Armchair Builder

Why Build Green?

Every now and then someone asks me…why build green?  This is one of those questions where you have to decide whether to give the long or the short answer.  There are so many positive things that come out of green building that pay both the homeowner and the environment back with huge dividends.  But one of the biggest benefits is in our reduced energy consumption.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration(EIA) publishes a forecast each year called the Annual Energy Outlook (AEO).  The latest forecast projects energy usage through the year 2030.  Because the U.S. is embracing the question, why build green?, our projected future energy usage is dropping with each new forecast.  This forecast includes both residential and commercial energy consumption.  In the most recent forecast, the EIA estimates that Americans will spend $3.66 trillion less on energy between 2012 and 2030 than was projected just six years ago.

In this forecast, the EIA includes an estimate of new buildings added since this will affect the overall amount of energy consumed.  They measure this by building floor area.  The latest forecast by the EIA calls for a building floor area increase of 38.6% through 2030.  Even with this projected increase in floor area, the projected increase in energy consumption is only 13.7% through 2030 with implementation of current average green building technologies.

If the U.S. continues to seek answers to the question, Why Build Green?, we will continue to adopt the best green building technologies.  By implementing the best available technologies, the forecast shows future energy consumption actually dropping by 9% in the U.S. through 2030.  This is pretty amazing considering the new buildings added are expected to increase floor area by 38.6% over this same time period.

For residential new home construction, green homes are projected to grow to between 29% and 38% of the market by 2016 (according to McGraw-Hill Construction).  So, approximately one in every three new homes built will include green building products and methods.  This translates to a total dollar value of approximately $100 billion in 2016.  If you are still thinking to yourself…this is all great information, but for my new addition, remodel or home…why build green?

There are actually two major direct benefits to you as the homeowner that chooses to embrace green building technologies for a new project.  The first and most obvious benefit is that you will get a more energy efficient, comfortable home.  The second benefit relates to the huge growth in the green home construction market.  I think it’s safe to say that a big movement in any marketplace is a direct result of demand.  Meaning, green homes will grow to a third of the market because people want them.  It’s that simple.  So, if you include green into your new project, the demand for your home will be greater when you eventually sell it.  And greater demand leads to quicker sales and higher sales prices.

That was the long answer to the question, Why build green?  So the short answer to the question, Why build green?…is…Because we can.

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1 Comment for Why Build Green?

Green Building. Let's Trash it! Think green is too complicated?- Armchair Builder :: Blog :: Build, renovate, & repair your own home. Save money as an owner-builder. | April 13, 2012 at 9:37 am

[…] Most suppliers will take back leftover building materials that are still in new condition.  This will typically come with a credit (minus a restocking fee).  As a builder, I typically include a note in my scopes of work and specifications for my lumber supplier to pickup leftover lumber at the end of the job for a credit.  This helps with your green building initiatives by keeping perfectly good material out of the landfill and helps you be as efficient as possible with your material and budgets.  Want to know more about green building?  Check out our previous article titled Why Build Green? […]