What Builders and Developers Should Know About People's Motivations for Sustainability

by Amanda Winstead

What Builders and Developers Should Know About People

Sustainable housing is nothing new. For years, homeowners, developers, and designers have sought ways to build homes that don’t just sit on the land but are a part of it. All over the world, some people and communities live in homes that are more eco-friendly and make use of the natural resources around them. However, it’s only recently that sustainability has become more mainstream.  

While environmental concerns are a massive driver in people’s motivations to pursue eco-friendly homes, there are additional drivers such as saving money and improving quality of life that make sustainable living more desirable as well. For builders and developers, it’s essential to take note of these motivations and trends towards sustainability to stay ahead of wants and demands.  


What is Motivating Homeowners to Choose Sustainability? 

Sustainability is no longer a niche or unique idea—it is here to stay. Eventually, homeowners won’t just see green living as a desire but as a need. Of course, reducing our carbon footprint is a key benefit, but what else is driving the demand for sustainable construction?  


  • Cost-effective: It seems these days that the cost of everything is quickly on the rise. For many people, seeking a sustainable home isn’t just about saving the earth but about saving their bank account. Not only do the materials for green homes tend to cost less, but once built, they run more efficiently and can save homeowners money on their energy bills.  

  • Renewable sources and materials: Sustainable homes are typically built using recycled materials and systems that recycle water. Additionally, they make use of renewable resources to preserve energy, such as wind and solar power. These are all desirable aspects of green homes that people are looking for to protect the environment. 

  • Waste reduction: Waste reduction is a significant driver for those who aren’t just into sustainability for the health and monetary benefits. Many people are interested in lowering their environmental impact, so the less waste they produce, the better. Many green homes are built with this in mind. 

  • Better quality of life: Older houses are drafty and traditional materials often emit toxins. However, sustainable homes tend to have better airflow and utilize cleaner materials that are better for our health. Additionally, green buildings often cut down on noise and prioritize bringing the outside in with lots of windows and sunlight. All of these things help with morale and our overall health and wellbeing.  

  • Innovation: When we feel better, we tend to experience an increase in productivity levels. Those that live in sustainable homes are more inspired. Builders and designers as well often see green construction as a way to get creative and make a name for themselves. 


What Homeowners are Looking for in a Sustainable House 

As builders and developers take note of what is driving people to choose sustainable housing, it’s helpful to consider the specifics they are looking for to meet demands. We know they want a green home to reduce their environmental impact, save money, and improve their quality of life, but what exactly do they want in their homes to achieve these goals and desires?  



Self-sustainable homes provide for all of your needs independently without the need to constantly make changes, repairs, or updates. When people talk about wanting an eco-friendly and sustainable home, they want a home that runs efficiently and makes their life easier, all while reducing their carbon footprint.  

They want to have access to most things they need right inside their home or on their land without help or assistance from outside factors. This means having a home that produces their food, their energy, benefits their mental and physical health, and saves them money by reducing consumption.   


Smart Tech 

Smart homes and even entire smart neighborhoods are a big part of living sustainably. They are made of energy-efficient materials, utilize smart tech like solar panels and other systems and appliances, and focus on home automation. This feeds into that desire we mentioned above about wanting to live independently without the need for outside help or assistance. 

Smart homes allow homeowners to essentially automate their life without needing to hire or pay for outside services. And the smart products they use help them cut down on their consumption and energy bills, which in turn benefits the environment.  


Zero Energy 

Zero energy homes make use of sustainable materials and smart tech to fulfill all of our basic needs so that we are almost entirely living “off-grid.” They run so efficiently that they produce as much renewable energy as they consume. Some believe that this type of zero energy living provides people with the highest level of satisfaction because it meets all of their needs on every level.  



By staying on top of sustainability trends, builders and developers can continue to grow their businesses by continually meeting customer demands and desires. This want and need for eco-friendly homes will likely only continue to ramp up in the coming years. So it’s important to learn how to adapt now to ensure you don’t lose out on opportunities that your competitors will be more than happy to take hold of.  

In addition to sustainable trends, people also want to hire quality businesses with ethical practices. Providing sustainable goods is one thing, but if the service and the practices behind the facade aren’t ethical, then customers will find someone else to do business with. Some companies see being transparent about their practices as a risk, but in the construction industry, it’s a business risk worth taking when people are turning more and more towards homes, services, and businesses themselves that are sustainable and ethical.  


Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.


Comments are closed on this post.