Green Home Builders Yankton SD
Sioux Falls, SD
Off-the-Shelf Green Homes
As we pointed out earlier in this issue, green building is one of the few bright spots in today’s housing industry. That’s good news for home buyers and builders alike, as it’s an indication of a healthy trend that shows no signs of slowing down. Even better, a growing number of production builders have started to incorporate green and efficient features into their neighborhoods and communities. This is a significant step, as production builders account for as much as 70 percent of new homes being built today, according to one estimate.
It should come as no surprise that some production builders are further ahead than others when it comes to going green. Calvert, a Maryland-based investment firm that advocates corporate responsibility and socially responsible investing, recently ranked the top production builders based on their environmental and sustainable practices. The study notes that, while none of the country’s 13 largest publicly traded homebuilders has “fully embraced the emerging market of sustainable building design and construction,” signs are “encouraging” as many of the largest builders start to adopt greener, more efficient building practices and materials.
The study singled out KB Home of Los Angeles as the clear leader in terms of environmental responsibility. Other top builders included D.R. Horton of Fort Worth, Texas, and Pulte Homes of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (tied for second place); Centex of Dallas, Texas (fourth place); Lennar of� Miami, Fla. (fifth place); Ryland of Calabasas, Calif. (sixth place); Beazer of Atlanta, Ga. (seventh place); Meritage of Scottsdale, Ariz. (eighth place); and Toll Brothers of Horsham, Pa. (ninth place).
KB and Pulte in particular have each constructed more than 15,000 Energy Star homes, and KB recently announced that all of the homes it builds in 2008 will include Energy Star appliances. In certain markets, Pulte is building homes with such green and efficient features as low-flow toilets, low-e (low emissivity) windows, tighter building envelopes and right-sized HVAC systems, as well as Energy Star appliances.
These two builders are not alone in incorporating green features. The study notes that 12 of the 13 largest homebuilders have now committed to building Energy Star homes in certain markets.
While this is certainly a step in the right direction, the Calvert study also notes that none of the production builders has as yet committed to building green and efficient homes on a nationwide scale. Still, progress is being made, and homebuyers in some parts of the country have a greater range of options when shopping for green homes.