Just a few years ago, it was hard to imagine green home construction becoming anything more than a niche market among the eco-minded. Today, according to a report from the real estate financing industry magazine National Mortgage Professional, green construction accounts for 25% of revenues for the global commercial real estate industry. It isn’t just the commercial industry experiencing a green renaissance of sorts, either; McGraw Hill Construction analysts estimate that the number of residential construction services focused on eco-friendly building will more than double by the end of 2016 to keep up with demand.
The shift toward more green building may seem sudden, but it’s really the result of a gradual change in the world of green energy technologies and green building methods. Decreased costs continue to play a particularly significant role, as eco-friendly paints, lumber, and energy production technologies — while markedly more expensive than more traditional options — have become more and more affordable over the last few years. Clean Technica reports the average price for solar energy systems dropped by nearly 20% in 2013 alone.
“The amount of green certified commercial space, measured by size, has grown from under 6% in 2005 to nearly 40% by the end of 2013. With this type of demand growth, construction lending for certified buildings has had to grow exponentially in recent years to keep pace,” said Taylor W. Grace, managing partner at Midwest Capital Funding.
With more and more people supporting climate change findings — and historically low costs for helping to do something about it by making smarter decisions with both commercial and residential spaces — it should be no surprise that the demand for LEED-certified contractors and other reputable contractors has shot up by more than 9,000 in only 12 months. One thing is for certain: green homes are no longer just a fad reserved for the rich and so-called “hippies.”