It’s no secret there is growing consumer desire for the building of green homes. And this isn’t just limited to concerns for on-site construction waste or the preservation of our planet’s natural resources. Today’s homeowners want to keep their wallets at a healthy weight and that means controlling their energy costs.

Home buyers speak out
According to a recent survey conducted by the national polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies, the number one motive for either purchasing a green home or remodeling a current home to make it greener, is reduced energy costs.

Going green without losing the green
While costs savings remains the main influence for green building and remodeling projects, production fees continue to remain a prevailing concern. Not to worry “going green” doesn’t necessarily dictate large sums up front in order to experience lifelong savings.

The NAHB Research Center recently teamed up with green advocates to develop the NAHB National Green Building program with the goal of making homes increasingly efficient and affordable so home buyers can concentrate on green features, not green building fees. To be launched mid-February during the 2008 International Builders Show, the new green building program will ensure all homes seeking to be certified under the NAHB program have energy-efficient levels at least equal to Energy Star.

Save on heating and cooling costs
Today’s most savvy manufacturers are creating innovative products that complement the emergent homeowner desire to live a healthy lifestyle in a home that will benefit Mother Nature. MonierLifetile, a K&A client, has been an environmental leader in the green movement since its inception. The preeminent manufacturer of concrete roof tile, MonierLifetile will launch its latest product development, the Energy Efficient Roof (EER), in early 2008 during its exhibition at the International Builders’ Show. MonierLifetile’s innovative EER system offers a “cool roof” assembly with a new cross-ventilation design that reduces energy consumption and enhances the roof’s durability.

A notable study on “cool roofs” administered by The Oak Ridge National Laboratory and DOE scientists and funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC), proves that the intrinsic insulating properties of MonierLifetile’s concrete roof tiles and EER sub-assembly drastically reduce annual homeowner energy costs. The combination of tile and roof system components allows for a 50 percent reduction in heat penetration into the conditioned space of a home, thereby decreasing the heating cost of a home by 22 percent.

Green isn’t a fad
Whether you’re a builder or remodeler looking for additional products and technology that will increase the appeal of your newly-built green home, or a manufacturer looking for ways to increase your green involvement and product offering, what you must remember is that the desire for green isn’t about to disappear. As more and more homeowners and home buyers look to decrease their energy bills while doing right by the environment, the industry must respond to the aspiration for sustainable living by developing programs and revolutionary products that fulfill the incorporation of “green” into every aspect of today’s homes.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog about water efficiency in today’s green homes, complementing my thoughts about Chicago’s hosting of GreenBuild 2007.