Green Builders are on the Rise

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Today, more than ever, people are paying attention to how the products they use, and their lifestyle, affect the environment at large. Green marketing, as we currently know it, is a phenomenon that began evolving at a rapid pace in the 1980s, with the implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reports. CSR Reports provided an overview of companies’ environmental impact; consumers were now able to better understand which companies were wasteful, and which were implementing sustainable measures. This new awareness spilled over into multiple industries, including the homebuilding industry, resulting in increased attention given to “green” approaches to design and construction – and it’s continued to grow. In fact, in 2014 33% of builders in Canada reported that more than 60% of their projects use green construction. This number is steadily increasing due to a combination of buyer demand, municipal and federal green building policies and a conscious need to “do the right thing”.

When comparing two homes, 80% of homebuyers say that energy efficiency would have a moderate to large impact on their selection. As well, 78% of homebuyers said water consumption would make a difference – that’s a big deal. The problem is many buyers aren’t willing to dramatically pump up their budgets for green features. So with this in mind, a green building strategy, with energy efficient differentiators, is something that builders need to be cognisant of when developing their marketing strategies. Here at BAM, it’s something that we’ve been helping our clients develop, and with extremely positive results. In fact, two of our clients are in the running for Green Home Builder of the Year at the 2015 BILD awards, with green brands/marketing developed in collaboration with us.

As more and more builders begin to employ green construction and technology into their new projects, it will eventually become harder to stand out, especially with evolving municipal policies that govern the minimum levels of efficiency a new home must meet. “Nice to haves” are slowly transforming into standard expectations, which are going to force builders to employ cutting edge tech/green features, without affecting prices, in order to attract today’s new breed of buyer. With a projected figure that 70% of Canadian builders will be 60% green by 2017, it will definitely be interesting to see what developers will do to contrast their projects from the competition.

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