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Health Found to be the Most Powerful Motivator for Consumers to Build or Buy a Green Home

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RISMEDIA, July 18, 2007—Building Green TV and RCLCO (Robert Charles Lesser & Co.) announced that health is the most powerful motivator for consumers to build or purchase a green home. A recent survey conducted by RCLCO found that as many as 42% of all buyers would be motivated to purchase a green home based on knowledge of
their health benefits, compared with only 17% for energy savings and 12% for the environment.*

“The industry has assumed that buyers would be motivated by the same energy cost-saving benefits that drive demand in the commercial sector,” said Shyam Kannan, vice president and director of research and development for RCLCO. “This approach hasn’t had much traction because of the timing of the costs and benefits of energy-saving features. On average, buyers want to recoup the upfront cost of energy-saving features in 3.8 years, but it takes almost eight years for reduced energy bills to make up for the
investment in these energy-saving features. Meanwhile, buyers who are aware of the link between indoor air quality and a range of illnesses are unwilling to cut corners to protect the health of their families.”  

The industry has not capitalized on this strong motivation. Creator and host of PBS’ Building Green Kevin Contreras discovered in his own building research that health is a serious concern in the home: “Most people don’t realize that it is common for the air in the average American home to be five times more toxic than the pollution found in our major cities.”

RCLCO and Building Green TV also announced today a strategic partnership that aims to raise awareness to important green building trends. As part of the partnership, RCLCO will provide business intelligence about the green building market, which will serve as
programming content for Building Green, the new weekly PBS television series that takes an entertaining and informative look at ways to “green” homes and buildings using earth-friendly techniques and materials. The content will also be available on Building Green TV’s video-rich companion Web site at http://www.buildinggreentv.com.

*In the spring of 2007, RCLCO (Robert Charles Lesser & Co.) conducted a national survey of homeowners to gain an understanding of their attitudes toward Green residential products. The survey, deployed via the Internet, yielded 1,011 complete responses from the continental United States. The survey was geographically stratified to mirror the geographic distribution of householders across the contiguous United States. The survey targeted existing homeowners with incomes of over $50,000, or in the case of
retirees, those with estimated net worth of at least $250,000.

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