PATH Goal #1: Reduce the monthly cost of new housing by 20 percent or more.

Planned Near Term Actions Milestone End Date Sponsoring
Industry Partici- pation (footnote) Status of Progress in Completing Planned Actions
Objective #1: Challenge PATH partners and all of the housing industry to invest in coordinated research, development and demonstration activities that will help achieve PATH goals.
  • Obtain R&D investment commitments from five industry partners by 9/30/99 totaling $2 million dedicated to the achievement of PATH goals.


See note below.1

See note below.2

  • Cooperative Agreements in place with NAHB Research Center and work began in April.
  • Provide leveraged cooperative research and development grants to industry based on a competitive program addressing high priority technology needs relating to the tough PATH performance and cost goals.


  • Interagency agreement totaling $1.5M with NIST for government/industry cooperative research program is in process. Announcements by July 1, 1999.
Objective #2: Put in place a process for recognizing significant advancements in technology, land use and construction practices that will help achieve PATH goals and promote their adoption by the building industry.
  • Recognize innovative applications of new technologies through Secretarial awards.
3/31/99 HUD  
  • Building Innovation in Housing Awards made and book published.
1/1/00 HUD  
  • Annual Secretarial awards with Professional Builder magazine.
On-going PATH  
  • Providing PATH awards to major new projects.
  • Identify at least 200 emerging technologies that could help the building industry to accomplish the PATH goals.
3/31/99 PATH  
  • Recognize innovative home building and remodeling processes through awards programs.


See note below.3

  • National Housing Quality, National Remodeling Quality, and EnergyValue Housing Awards given annually to innovative building firms.
  • Conference on 21st Century Building Technologies scheduled for Orlando, FL in June.
6/30/99 HUD See note below.4
  • PATH supporting University of Florida in planning this conference.
Objective #3: Track and evaluate emerging technologies and alternative materials for their potential to reduce housing costs (first and life cycle costs).
  • Apply evaluation criteria to the 200 technologies that have been identified by the program to date and determine a subset of 25 technologies with near term potential to help the housing industry meet PATH goals.
3/31/99 HUD  
  • Evaluation criteria complete. First round of builder evaluations underway (3/2/99). 130 of the 200 technologies have been listed on PATH and HomeBase web sites. Items with highest priority are proceeding through the evaluation process.
  • In cooperation with the model codes and the National Evaluation Service’s Building Innovation Center (NES-BIC), develop evaluation plans for at least 10 emerging technologies and complete the comprehensive evaluation of at least one technology.


See note below.5
  • NIST contract with NES-BIC initiated and technology selection process is underway.
  • In conjunction with the NES-BIC, plan and develop a generic evaluation plan for same type technology.
3/31/00 DOC/NIST  
  • NIST contract with NES-BIC initiated and generic technology selection process underway.
Objective #4: Develop a model for identifying and testing new technologies that, if accepted into practice, would help achieve PATH goals.
  • Develop protocols for evaluating emerging technologies


  • Durability protocol under development.
  • Refine test method to measure the thermal conductivity of vacuum insulation panels.
9/30/99 DOC/NIST See note below.6
  • Work in process.
Objective #5: Work with manufacturers to test the model for new technology prototypes.
  • Identify generic technology and 10 products for further evaluation.
6/30/99 DOC/NIST  
  • NES-BIC is working on this.
Objective #6: Sponsor fundamental research through NSF at academic institutions that could lead to breakthrough technology applications relating to PATH goals.
  • Working together with the National Science Foundation (NSF), establish a residential buildings research program and award at least 25 grants to universities for basic research addressing PATH goals.
9/30/99 NSF/HUD  
  • HUD in process of transferring $750K to NSF to assist in funding this initiative. NSF is providing matching funds for this initiative.
Objective #7: Work with HUD program offices (Public Housing, Indian Housing, CPD) to identify suitable HUD-assisted projects that can be PATH demonstrations and pilots, with near term technical assistance to incorporate PATH technologies in new and rehabilitated housing on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, various "Colonias" sites, and disaster mitigation in Puerto Rico resulting from Hurricane Georges.
  • Initiate PATH demonstrations with at least 2 Indian tribes. As part of this effort build at least 50 homes at Pine Ridge that use PATH technologies.


  • Planning underway for a Blitz Build project in Pine Ridge involving 50 homes during the week of August 1, 1999.
  • Select second Indian tribe for demonstrations.


  • No additional sites have been selected to date.
  • Initiate PATH demonstrations with two HOPE VI sites.


  • Holyoke, MA HOPE VI project identified as likely candidate. Planning underway.
  • Select two CPD programs to initiate PATH demonstrations.
5/30/99 HUD  
  • Potential HOME project identified in Texas.
  • Disaster work covered under Goal 4.
Objective #8: Conduct demonstrations of technologies that fit PATH goals relating to housing affordability.
  • Develop a series of demonstration projects with builders on PATH technologies.


See note below.7

  • Task Order in place to develop demonstration projects for PATH program. 5 builders have committed to conduct evaluation projects incorporating technologies identified by the PATH program. 12 will be in place by September. Demonstrations in Simi Valley, CA and Yonkers, NY and Rochester, NY have been completed.
  • Investigate options for manufacturing housing components and sub-systems which assemble easily on the job site, utilize low-cost, flexible manufacturing techniques, yet maintain high standards for precision and reliability.
9/30/99 HUD  
  • Task Order in place with VPI for a study on industrializing the building site.
  • Demonstrate Nationally Applicable Recommended Rehabilitation Provisions (NARRP) in at least 2 communities and have NARRP included in the International Residential Code published by the International Code Council (ICC).
9/30/99 HUD  
  • Code change was prepared by NAHB Research Center and submitted to the IRC for hearings in March 1999. NCSBCS will disseminate information to 20 local governments on the advantages of NARRP.
  • Demonstrate the "Next Generation" Manufactured home in 3 developments with at least one manufacturer adding the "next generation home" to their product line.
9/30/99 HUD  
  • HUD issued Task Order to Steven Winter Associates to complete this work.
  • Build a set of four Marketable Affordable Durable and Entry-Level (MADE) homes in a model subdivision and evaluate cost, performance and marketability of this concept.
9/30/99 HUD See note below.8
  • Cooperative Agreement in place with NAHB Research Center to sponsor research in MADE houses. Construction expected to begin by 8/31/99.
Objective #9: Coordinate activities with DOE’s Building America program (see Goal 2).
  • Transfer lessons learned from Building America projects to PATH evaluation activities.
4/30/99 DOE  
  • No action yet.
Objective #10: Provide technical assistance to identified PATH national pilot projects.
  • Initiate broad based technical assistance to at least five national pilot projects focusing on the PATH affordability goal.
4/30/99 HUD/DOE See note below.9
  • HUD is transferring funding to DOE to support the broadening of technical assistance for the national pilots.
Objective #11: Work with program offices to modify forthcoming NOFAs (Notice of Fund Availability), including Super NOFAs, to make use of appropriate PATH technologies as a factor for selection.
  • Participate in preparation of overall Super NOFA.


  • Planning for FY00 NOFA starts in 9/99.
  • Choose appropriate programs and prepare specific text for incorporation in Super NOFA
11/30/99 HUD  
  • Planning for FY00 NOFA starts in 9/99.
Objective #12: Work with HUD program offices to review regulations and guidance material to encourage use of new technologies.
  • Designate program office contacts to work on regulations and guidance material.


  • Memo prepared for Assistant Secretaries requesting contacts for PATH program.
  • Review regulations and guidance material with each office to identify obstacles and prepare revisions.
6/30/99 HUD  
  • Review expected to be completed by July 1999.
Objective #13: Develop a strategy and implement a targeted dissemination program to educate housing authorities, non-profits and other HUD grantees of the availability and proper application of appropriate PATH technologies.
  • Establish a new building technology dissemination program specifically targeted to HUD grantees, non-profits and housing authorities.
5/15/99 HUD  
  • Plan currently under development by Aspen Systems.
5/30/99 HUD  
  • Participation planned for PATH in HUD "Best Practices Conference.
  • Develop publication on "Energy Resources for HUD Staff"

  • Currently being drafted.
  • Create a centralized search tool for builders and remodelers that will make it easier for them to understand applicable federal, state and local programs applicable to housing.
6/30/99 HUD

  • Both PATHNET and HomeBase web sites established. PATHNET web site being re-designed.
Objective #14: Identify codes and standards and legal and institutional issues that will either help to accelerate adoption, or conversely, are impediments. More specifically, explore with the housing industry new or improved insurance and other programs that can reduce the fear of risk and resulting liability that may result from the use of innovative building products.
  • Fully establish, jointly with the three model code organizations, a National Evaluation Service Building Innovation Center and start the evaluation of at least 10 ten innovative technologies.


  • The National Evaluation Service has received PATH funds to conduct these evaluations.
  • Document the experiences of communities that have undergone "regulatory streamlining" processes in conjunction with HUD and the National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards (NCSBCS).
April 1999

  • Web site on-line citing 100 case studies. A National Conference on Regulatory Streamlining is planned by NCSBCS for April in Virginia.
  • Develop new legislation or federal programs to reduce liability and risk.

  • PATH has established a Barriers/Insurance Issues working group to address this issue and has issued a "white paper" on product liability for review.
  • In conjunction with the insurance industry, study practical options (including new test methods, product certifications, and demonstrations of innovative insurance rate structures) for reducing risk and, therefore, home insurance rates through the use of innovative new products and building processes.
9/30/99 HUD  
  • This will also be addressed through the PATH Barriers/Insurance Working Group.
Objective #15: Coordinate activities with EPA’s ENERGY STAR Homes program (see Goal 2).
  • Develop a program and policy agreement between PATH and EPA Energy Star.
4/30/99 EPA  
  • Draft agreement developed.
Objective #16: Conduct an aggressive program of informational outreach to communicate program results and direction to the housing industry and the general public.
  • Establish HOMEBASE as the primary source of reliable technical information for the housing industry by providing a toll-free technical hotline to at least 8,000 builders and remodelers per year, a technical newsletter to at least 70,000 firms quarterly, a comprehensive Catalog of Building Products and Services published on CD-ROM and Internet that is distributed to at least 60,000 firms annually, and a technical web site with useful technical information on emerging home building technologies.


See note below.10
  • HomeBase is up and running. A technical hotline fields over 8,000 calls annually from builders and remodelers. Spanish language assistance was recently added. Outreach tools include a quarterly CD-ROM, a technical web site, and a quarterly technical newsletter distributed to 70,000 firms. Periodic forums are held with builders and manufacturers to discuss pressing issues in the industry.
  • The PATH program will develop and implement a communications plan which will focus on delivering information on program activities and results to the industry trade press and the general media. The program will coordinate the communications activities of the various partners in PATH.


  • PATH has created a full service web site at to provide information on the program’s activities and a newsletter is under development.
  • Promote outreach through industry venues including conferences, periodicals, and existing home builder programs.


  • PATH is exhibiting at the Green Builders Conference, NAHB Show, and the Remodelers Show.
  • Develop marketing tools for builders to promote PATH technology and homes.


  • Activities are underway.
  • The USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) will conduct outreach activities in "green" construction, environmental landscape management, and the energy and environmental advantages of using new technologies.
9/30/99 USDA/ CSREES  
  • Activities are underway.
Objective #17: Conduct laboratory and short-term field testing and communicate the results and recommendations for product improvements back to manufacturers.
  • Conduct cooperative R&D with industry partners.
On-going HUD See note 1.
  • Cooperative R&D projects with DOW and Wood Truss Council of America were initiated in 4/99.
On-going HUD See note below.11
  • Conduct research with NAHB in improving engineering performance and affordability of wood structures.
On-going HUD See note below.12
  • Cooperative research initiative launched with Manufactured Housing Alliance to develop steel applications and installation techniques.
  • Conduct laboratory testing on affordable, durable technologies.


  • NIST is conducting laboratory tests on selected products.
  • Conduct field testing on specific technologies.


See note below.13
  • Field testing of technologies meeting PATH evaluation criteria underway with five builders.
  • Develop test methods and evaluation procedures for wood-based building materials for more efficient code approval and acceptance.
On-going USDA/FS  
  • Work in progress with $15K of USDA/FS funding.
10/00 USDA/FS  
  • $500K IAA with Forest Products Laboratory for research on wind resistance and durability of wood products.
  • Develop shear design criteria to support allowable stress design and reliability-based design building codes.
10/00 USDA/FS  
  • Work in progress with $20K of USDA/FS funding.
Objective #18: Deliver technical assistance to companies in making necessary improvements to their products so that they can gain code and market acceptance with their innovative products and systems.
  • Provide technical assistance to firms who are developing products relating to the PATH goals.
9/30/99 HUD

  • NAHB Research Center is conducting with home builders three projects to improve the cost-effectiveness of steel, ICF’s, and other lumber saving technologies.
Objective #19: Conduct evaluations and document the costs and performance attributes of PATH technologies that have been incorporated into recently completed demonstration projects.
  • Building America to develop documentation on cost and performance.


See note below.14
  • Documentation is underway.
  • Develop procedure for evaluating the performance of PATH demonstrations and field tests.
4/30/99 HUD  
  • Procedure for documenting performance evaluations created.

1 Dow Chemical and the Wood Truss Council of America are investing approximately $617K in cooperative research over a three year period.

2 Portland Cement Association, American Iron and Steel Institute and NAHB are investing approximately $366K in cooperative research.

3 NAHB and NAHB Research Center provide the awards in conjunction with Professional Builder magazine with sponsorship from private sector firms and some federal agencies.

4 University of Florida is matching PATH funding to make this conference possible.

5 The NES-BIC was established by the three model code organizations to provide a national evaluation system for innovative products.

6 Dow Chemical has a cooperative research and development agreement with NIST on measurement sciences.

7 Demonstration projects in planning stages with Bruce Davis Construction in southern Maryland and the John Wesley Miller Companies in Tucson, AZ.

8 NAHB Research Center and the National Housing Endowment are sponsoring joint research on affordable durable technologies by building four demonstration homes in the NAHB National Research Home Park in 1999 with funding support from industry partners.

9 IBACOS team provides support to Civano, Playa Vista and Summerset; Steven Winter Associates’ CARB team provides support to Stapleton Airport; and, Building Science Corporation’s team provides support to Village Green.

10 Base is sponsored by eight product manufacturing firms/trade associations, the National Association of Home Builders, and three agencies of the federal government. Private sector funding exceeds $400K annually.

11 The Housing Affordability Through Design Efficiency (HATDE) program is managed by NAHB Research Center and receives funding from a broad cross-section of public and private sources.

12 The Manufactured Housing Alliance is a broad based industry organization consisting of major manufacturers, the Manufactured Housing Institute, and utility companies.

13 Projects in planning stages with Centex Homes, Carl Franklin Homes, Buddy Hughes Construction, Asdal Builders, and American Structural Composites.

14 The DOE Building America program provides technical assistance to innovative building projects across the country through four teams: IBACOS Consortium, Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), Building Science Consortium, and the Hickory Consortium. For a listing of private sectors sponsors of these teams, see Appendix A.