PATH Technology RoadmappingBefore PATH partners could promote new technologies for homes, PATH had to know which technology areas had the greatest need and potential for development. The PATH Technology Roadmaps offer convenient starting points for planning Federal and private-sector R&D investments by focusing on key industry needs. Roadmapping sets the strategic R&D planning process for PATH and the industry as a whole. PATH's Industry Steering Committee, composed of more than 150 prominent industry figures, has met over the past few years to identify these key technology needs for new home construction and the primary needs for existing homes.
Current PATH Roadmaps include:
Information Technology that Streamlines the Homebuilding Process
Information technology can greatly improve the speed and efficiency of the entire homebuilding process. A roadmapping group recommended ways that computers, software, and communications (especially wireless and the Internet) can improve speed, efficiency, and quality in the homebuilding process:
- Develop a common language: enable people to communicate across the residential construction process.
- Streamline the regulatory process: increase efficiency in permitting, plan review, site inspection, and product approval; develop a noncommercial information portal; provide a source of objective, reliable technical information about homebuilding for builders, trade contractors, and consumers.
- Address production management systems from conception to closure.
- Link information technology tools and data
within and between firms to improve the housing production management
process from start to finish.
Click here to read the roadmapping report PATH Technology Roadmap: Information Technology to Accelerate and Streamline the Home Building Process (PDF, 395 KB)
Use of Advanced, Panelized-Type Systems
Panelized-type systems are factory-built homes in which panels-a whole wall with windows, doors, wiring and outside siding-are transported to the site and assembled. The homes must meet state or local building codes where they are sited. Shifting away from "construction in place" with respect to labor skills, quality control, standardization, and economical engineering, shows great promise. Advanced panelization technologies bring significant benefits with respect to all PATH objectives. A roadmapping group developed several goals:
- Design advanced building panels that consistently achieve multiple, adaptable functions across the various planar surfaces of a house (walls, foundation, floors, or roof).
- Develop common standards, specifications, and interfaces to allow consistent performance choices by offering well-defined, standardized alternative levels of performance.
- Improve production and delivery systems and
site assembly to simplify logistics from producer through assembler.
Click here to read the roadmapping report
PATH Technology Roadmap: Advanced Panelized Construction (PDF, 357 KB)
Whole-House and Building-Process Redesign
Whole house design takes a systems-oriented view of housing construction, which could yield methods of building faster, at lower cost, and with higher quality. A roadmapping group developed several goals:
- Accelerate acceptance of innovative homebuilding technologies: establish and manage a well-delineated promotional framework; speed the adoption of new technologies needed to achieve PATH goals.
- Create an environment in the homebuilding industry that facilitates systems solutions.
- Encourage collaborators and alliances to apply systems sciences to the process of designing and building homes.
- Achieve higher levels of production efficiency using manufacturing processes and technologies proven in other industries.
- Design houses that are easier to construct, that reduce labor content and materials costs, and that improve quality, durability, and safety.
- Move more of the homebuilding process into factories where technology can improve production efficiency.
Click here to read the roadmapping report
PATH Technology Roadmap: Whole House Building Process Redesign (PDF, 386 KB)
Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings
Identifying and developing technologies that offer significant improvements in energy consumption of existing homes can improve the energy efficiency of those homes. A roadmapping group produced examples such as air infiltration and insulation, improvements in various elements of HVAC, and better performing windows.
Click here to read the roadmapping report Energy Efficiency in Existing Homes (PDF, 947 KB)
Below is a list of reports, each of which can be downloaded in PDF format, that describe the roadmapping process and background used to stimulate and organize thinking for the overall roadmapping process. To learn more, visit the PATH roadmapping Web site at roadmap.nahbrc.org. To comment on these documents, visit PATH's contact pages.
Research and Development Needs for Structural Performance
of Light-frame Residential Construction, January 2002 (PDF, 654 KB)
This report is the result of a workshop that included representatives from universities, trade associations, product manufacturers, and the government to identify critical R&D; needs for structural structural performance of light-frame residential construction.
Plan/Process: PATH Technology Roadmapping, January 2000 (PDF, 120 KB)
Provides a good (now historical) overview of the plans for the PATH technology roadmapping process.
Background Paper: PATH Technology Roadmapping, March 2000 (PDF, 551 KB)
Written as a creative thought stimulator for the initial PATH Technology Roadmapping brainstorming session in March 2000.
Background Paper: Information Technology To Accelerate
And Streamline Home Building, November 2000 (PDF, 132 KB)
Contains background about the use of information technology in the homebuilding process.
PATH Roadmap for Information Technology to Accelerate and Streamline the Homebuilding Process (PDF, 314 KB)
Identifies information technologies that could contribute significantly to achieving PATH goals for affordability, energy efficiency, durability, environmental impact, and safety.
Background Paper: Whole House and Building Process Redesign, March 2001
(PDF, 133 KB)
Prepared to stimulate and organize thinking for a PATH technology roadmapping session identifying technologies associated with redesigning the entire house and/or process.
PATH Roadmap: Advanced Panelized Construction, May 2001 (PDF, 192 KB)
Identifies advanced panelized systems technologies that could contribute significantly to achieving PATH goals for affordability, energy efficiency, durability, environmental impact and safety.
Background Paper: Energy Efficiency In Existing Homes (PDF, 307 KB)
Written to stimulate and organize thinking about technologies that could improve energy efficiency in existing homes.
PATH Roadmap, Preliminary Draft: Whole House Building Process Redesign (PDF, 144 KB)
Identifies whole house and building process technologies that could contribute significantly to achieving PATH goals for affordability, energy efficiency, durability, environmental impact, and safety.
Background Paper: Panelized Systems in Residential Construction, December 2000 (PDF, 109 KB)
Summarizes the current state of panelized systems in the industry and suggests thought provoking possibilities for the future.
U.S. Department of Energy Technology Roadmaps
Series of technology roadmaps to anticipate opportunities and meet upcoming challenges in the building and equipment industry.
NAHB Research Center
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Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20774
Tel 301 249-4000
Fax 301 430-6180
Toll Free 800 638-8556
451 7th Street, SW, Room 8134
Washington, DC 20410-0001
Content updated on 11/26/2002
||Partnership for Advancing
Technology in Housing (PATH)
451 7th Street, SW, Rm. 8134
Washington, DC 20410-0001
Telephone: 202 708-4370 Fax: 202 708-5873