When you reduce the consumption of home energy, you save money! This simple fact is how the green-building movement has gained momentum for more than a decade.

McGraw-Hill Construction’s 2011 Green Outlook has been tracking trend that are driving this growth of green building. The report indicates that 70% of buyers prefer a green home over a conventional one. Why? The top 3 reasons were: reduced operating costs – increased value – greater return on investment.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) certifies residential building projects that meet the criteria of The National Green Building Standard. According to the NAHB, Green homes made up 17% of the overall construction market in 2011 and by 2016 it is expected to grow between 29% and 38%.

A joint program of the EPA and DOE started in 1992, ENERGY STAR promotes energy efficient products and practices that help save money and protect the environment. In addition to new homes, the blue ENERGY STAR label appears on over 60 product categories. In 2011, ENERGY STAR saved consumers more than $23 billion on utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emissions from 41 million vehicles.

Created by RESNET, The HERS Index provides a standard for measuring energy efficiency that’s essentially the home building industry’s version of the MPG (miles per gallon) sticker used by the automobile industry. The major difference is that a lower HERS rating means a home is more efficient.

LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design was developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2000 as a voluntary and technically rigorous process that demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Encompassing energy, water, indoor air quality, materials, land and education, LEED requires multiple inspections during construction to ensure that a certified home will exceed any local code requirements by at least 15% in energy performance, along with a number of additional guidelines from water efficiency measures to proper ventilation and how the landscape features are designed.

As of June 19 more than 5,200 US homes have been LEED-certified this year. That makes a total of 21,380 since the residential program was introduced in 2008. In just over 14 years, the number of ENERGY STAR-certified homes reached a million, from October 1995 to November 2009, and the program continues to grow, challenging builders to improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

Watch for more LEED homes in your area as buyers realize the process is within their reach, and as leading builders who have historically incorporated high-quality construction practices demonstrate they are attainable, flexible and affordable.

Who’s the LEED-er in your neighborhood?

Courtland Building Company would love to help you plan your green home, call us today: (281) 932-4494

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