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Survey says green definitions vary

A recent survey conducted on behalf of Whirlpool Corp. and Habitat for Humanity International by the NAHB Research Center showed that 74% of consumers believe that less than a quarter of their home can be categorized as “green.” The complete study reported opinions from consumers and builders on various topics related to green home building.

In response to a related question, 34% of consumers felt that the most common definition for a green home is that it reduces energy and/or water consumption by a significant percentage. Another 23% felt that a home could be considered green when the entire home is green. Responses for this question were similar across all income levels.

Builders who participated in the survey had similar feelings about the definition of green homes -- 35% preferred the definition of reducing energy and/or water consumption. However, an additional 35% defined homes as green if they are built to certification standards.

“These survey results demonstrate that many consumers recognize their homes can be more environmentally sound,” said Tom Halford, general manager, contract sales and marketing, Whirlpool Corp. “Whirlpool Corp. remains committed to understanding our customers in order to develop information they need to become greener and to make energy-efficient appliances to address the needs suggested in these survey results.”

With regard to green certification programs, consumers overwhelmingly responded that Energy Star qualification is important for residential builds (78%). The National Green Building Standard was also considered important by shares of respondents (44%), as well as state certification programs (40%).

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