Houses in Boston going green more than ever

Environmental sustainability is one of the hottest buzzwords among consumers and businesses today, and the housing industry has not avoided this trend. Construction companies and real estate developers are increasingly looking to focus their efforts on reducing their negative impact on the environment. Potential homeowners who care a great deal about the environment should check out the many green homes for sale in Boston.

McGraw-Hill Construction recently reported that the green homes share of the nationwide construction market is expected to increase by as much as 38 percent by 2016. Much of this substantial increase is spurred on by an industry-wide effort to improve energy efficiency. Contractors and architects have been increasing their installations of energy-efficient windows, energy-saving appliances and insulation. Having the aforementioned features in one's home would ultimately lead to lowered heating bills. This alleviates a major stress on the budgets of families - particularly in New England, which features notoriously harsh winters - and also the environment as a whole.

Boston, and the state of Massachusetts as a whole, already has a reputation for energy efficiency. According to EcoHome Magazine, Massachusetts ranked as the second most energy-efficient state for the second year in a row. The study, conducted by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), scored all 50 states on a variety of metrics. Some key benchmarks included the number of utility and public benefits programs, transportation policies, combined heat and power policies and state government-led initiatives.

The survey also placed a heavy emphasis on rewarding states that set long-term energy savings targets and pursued investment strategies in utility-sector energy-efficiency programs. The news source reports that some of the most aggressive targets were set by Massachusetts, Arizona, Hawaii, New York, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Vermont. Overall, Massachusetts was trailed on the list of most energy-efficient states by California, New York, Oregon and Vermont.

The Boston Globe reports that two reasons energy efficiency is so popular among home builders and homeowners in Boston is due to a desire for pragmatism and an eye out on the bottom line. While the positive externalities of environmental sustainability are well-noted, homeowners also stand to save a substantial amount. The news source notes that comparable costs of materials such as sustainably harvested lumber and low VOC paints will prove to be the popular choice for contractors.