“Green” Kitchens, Products, Designs: Is it the New Buzz Word?

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey

You’ve undoubtedly heard a lot talk about “green” building lately. The U.S. Green Building Council has called energy-efficient home construction one of the few industries that is growing and thriving in the softened economy. According to a recent National Association of Home Builders survey, 61 percent of consumers said they would even be willing to spend more than $5,000 upfront to save on utility costs–which green construction targets.

But what are some of these “green” features that are popping up in homes today? REALTOR® Magazine recently visited Abt Electronics in Glenview, Ill., to tour one of its eco-friendly kitchen models and find out about the newest “green” kitchen features (see video below). Also, check out senior editor Wendy Cole’s article on “10 Ways to Make Your House Greener,” featuring new eco-friendly products.

In your markets, have you been noticing more clients asking questions about the “green” qualities in a home? Or do you think the green-construction movement has been overhyped? Share your thoughts!

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. As far as it is Overhyped, I would say ‘ YO’ (Yes and No). Clearly, the concepts are desired, but buyers are not willing to pay more for that in most cases, especially on speculative homes in today’s market. Thus, builders are reluctant to use Green components. A few ways to drive improvement: 1) Increased efficiencies in production of these products to bring the costs down, 2) tax credits for the builder to encourage them to use the Green techniques, and 3) increased tax credits for buyers to help overcome the current gap in price.

  2. PROMOTE to sell faster! HOW GREEN IS YOUR HOME? Builders are looking for favorable property for green rehabs. Realtors do the verification and make more money.
    If you would like a test and green score for your existing home. Or find out just how far from green your house is. Go to http://www.gapscore.com to see which shade of green your in, yellow, blue, light green, dark green.
    Use the score to prove the greener traits in the design and function of your home.

    Question: “Two homes are for sale. Both have the same price, but one has a high GAPScore. Which home sells faster?”