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Start of Main ContentTechnology Development

Technology development is one of the final stages in the R&D; lifecycle, which includes the fine-tuning, testing, and market analysis needed to bring research products into America's homes. Frequently, background and applied research is completed on housing industry products that never reach the market, because product manufacturers lack resources and process analysts to invest in new technology development. With its partners listed below, PATH hopes to reduce such obstacles to adoption of new technologies in the housing industry.

Product Technology Development (NAHB Research Center)

The Research Center is a technology development leader in the home building industry. Federal, State, and local government agencies, manufacturers, builders, and remodelers rely on the expertise at the heart of the Research Center. The Research Center performs laboratory tests of new and emerging technologies; performs demonstrations of technologies in progress; describes advances in housing durability and affordability; and coordinates educational seminars, builder programs, and publications from its research. The Research Center is a major partner in the PATH program and has done extensive technology development investigations for PATH in collaboration with other private industry participants.

Examples of NAHB Research Center and PATH Projects


NAHB Research Center

Contact Information

NAHB Research Center
Larry Zarker
400 Prince George's Boulevard
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20774
Tel 301 249-4000
Fax 301 430-6180
Toll Free 800 638-8556400 Prince George's Boulevard
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20774
Tel 301 249-4000
Fax 301 430-6180
Toll Free 800 638-8556

Manufactured Housing Technology Development (MHRA)

"Manufactured homes are a major source of unsubsidized, low-cost housing. Accounting for 30 percent of new homes nationwide, they are especially popular in the South. Seventy percent of new manufactured homes are placed on the homeowners' land. The U.S. Homeownership rate would drop by almost five percentage points if owners of manufactured homes were excluded. Bias contributes to neglect of issues important to these households, which typical have low incomes and little wealth." The Manufactured Housing Research Alliance (MHRA) leads cooperative PATH research in manufactured housing to address this lack research on manufactured housing. MHRA is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the building methods and construction of manufactured homes.

Research conducted by MHRA in cooperation with PATH focuses on:

  • Root causes of moisture damage.
  • Evaluation of foundation systems currently on the market and their installation techniques.
  • Development of a Design Approval Primary Inspection Agency (DAPIA)-approved manufactured home design using cold-formed steel framing instead of wood framing.
  • Identification of current regulatory hurdles that prevent use of manufactured homes in single-family attached developments.

For a list of specific projects conducted by MHRA and PATH, click here.


Moisture Problems in Manufactured Homes: Understanding Their Causes and Finding Solutions
Reviews the symptoms of typical problems, outlines preventive measures, and provides solutions pertinent to home design, manufacture, installation, operation, and maintenance.

Publications available from HUD USER on Manufactured Housing
Primary source for Federal Government reports and information on housing policy and programs, building technology, economic development, urban planning, and other housing-related topics.

Contact Information

Emanuel Levy, Executive Director
220 West 93rd Street
New York, NY 10025
Tel (212) 666-7771
Fax (212) 666-5389

Steel Framing Technology Development and NASFA

Due to its material characteristics and properties, steel framing offers significant advantages to both homebuilders and consumers. Despite its advantages, the general receptiveness of the market, and several years of vigorous private and industry efforts directed at expanding its market share, steel framing has gained a small portion of the residential framing market. The North American Steel Framing Alliance (NASFA) is an organization established by the American Iron and Steel Institute to accelerate the use of light-gauge steel framing in residential construction. In coordination with NASFA and other technology development groups like the NAHB Research Center and MHRA (see above), PATH has invested in the following cooperative agreements:

  • Screw Corrosion Study
    Examines corrosion of galvanized fasteners used in cold-formed steel to determine the corrosion rate of galvanized cold-formed steel framing fasteners and connections when subjected to various climatic conditions. In conjunction with the University of Hawaii, the study seeks to develop protective measures to guard against corrosive environments in housing.

  • Hybrid Connection Details
    Develop prescriptive details for hybrid cold-formed steel-wood framing and compile construction connection details illustrating the recommended method of joining cold-formed steel framing with wood framing.

  • Steel Framing Alternatives for Manufactured Housing
    Together, with MHRA (also Champion Enterprises, Clayton Homes, Fleetwood Enterprises, Oakwood Homes, Palm Harbor Homes, and the Manufactured Housing Institute) PATH is studying the economic feasibility of using structural steel in place of wood framing for new manufactured housing. One of the objectives is to conduct a preliminary cost benefit analysis comparing the two framing systems. The product of this phase will be generic Design Approval Primary Inspection Agency (DAPIA) packages that individual manufacturers can use to assess the value of switching framing materials. The study also seeks solutions to technical barriers and to develop a viable steel-framed design as well as a completely re-engineered structural steel framework.

Competitive Technology Development (PATH-CoRP and HUD Cooperative Agreements)

Industrial and governmental PATH partners often come up with great new ideas for technology development that complement PATH's work in other research projects. To pursue these ideas, PATH developed two different technology development programs: PATHCoRP (the PATH Cooperative Research Program) and HUD Cooperative Agreements for PATH. Both are competitive grant program that assists businesses in the final development stages prior to market introduction. PATHCoRP was originally administered by NIST and HUD Cooperative Agreements are administered by the HUD/PATH staff. To streamline PATH's technology development opportunities, PATH is merging PATHCoRP with HUD Cooperative Agreements in the coming year.


In June 2000, PATHCoRP awarded six technology development grants.

HUD/PATH also supported several cooperative agreements.

Content updated on 1/22/2002 Back to Top Back to Top
HUD Partnership for Advancing
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