It’s no secret that one of the U.S. industries hardest hit by therecession has been homebuilding, which in many ways is still trying tograpple its way back to even years after taking a nosedive.
The downturn is just part of the reason that homebuilders could, according to a new report, do more in terms of greenbuilding — that is, designing homes that comeequipped with environmentally friendly features, like energy efficientappliances and lights, insulated windows and solar energy systems. As relayed by WSJ Blogs,
“Companies today have taken many meaningful steps towarddeveloping greener and cleaner homes,” the report states. “However,given the environmental impact that home building has, the industry hassignificantly more progress to make.”
Issued by Calvert Investments — the Maryland-based group that focuses invests in socially andenvironmentally responsible companies — the report ranks the top tenbiggest public home builders based on land use, building materials,energy, water and climate change. Calvert concluded that, for the mostpart, many green features are available — and homebuilders are more than willing to use them. The problem is that home buyers are not willing to pay the extra buck; buyers seem more concerned with price thanenvironmental considerations. And even the most stable buildingcompanies can’t afford to build homes that people won’t buy.
So the logical question would be: Is it possible to build a home that’s easy on the wallet and the environment?
California-based KB Home may have the answer. Like many of itscounterparts, KB Home makes made-to-order homes. You pick the size,location and design, and they build it. The building company topsCalvert’s list, mainly because it has found a happy medium with its “Open Series,” which the company describes as economic and efficient.
Pulte Homes did OK, ranking second, but Calvert sees KB as the onlycompany in the study to provide a comprehensive sustainability report of its homes. To boot, KB was tops in all categories (land use, buildingmaterials, energy, water and climate change), has built more Energy Star qualified homes than the others and, notably, conducted a recent studyto show homeowners the benefits of owning an Energy Star qualified homeover a long period of time.