“The reality about green homes and what the public actually thinks about them are not always one and the same,” Tom Halford writes this morning in Triplepundit. “In fact, they can be disparate enough that it would warrant continued action by organizations supporting green homes to increase awareness about the benefits of these homes and to dispel any myths.”
Halford’s assessment is based on a survey that his employer, Whirlpool Corporation, recently conducted with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) on the public’s perceptions about the state of affordable and green housing in the United States. The survey found that builders and consumers generally perceive green homes as affordable to live in but more expensive to purchase. Eighty-seven percent of builders believe green homes are affordable for middle-income families to live in, but 30 percent said green homes were not affordable for the segment to purchase or build. Sixty percent said that green homes were not affordable for low-income families to purchase or build.
The public is generally in favor of continued efforts to build more green homes. The survey found that 64 percent of respondents indicated that savings from green home features were sometimes worth the added costs and efforts. Seventy-seven percent of consumers said that green homes are important to them—but lower costs are key. Fifty-nine percent of consumers said that lower-cost products and materials are needed to make green homes more affordable, and 75 percent of builders agreed.
“The findings we have thus far clearly show us that this is something the public is looking for,” Halford writes. “It’s up to the companies and organizations involved in green building to help educate the public further on why this is such an important endeavor and why it can be affordable to all.
Heather Ferrier built her green home in Texas for $115 a square foot--a relative bargain. Photo by Paul Bardagjy