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Green Construction Trends Continue to Grow

by Chicago Agent

Green building trends in housing construction and remodeling are growing, and will only continue to increase in the future. According to Housing Wire, Harvey Bernstein, vice president, industry insights and alliances, McGraw-Hill Construction, noted that in 2010, a third of all commercial real estate construction was green, as was 16 percent of residential construction.

Green remodeling has become a trend since a federal tax credit was enacted in 2009, which provides an opportunity for homeowners to make improvements in their home for them to become more green.

The significant savings in energy costs for green buildings is becoming a homeowner’s number one interest, however Jeff Mezger, president and CEO of KB Homes, sees a challenge with appraising these buildings and introducing products for this market without raising costs.

Instead of looking at the cost of home ownership in the conventional way by taking into account principal, interest, tax and insurance costs, Mezger would like lenders to instead consider the additional factor of energy costs — in particular the savings to be had via green building.

Stockton Williams, senior adviser for urban policy with the Department of Energy, expects as much as $20 billion in total savings from creating green buildings, which could be put back into the economy.

However, according to Williams, the reason many have not embraced green buildings is from a lack of knowledge from the buyer or the seller. The government is creating standards and protocols for home energy workers to help.

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