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10 Reasons Green Is the New Normal in Real Estate

RISMEDIA, Thursday, April 06, 2017— The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD). In addition to the obvious benefits to the triple bottom line—people, planet, profit—below are 10 aspects of today's world intended to help real estate professionals understand that green real estate (also known as efficient, high-performance, sustainable) is the new normal and has reached its tipping point for awareness, adoption, and market penetration. 1. Today's daily life is replete with messages about environmental responsibility—from ubiquitous recycling containers to continuous advertising for "all-natural" products and media reports of high-profile environmental disasters. 2. The millennial generation is redefining what it means to live an environmentally conscious life. Surveys show the majority of millennials don't even think of themselves as environmentalists. The traditional definition is too narrow for them. Millennials incorporate green choices into their way of life. It's not what they do—it's who they are. 3. Walkability, car-optional transportation, affordability, and placemaking have become key market drivers in real estate. Communities that already have good walkability and public transit can build on these assets to attract high-income, well-educated residents, and the businesses that serve them. 4. Nearly every municipality and state in the country has adopted minimum energy efficiency standards, which gradually raise the bar for compliance. Furthermore, many building codes now may require replacement of old materials and systems with newer, more resource-efficient parts and materials. 5. Cash grants, rebates, and tax deductions provide a strong incentive as well as ease the cost of upgrades. The Database for State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency. 6. The market edge provided by certified homes is now a powerful incentive. Three major national certifications dominate in home certifications: ENERGY STAR®, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) of the Home Research Innovation Labs. 7. High-performance homes reduce mortgage risk. In a 2013 study, the Institute for Market Transformation found that mortgage defaults were found to be, on average, 32 percent lower for energy-efficient homes. 8. The rapid convergence of technologies has become part of everyday life to include mobile phones and tablets, downloadable apps, embedded sensors, and Wi-Fi internet connectivity. Smart home technology is now widely available, affordable, and usable by the majority of the population. These technologies yield valuable data which can be analyzed and used to improve home performance for cost savings and improved resource usage—and are evolving at warp speed. 9. According to predictions by market researchers at Frost & Sullivan, "the global homes and buildings industry is undergoing an intense evolution and accelerated growth. Transformational technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, data analytics, and the cloud are propelling double-digit growth and market expansion." Data collection and process improvements from these efforts have a multitude of applications for improvements including, but not limited to: water efficiency, heating and cooling, security, overall facilities management, and even healthcare. 10. In a move driven by the wishes of its members, in the fall of 2016, the National Association of REALTORS® created a new Sustainability Program designed to position NAR as a leader in the conversation about sustainability in real estate for REALTORS®, brokers, allied trade associations and consumers. For more education about green homes and sustainability, check out this month’s featured online course at the Center for REALTOR® Development, NAR's Green Designation: Day 1 & 2 Online Bundle, which is on special for 25% off this entire month of April and is the educational requirement for NAR's Green Designation. For more information, visit

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