Slow and Steady

NAHB survey indicates total green housing market share will rise to as much as 10 percent by 2010
By Felicia Oliver, Senior Editor | August 31, 2006

Results of a recent survey indicate the number of home builders producing green homes grew 20 percent in 2005, and is expected to increase 30 percent in 2006.

The Residential Green Building SmartMarket Report, produced by McGraw-Hill Construction and the NAHB, estimates the residential green building market share will increase from $7.4 billion and 2 percent of housing starts last year to between $19 billion and $38 billion and 5 - 10 percent of residential construction activity in 2010.

"It's clear more and more of our members are incorporating environmentally sensitive, resource efficient techniques into traditional home building practices," said Jerry Howard, NAHB executive vice president and CEO. "It is a natural progression as home builders stay atop market trends."

“I think those projections are a little bit conservative,” says Richard Morgan, Austin Energy Green Building Program manager. “We’re seeing 25 percent of new construction in our service area being rated by our program.”

“I think you’ll see places like Colorado, Houston, Phoenix, California, and Florida, - all the usual suspects - well above that 10 percent,” Morgan adds. “And that’s where the houses are being built.”

As green building continues to move into the mainstream, builders that were early adopters are in a good position, but shouldn’t be complacent.

“I think it’s going to be a good thing for them,” says Morgan. “But as more of the market moves into green, the builders that have been doing it are going to have to be a bit more innovative to maintain their leadership role.”