McGraw-Hill: Green Residential Market Share is Rising

According to McGraw-Hill Construction, since 2005 the green share of new single-family residential construction has grown dramatically–increasing from 2 percent in 2005 to 17 percent in 2011, or $17 billion in market opportunity.

McGraw-Hill Construction projects that the green market share will continue to rise to 29 percent to 38 percent in 2016, or $87 billion to $114 billion in market opportunity.

According to the same study, remodelers are reporting higher adoption of green building compared to home builders.  In the next five years half of home builders expect 60 percent or more of their projects to be green, and one third expect 90 percent of their projects to be green.

By contrast, the number of remodelers reporting 60 percent or more of their projects will be green by 2016 has doubled, and the number reporting more than 90 percent of their projects will be green has tripled.

Quality and Value Driving Growth in the Green Building Market

Energy efficiency efforts become commonplace in new construction and remodeling projects, while remodelers place high value on waste management and sustainable materials.

McGraw-Hill Construction, part of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), today released its latest SmartMarket Report: New and Remodeled Green Homes: Transforming the Residential Market at the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) National Green Building Conference and Expo. The report includes McGraw-Hill Construction’s estimate that the green homes share of the construction market was 17% in 2011, equating to $17 billion, and expected to rise 29%-38% by 2016, potentially a $87–114 billion opportunity, based on the five-year forecast for overall residential construction.

The report reveals that two of the key factors driving this market growth are the fact that green homes are seen as having higher quality and that they save consumers money.

“In the current residential market, there is an enormous need to differentiate your homes for consumers,” says Harvey Bernstein, Vice President of Industry Insights and Alliances at McGraw-Hill Construction. “When builders are able to offer homes that not only are green, but also offer the combination of higher quality and better value, they have a major competitive edge over those building traditional homes.”

This report, produced by McGraw-Hill Construction in conjunction with the NAHB and Waste Management, is designed to provide key insights into product and market opportunities in the single-family home building and remodeling industries. It is backed by proprietary research surveys and the power of the McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge database.

“NAHB builder and remodeler members were surveyed on their green building practices, which allowed us to shine a light on the state of the green market in this new report,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “The results highlight the tremendous growth in green building, and the potential market opportunities that lie ahead. As more projects seek green certification, NAHB and the NAHB Research Center stand ready to meet the demands of this exciting and ever-changing market.”

Factors driving the growth in the green home building and remodeling market include:

  • Higher quality for both new home builders and remodelers. For those doing a high volume of green homes (at least 60% of the homes they build), its importance is magnified, with 90% who regard higher quality as an important trigger for building green, compared to 72% of builders overall. 
  • Customers are strongly value-driven—around two-thirds of builders and remodeler respondents state that customers request green homes or remodeling projects in order to lower their energy use or save money, more than twice any other factor. 
  • Higher first costs for building green are noted by a much lower percentage of builders as an obstacle now than they were reported in 2008.

The study also reveals the key practices and technologies taking over in the residential marketplace as a result of the shift toward green:

  • More than 80% report that energy efficiency is making today’s homes greener compared to two years ago. Use of energy-efficient features is pervasive in the market—the top practice by nearly all surveyed builders and remodelers, regardless of their level of green building activity.
  • Indoor air quality is growing in importance and focus for home builders. 60% of home builders believe that efforts to improve indoor air quality make homes greener than they were two years ago, and 95% of high volume home builders report including features that impact air quality.
  • More than half consider durable materials one of the most important features in their homes today. In particular, remodelers emphasize this key aspect of their projects. Durability and better materials are key reasons why green homes and remodeling projects are considered of higher quality.

“These findings confirm the shift we’ve seen in the market,” says Jim Halter, Vice President, Construction Solutions for Waste Management. “Builders and remodelers are placing more emphasis on energy efficiency, increases in sustainability focused waste management practices and more products made from post-consumer materials. These important factors are pushing our industry forward.”

The key findings from the study were presented by McGraw-Hill Construction on May 1 at a plenary session at NAHB’s National Green Building Conference and Expo in Nashville, Tenn., followed by a panel of industry experts discussing its impact on the market. For a copy of the report, visit: