The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a report in February that contained some surprising statistics – at least to me.

Apparently, about 25 percent of home builders have applied enough green building products to receive certification under the National Green Building Standard (NGBS). Yet, only 11 percent actually sought the certification.

Once upon a time not so long ago, one of the primary drivers for building green was notoriety. So, I asked myself: If you are going to put in the time and expense to build green, why not get the credit for it?

That reminded me of another NAHB report from late last year that revealed that home builders are less concerned about the upfront costs of building green than in the past and they are less worried about whether consumers will pay more for green features. And, about 44 percent expect to build a net zero home in the next two years.

So, it all started to make sense. It seems we are in the midst of a not-so-subtle shift in the green ecosystem.

The View from Here is that building affordable, more energy-efficient homes has hit the mainstream. Energy-efficient upgrades are no longer considered a premium offering. They have become an expectation from consumers.

As a result, builders are adjusting and making it a standard practice to include energy-efficient upgrades. But they still need to differentiate their “products” against the competition, so the answer has been to go even greener – hence the increasing interest in net zero housing.

It’s impressive to see this shift in mind-set from builders and consumers – and an indication to our industry that we need to keep raising the bar in terms of energy efficiency and the way we market our products in both the remodeling and new-construction markets.

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