A report released by research firm The Freedonia Group estimates the U.S. market for green building materials will exceed $80 billion by 2013, with a predicted 7.2% annual increase from $57 billion in 2008. Much of the growth, however, will be driven primarily by the overall recovery of the residential market, according to a statement.

…Los Angeles–based big builder KB Home has launched My Home. My Earth., a resource on its corporate Web site (www.kbhome.com) that provides information to consumers on how to make their houses more efficient in order to slash utility costs and decrease their homes’ environmental impact. It also features advice on green product selection and links to environmental information sources.

…Beazer Homes reports that about 30,000 prospective homebuyers participated in its eco-themed sweepstakes in January and February, leading to 600 new-home sales for the Atlanta-based national builder. The event gave participants a chance to instantly win one of 350 environmentally friendly products. A Maryland woman won the grand prize of a 2009 Toyota Prius.

…Pardee Homes announced that its new Los Angeles County neighborhoods have qualified for the California Green Builder (CGB) designation, including houses in the builder’s Santa Clarita master-planned community of Fair Oaks Ranch. CGB-compliant homes exceed California’s Title 24 energy requirements, the most stringent in the nation, by at least 15%. CGB standards also include diverting at least 50% of construction and jobsite waste; reducing water use by at least 20,000 gallons annually compared to contemporary non-green homes; and using lumber efficiently.

 …Centex has begun construction on Centex Energy Advantage homes in Houston; Austin, Texas; and Charlotte, N.C. According to the Dallas-based production builder, Energy Advantage homes, an internal program, are up to 22% more efficient than comparable new houses built to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. —Excerpted from online reports. To view full versions of these news items, plus additional daily green building coverage, visit www.ecohomemagazine.com.