From: Reuters
Published September 10, 2008 08:47 AM

Home buyers look to cut climate control costs

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Home buyers increasingly want architects to give them green features like extra insulation instead of extra room to host in-laws, an architects' trade group said.

The weak housing market and high home energy costs are making home size less important to buyers, causing them to lose interest in rooms with specific purposes such as game rooms and "in-law suites," according to the American Institute of Architects' second-quarter Home Design Trend Survey.

Only 8 percent of the survey's respondents said game rooms were increasingly popular, while last year 23 percent said that.

Even home offices have become less popular, although they remain the most requested specialized room.

Forty-one percent of respondents said home offices were increasing in popularity. In last year's report, 61 percent said so.

By contrast, home buyers are requesting more features that facilitate energy efficiency. Sixty-eight percent of the survey's respondents said more customers were requesting extra insulation in the attic compared with 56 percent a year ago.

Two-thirds of respondents or more said green products such as tankless water heaters, double or triple-glazed windows and sustainable flooring products such as bamboo or cork were gaining in popularity.

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