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For the longest time, the concept of green building has been a novel concept for builders of custom homes. However, what was once regarded as a niche has grown more broadly recognized in recent years. More than 1.6 million residential units have already been certified under the LEED for Homes program, which was launched in 2008 by the US Green Building Council.

Green and traditional builders of custom homes have diametrically opposed beliefs. Markets (homebuyers) undoubtedly reward green builders for their strategy. This is not to argue that conventional builders lack viable markets; rather, they will have more if they grasp what attracts green-conscious homebuyers.

The green movement is highly promoted. Therefore, it’s easy to see how busy homebuilders with limited time to attend conferences and seminars or study a variety of sources would be puzzled. As a result, they may make fewer sustainable decisions.

However, the homebuilding industry is already competitive and will grow more so as building regulations tighten and homebuyers gain knowledge. As a result, all homebuilders must maintain the necessary level of understanding to guide purchasers through the numerous available options.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GREEN HOMEBUILDERS AND TRADITIONAL HOMEBUILDERS?

1.   CRITERIA FOR MATERIAL SELECTION

Compared to green builders, traditional builders place a substantially lower priority on sustainability when picking construction materials. The materials used by a green builder will be manufactured from recycled materials or from renewable raw materials; the energy efficiency, recyclability, and length of service life of the materials will be considered; and the supplies will be sourced from within the local community if possible. These selection criteria are more significant to green builders than they are to typical builders, according to their assessments.

2.   AS BUILDING MATERIALS, PERCEPTIONS OF WOOD, STEEL, AND CONCRETE

Steel and concrete, according to green builders, have a very long service life. When it comes to whether wood or steel contributes to a high level of energy efficiency in the finished house, green builders believe that steel is both highly renewable and recyclable. Green construction experts, unlike traditional builders, believe that wood is a renewable resource and that concrete and steel are recyclable. Although green builders do not believe steel and concrete manufacturing techniques create low CO2 emissions or require little energy, traditional builders are significantly more ambiguous on these topics.

3.   AWARENESS OF BUILDING-PRODUCT TECHNOLOGIES

Although both traditional and green builders are educated with energy-efficient windows, water-conserving fixtures, energy-efficient appliances, and low volatile organic compounds (VOC) paints, green builders are more knowledgeable about these four technologies than traditional builders. There is still plenty to learn about heat-recovery ventilators, solar energy generation and water heating, structural insulated panels, concrete with decreased cement, and tankless water heaters for both types of builders to learn.

4.   IMPACTS OF BUILDING MATERIALS ON THE ENVIRONMENT

While both traditional and green builders are aware of the environmental impacts of low-VOC paints, heat-recovery ventilators, solar energy generation, solar water heating, concrete with reduced cement, water-conserving fixtures, tankless water heaters, and energy-efficient appliances, traditional builders are significantly less informed about these issues than green builders.

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