Survey Reveals Green Building Materials Still a Priority Despite the Economy

Austin-based company, Krantz Select Woods, a premiere purveyor of fine woods, released the recent results of their 2011 Green Building Materials Survey.  Backed by over 100 years in the lumber business, Krantz Recovered Woods recovered was born in 2002 (relocated to Austin in 2009).  Krantz Recovered woods specializes in reclaimed antique-quality lumber,   from raised sinker logs (originally harvested in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s), as well as lumber salvaged from pre-1925 buildings and structures around the country. Since its launch, Krantz Recovered Woods has grown into one of the leading online purveyors of fine recovered woods in the country.

Recovered woods reuse and recycle lumber resources, preventing the depletion of today’s forest by preventing any new tree harvesting, and helping to reduce landfills.   Most Krantz Recovered Woods lumber is sourced within 500 miles to keep transportation emissions to a minimum, which is yet another green benefit of recovered wood.   Krantz Recovered Woods are regularly selected for projects by green designers and builders, like the HomeAway Corporation offices, a LEED Certified building, in ATX.

As green issues are a frequent motivation behind customers’ purchasing decisions of recovered woods and have helped their Texas-based business grow four times since their relocation to Austin, Krantz decided to gather more insight into the importance of green building materials to consumers and professionals. In Nov 2011, Krantz issued a short survey to customers and industry contacts to gauge their interest and motivations in purchasing green building products.  The survey revealed that businesses and consumers are still purchasing green building products and materials despite the tough economic times. 

Krantz announced that they released the findings of their Green Survey, conducted in November, 2011. The informal survey included both consumers and professionals, and sought to gauge consumer and commercial use of and attitudes about green building materials.

The survey findings indicate that regardless of the current tough economic conditions, both consumers and professionals continue to seek environmentally responsible materials for their building and design choices. 72% of consumer survey respondents said that green building materials are more important than five years ago, while 57% of building professionals responded that green building materials are more important than five years ago.

Survey results also show that while the recession has not lowered the importance of green builds and remodels, it has slowed.  About one third of consumer respondents and half of professional respondents have put at least one green building project on hold due to the economy. 

“Our findings confirm what we’ve been seeing in our day to day business and dealings with customers,” said Jimmy Krantz, owner of Krantz Select Woods.  “Regardless of economic conditions, green building materials are in high demand not only due to their environmental benefits but also because of their beauty and exceptional quality.” 

The Krantz survey indeed revealed that environmental impact is not the only important factor when choosing a green product.  While 39% of total respondents listed environmental factors as key in selecting green building materials, 31% of total respondents listed aesthetics as key in selecting green building materials and 30% listed cost savings (rebates) as key in selecting green building materials.

Green and sustainable building professionals, such as  Krantz Select Woods are optimistic about the continued trend towards sustainable building practices. Survey responses illustrate that confidence, with interest in sustainable building materials and practices is expected to grow in the near future.  Approximately 60% of consumer respondents and 57% of professional respondents anticipate an increase in the importance of green building/sustainable materials in the next five years for their building/construction needs.

Survey Detail:

1. Consumers and businesses consider green building materials as an important component of their new build or remodel projects:

·       69% of consumers said that using green building products is somewhat important to them, but not a top/determining factor; 18 % responded it is an extremely important decision factor.

·       Professionals responses echoed those of consumers, with 68% of building professionals saying that using green building products is somewhat important to them, but not a top/determining factor; ; 18 % responded that  it is an extremely important decision factor.

2. The importance of using building materials among consumers and professionals continues to grow.

·       According to 72% of consumer respondents, green building materials are more important than five years ago; 28% of consumer respondents said that green building materials were of the same importance as five years ago.

·       57% of building professionals responded that green building materials are more important than five years ago; 29% of professional respondents said that green building materials were of the same importance to them as five years ago and 14% said green building materials were of less importance than five years ago.

3. Green building products and materials are expected to to grow in importance for both building professionals and consumers.

·       Approximately 60% of consumer respondents anticipate an increase in the importance of green building/sustainable materials in the next five years.

·       57% of building professionals anticipate an increase in the importance of green building/sustainable materials in the next five years.

4. While the current recession has not lowered the importance of green building products/materials, it has somewhat slowed the pace of new green building projects or initiatives, particularly commercial projects.

·       Approximately 32% of consumer respondents have put at least one green project/initiative on hold due to current economic conditions

·       Half of building professionals surveyed have put at least one green project/initiative on hold due to current economic conditions

5. Environmental impact is only one of several factors influencing the selection of prioritization of green/sustainable building materials:

·       39% of total respondents listed environmental factors as key in selecting green building materials

·       31% of total respondents listed aesthetics/design as key in selecting green building materials

·       30% of total respondents listed rebates/cost savings as key in selecting green building materials

Survey  Methodology

Krantz Select Woods informally surveyed approximately 3,300 consumers and building professionals via email during the month of November, 2011. Participants were randomly selected from the Krantz customer and contact database.  Approximately 60% of respondents self-identified as consumers, while 29% self-identified as business professionals or architects. 

Source: Krantz Recovered Woods (parent company: Krantz Select Woods)

Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.