A national survey conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)shows that 56% of builder respondents believe building green makes it easier to market their homes in a down economy.

"Green building has definitely reached its upper tipping point," Harvey M. Bernstein, McGraw-Hill Construction vice president of Industry Analytics, Alliances and Strategic Initiatives, said in a statement. He added: "Green building gives builders that opportunity to expand their market share and ride out this economic slump."

The report, "The Green Home Builder: Navigating for Success in a Down Economy," covers market opportunities, key triggers and obstacles, and trends in green home building practices between 2001 and 2007. Other major findings include:
* 21% of builders who responded said they expect to build 90% of their projects green in 2009.
* 60% claimed home buyers are willing to pay more for green homes.
* 14% said homes are 30% more environmentally friendly than they were two years ago.
* 85% said they think energy-efficient features are the things that make homes more environmentally friendly.

In addition, the builder respondents said they install energy-efficient products more than others. In particular, they focus on tight construction, increased insulation, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, and Energy Star-rated products.

"This survey clearly indicates that the market is moving toward more sustainable home-building practices," Michigan builder Bob Jones, NAHB vice chairman/treasurer, said in a statement.

The region with the most substantial green building growth is the Pacific Coast, followed by the South Atlantic and Mountain regions. The East South Central region has the smallest growth, the report stated.