We hear a great deal about green homes. It’s it the news and many people try to use green in their homes as a selling point. However the term is misleading and has been branded in ways that many do not totally understand. Recently I asked someone if they were in the market to build a new home, would they make it a green-built home? I should also mention that this person is what I would call the average American; they are not wealthy but they are not poor either. They said they would love to but assumed it would add too much to the cost of the project. They were under the impression that “green” equals higher building costs.
So there seems to be a few problems here that need to be addressed. One is that green needs to be rebranded to something like sustainable building. The green connotation isn’t working and it’s giving the wrong impression to far too many people. The fact is that many green products are comparable in price to nongreen products and are just as readily available. Indeed some products are initially more expensive but they save through more efficient uses of resources over their lifetimes. The saying “penny wise and pound foolish” is still valid.
The second thing that needs to change is that builders need to add these green or rather sustainable products into every home they build. Yes the costs may be a bit higher than the contractor product models they have relied on to cut their costs but the perception needs to change. Building a sustainable home just makes good sense for everyone and it needs to start somewhere. So even if your profits are cut a bit, the value that potential buyers perceive, as well as the goodwill and reputation you create will far outweigh those added costs. You will become known as a builder who cares and stands out among the others.
If the above two were to take hold in a short period of time, the term “green” or “sustainable” would disappear. Terms or classifications only last when there is a difference between items or it is new. When every new home that is built has all of these features as standard items, it won’t be new and there won’t be anything that separates them from the house down the street that was just built.
Green or sustainable will be the norm and a standard. Why not use this perception to your advantage and be ahead of the crowd before you are again looking for something new to stand out.
Remember when everyone had horses and those new fangled automobiles came out? I think we just call them cars now. Remember when we used green building and green homes as a selling point?