Tied for third place is energy-efficient appliances and low-flow faucets and showerheads, which past surveys have shown are the most favored switch-outs in small remodeling jobs.
And, while appliances come in third volume-wise, designers believe they are the most critical element in a sustainable remodel.
In answer to the question “Which do you feel is the most important element in a green remodel?” 34% of designers felt that the inclusion of energy-efficient products in a remodel was key, ranking 13 percentage points above its nearest competitor, the use of recycled/repurposed materials in a remodel. Using locally sourced products came next with 14% of respondents reporting seeking these products out.
A whopping 80% of those surveyed reported actively recycling and reclaiming items from demolitions. There are tax incentives for donating these items to resell firms, plus the environmental boon of not sending reusable items to the landfill.
Designers and dealers are seeing clients motivated by environmental concerns requesting green. That is the response to the question of what a client’s primary motivation is for going green (31%). Energy and water savings, which translate to dollars saved, are close behind with 30% of the votes tallied.
In the question of whether clients are willing to pay more for green, the answer is a definitive no, garnering 60% of total responses tallied.
This is still a somewhat surprising answer. KBDN ran a survey in a special supplement to the March 2009 issue asking the very same question. The split at that time was 33% yes, against 67% no. The current 60/40 split may signal that the premium on green products is coming down, or that the benefits of these products are becoming more attractive to consumers.
Lucky for designers looking to sell the sustainable markup, when clients are willing to pay extra, they’re willing to pay 10%, which is the number quoted above as the average markup for green products and services.
Finally, the last question touched upon the promotion of sustainability: 50.33% of designers said they do promote their sustainable design capabilities, edging out the 49.67% who say they do not. This indicates a slim margin of victory for sustainability. With the movement from fad to permanence, it is up to the designer/dealer community to translate that small margin into big profits.