When it comes to building valuable homes, a new study from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) indicates that green may be the way to go.

“The Value of LEED Homes in the Texas Real Estate Market: A Statistical Analysis of Resale Premiums for Green Certification,” found that new homes in Texas that were built to meet standards such as LEED are worth an average of $25,000 more in resale value than non-LEED homes. Also, between 2008 and 2016, homes built to LEED standards showed an 8 percent boost in value. Homes built to a wider range of standards saw a 6 percent increase in value.

This study examined more than 3,800 green-certified homes built in Texas in this time frame, and was based on an analysis of more than 230,000 homes in the state. The basic purpose of the study was to see whether any green certification had an effect on a home’s resale value.

“Our research shows there is a ‘green premium’ in the Texas single-family home market,” said Greg Hallman, faculty director of the Real Estate Finance and Investment Center at the McCombs School of Business. “The average new home in our Texas MLS data set sells for $311,000, so a 6-to-8-percent green premium represents a significant gain for homeowners, developers, and real estate agents and brokers.”

According to a statement from the University of Texas at Austin, LEED-certified homes enhance the health and well-being of occupants and provide cost savings to homeowners and residential building owners. This is on top of the overall energy savings, since LEED-certified homes use 20–30 percent less energy than a standard home.

“As developers and buyers continue to see the value in LEED, we expect the number of LEED-certified homes to increase in the Texas market,” said Taryn Holowka, senior vice president, USGBC. “Homes that are built to meet green standards deliver more value to the seller and also ensure that buyers will have a high-value sale down the road and reap the benefit of lower utility bills while living in the home.”

The USGBC expects the residential green construction market overall to grow to $100.4 million in 2018 from $55 million in 2015. In Texas, there are more than 6,890 homes that are currently LEED-certified or pursuing this certification.