Top 3 Home Qualities Customers Want for Better Living at Home

Sustainability and Green Building

Although life will settle into a new normal post-COVID, the experiences of 2020 will resonate for years to come. Consumers are realizing both the physical and mental benefits of a high-performing home, and many will seek these features in their next new home or remodel.

Customers will likely focus on comfort, wellness and efficiency — high-performance trends already on the rise prior to the pandemic, according to the 2020 Green SmartMarket Brief and the 2019 What Home Buyers Really Want survey.

You can translate these qualities into concrete options for home buyers and home owners using some of the practical applications and strategies below:
Customer Want: Comfort High-Performance Strategies
No drafts
  • Continuous building envelope (confirm with a blower door test)
  • Weatherstripping around windows and doors
Consistent indoor temperatures
  • Smart thermostat
  • Weatherstripping around windows and doors
  • Continuous building envelope (confirm with a blower door test)
  • High R-value insulation in floors, walls and ceilings
Customer Want: Wellness High-Performance Strategies
Healthy indoor environment
  • Balanced ventilation
  • Fresh air intakes
  • Kitchen range hood that vents directly outdoors
  • Bathroom exhaust fans
  • HVAC filtration — high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) or high MERV rating
  • Low volatile organic compound (VOC) materials
No odors
  • Kitchen range hood that vents outdoors
  • Balanced ventilation
  • Low VOC materials
No mold
  • Bathroom exhaust fans that vent outdoors
  • HVAC systems with sensors and automation
  • Moisture-resistant barrier in building envelope
  • Leak detection system
Natural light
  • Double- or triple-pane window with lower solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and U-factors
Customer Want: Efficiency High-Performance Strategies
Lower energy bills
  • Smart thermostat
  • High R-value insulation in floors, walls and ceilings
  • Continuous building envelope (confirm with a blower door test)
  • ENERGY STAR appliances
Lower water bills
  • WaterSense-labeled fixtures
  • Minimize pipe runs (distance from water heater to fixtures)
  • Leak detection system
  • Landscaping with drought-tolerant plants
  • Smart irrigation systems

You can also find tips and resources for talking to customers about these must-have qualities at Home Performance Counts, a joint initiative between NAHB and the National Association of REALTORS.

Third-party green certification programs, such as the ICC700-2020 National Green Building Standard® (NGBS), can help building professionals realize their customers’ high-performance must-haves in both new homes and for remodeling projects. If you are just getting started with green certification, the NGBS Bronze cookbooks provide roadmaps to the most commonly incorporated practices in NGBS Green Certified homes. Visit for more information on how to certify a project to the NGBS, or purchase a hard copy or download a free pdf of the reference standard.

For more information about NAHB’s sustainable and green building programs, contact Program Manager Michelle Diller. And to stay current on the high-performance residential building sector, follow NAHB’s Sustainability and Green Building team on Twitter.

Subscribe to NAHBNow

Log in or create account to subscribe to notifications of new posts.

Log in to subscribe