The landscape of America is changing. Major modifications in our nation’s building codes have altered the way homes and communities are being designed and constructed. Those who are marketing home products have no doubt seen this national paradigm shift supporting sustainable building practices, a move that is imperative to quality of life. GreenPlumbers USA recently reported that our nation’s economy and the well-being of the environment depend in large part upon energy and water resources used in our homes and commercial buildings. The financial experts agree, with The Financial Times stating that the building of sustainable homes yields excellent financial gains for those homeowners who take the leap.
“Although it’s still a small part of the overall market, green homebuilding has risen 50 percent since 2004,” according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). McGraw-Hill Construction, a research leader in the industry investigated and determined that this sector of the housing market can expect to see ample growth – doubling by 2012 – and be worth an estimated $40 – 70 billion. At least this is some good news for those in the housing industry who play the environmental cards right.
This growth can be attributed to the new-era households being built with state enforced eco-friendly codes and laws that merit actions for water conservation, reduction of residential green house gas emissions and use of recycled materials. Voluntary until 2010, the new codes which affect all new construction statewide call for significant increases in energy efficiency and water conservation.
An article in Contractor magazine states that indoor water consumption will need to be reduced by at least 20 percent in the coming years. This is just the start of vast policy changes worldwide which will require conservation where it was only “suggested” in the past. Water is identified as the most valuable and perishable resource.
Nationwide, building codes are also beginning to move towards the use of high efficiency toilets and low-flow faucets and showerheads; the new standard in home construction and remodeling.
So what does this mean for the home products and building industry? The general public, the building and development community, manufacturers and marketers will learn to adapt to a conservation-focused lifestyle by regulation if not by choice. Those that have not tooled up to be on the cusp will be left behind in a big way and it’s not just products; it’s getting on board with learning about the natural forces and consumption that is driving the legislative action. Interest is very high in part out of absolute necessity to meet codes but also out of a resonating perceived duty in the minds of the public to be better guardians of the world at large. As is the case in most things, those who are open to change will get the greatest level of satisfaction in increased sales and personal gratification for doing something to sustain the health of our families and our planet.