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More homes outfitted with green technology

More Americans than ever are interested in properties outfitted with energy-efficient technologies. According to McGraw-Hill Construction's "SmartMarket Report: New and Remodeling Green Homes: Transforming the Residential Market," the share of green homes on the market has increased.

About 17 percent of all new residential construction projects were green in 2011, and they accrued about $17 billion in profits. By 2016, the green share of the new construction market is expected to grow by about 29 to 38 percent to a potentially $87 to $114 billion industry. These figures were based off five-year forecasts for the overall residential construction industry.

"In the current residential market, there is an enormous need to differentiate your homes for consumers," said Harvey Bernstein, Vice President of Industry Insights and Alliances at McGraw-Hill Construction. "When builders are able to offer homes that not only are green, but also offer the combination of higher quality and better value, they have a major competitive edge over those building traditional homes."

Contractors building green properties will likely incorporate light emitting diodes (LEDs) into the design of a residential home. The energy-efficient lighting solution can drastically decrease the amount of electricity required to illuminate a space. LED lighting uses at least 80 percent less energy than traditional lighting solutions like incandescent bulbs.

According to the United States Department of Energy (DOE), LED lighting can last 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs and about 2 to 5 times longer than compact fluorescent lighting. The combination of decreased energy use and limited need to replace these bulbs makes LED lighting the perfect technology for a green home.