Homebuilders are reporting growing demand for green homes from customers seeking long-term cost savings. A new report from McGraw-Hill Construction found that green homes currently make up 17 percent of the residential construction market, and are expected to account for 29 to 38 percent of the market by 2016. More than a fourth of the more than 8,000 Energy Star-certified homes built in South Carolina since 1995 have been built since the beginning of 2012. Larry Hutchinson, co-owner of South Carolina homebuilder the Paragon Group, says customers often don’t know exactly what features they want, but are increasingly asking about green homes. Hutchinson says his customers are even keener on going green after learning about the various tax credits and energy savings that help offset upfront costs. Peery Homes’ John Peery notes demand is especially high for practical features such as upgraded insulation, higher quality windows and doors, and efficient heating and cooling systems. Quinn-Satterfield’s Rick Quinn says customers want products that will reduce long-term costs, such as radiant-barrier roof decking that helps prevent heat buildup in attic space. Such measures also are more appealing as they have become less expensive, with the McGraw-Hill Construction study showing that the cost of building a green home has declined significantly since 2006.
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