News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
A Market in Transition
ECOBUILDING Pulse / August 8, 2013
At the end of the first year of ECOHOME’s Vision 2020 program, Cliff Majersik, executive director for the Institute for Market Transformation and chair of the Vision 2020 Market Transformation focus area, concluded that dramatic change was needed in the building environment. “To truly transform the market and make high energy efficiency a baseline,” he wrote, “we’ll have to drive change in the ways buildings are designed, constructed, inspected, retrofitted, valued, bought and sold, and insured.” So how is the industry doing nearly one year later?
It’s been nearly a year since you took part in the first Vision 2020 Sustainability Summit. Has much changed in your focus area, Market Transformation?
We’re seeing more signs that energy transparency is going national and mainstream. Research we conducted with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that owners of energy-efficient homes are 32 percent less likely to default on their mortgages–clear proof that these homes makes financial sense for owners and lenders. That’s helped start a national conversation about incorporating efficiency into mortgage underwriting and appraisal. On the commercial side, energy benchmarking has snowballed. We expect it to scale up dramatically in the next few years.
Do you see more energy codes being enforced these days?
Energy code compliance still has a lot of room for improvement. We’re providing brochures and information resources that states and local building departments can co-brand. We’re working to chronicle best practices in places that are innovating, and trying to get a better sense of compliance baselines to facilitate identifying, measuring and replicating best practices. This fall we’ll again recognize jurisdictions and code officials who are going above and beyond in our Standard Bearers award program. We can learn a lot from their successes.