and Preferences, a study of consumer preferences focusing exclusively on green/high-performance features in the home and the community. The study examines consumers’ attitudes toward various green features, concepts or terminologies, the resonance of those terms as potential marketing tools, and the likelihood that the home purchase decision may be influenced by any of these features or terms.

The study was conducted by NAHB in 2015 and is based on a survey of home buyers nationwide. Results from the study are available by age, income, race and Census division, among other demographic characteristics.

“This new study is an incredibly useful tool to help builders and remodelers determine not only consumer attitudes towards green homes, but also which green features consumers care most about,” says NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. “We have seen incredible growth in green and sustainable building over the years, and the results of this survey only further solidify the continued consumer interest in green building, and which attributes matter most to these buyers.”

Among the key findings:

The top influencers in a home purchase decision are:

  • 90 percent safe community;
  • 88 percent energy efficient;
  • 85 percent low maintenance;
  • 85 percent lower operating costs; and
  • 84 percent durable/resilient.

Common words home buyers use to describe green homes are:

  • 32 percent: efficient, energy efficient, water efficient, high efficiency;
  • 15 percent: eco-friendly, environmentally-friendly, environmentally-responsible, environmentally-safe, environmentally-conscious;
  • 8 percent: solar, solar power, solar energy, solar panels; and
  • 4 percent: lower costs, lower utility bills, saves money.

The document is available for purchase at BuilderBooks.com.

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