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December 6, 1999

NES Prepares Housing Technology Innovators for the Marketplace

The National Evaluation Service, Inc. (NES), through its Building Innovation Center (NES-BIC), announces implementation of a new program directed at innovators of housing technology who want assistance in accelerating the widespread use of their technology.

A new NES-BIC Supplemental Evaluation Program (SEP) will assist technology developers by providing partially subsidized support for the evaluation and assessment of their technology. The SEP is supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and is funded by the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), a government-industry partnership to spur housing design and construction innovations.

"Innovators may not think about building regulatory or technology acceptance issues during the early stages of technology development. Even those who do may have exhausted most of their capital securing financial support and conducting research. Often that means innovators tackle technology acceptance and deployment issues too late in the technology lifecycle," said Joel Zingeser, Manager of Standards and Codes Services at the NIST Building and Fire Research Laboratory.

"This program will change that. It will be a well coordinated, well recognized, national process for evaluating new technologies in housing -including performance issues not traditionally regulated, but of real concern to manufacturers, home builders and consumers," he said.

Under the SEP, processing engineers will work with participating innovators to review regulatory requirements and other market-critical performance information such as service life, reliability, "maintainability", and effects on building operating costs that are relevant to the product being developed. The processing engineer will then consult experts in fields relevant to evaluation of the particular technology under consideration and work with them in the preparation of a comprehensive evaluation plan for the technology.

A completed evaluation plan will enumerate needed qualifying laboratory or field tests, calculations, demonstrations and documentation, as well as suggest a timeline for those activities. Innovators can use that plan to draw up comprehensive technology development and business plans that satisfy code officials as well as verify product claims for the marketplace. Applicants who follow the evaluation plan can submit results to the NES-BIC for an evaluation of their technology against the plan. With approval of the technology developer, results will be released to the building industry.

Costs for each product evaluation plan will depend on the length and complexity of the evaluation effort. Half of the cost for the evaluation plan development and evaluation of the technology will be funded through a PATH grant. The technology developer will pay the remainder. NES expects to award approximately 12 SEP grants in 2000.

The National Evaluation Service, Inc. (NES) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that conducts a voluntary and advisory program of evaluation for both traditional and innovative building materials, products and systems to facilitate the acceptance and safe installation of national and international products. NES develops technical reports containing descriptions of a building construction material or product, together with a list of conditions necessary for compliance with each of the model codes, as promulgated by Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), and Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI) as well as the International Codes of the International Code Council (ICC). The NES Building Innovation Center works to enhance the evaluation and acceptance of innovative building technologies and addresses issues such as durability, maintenance and performance beyond minimum code requirements.

NIST, as a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, promotes economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Measurement and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Program.

PATH is an industry-government partnership, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), created to develop, demonstrate and deploy advanced technology that will bring about the next generation of American housing and improve existing housing stock. In addition to HUD, federal agencies participating in PATH include U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Labor and Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Housing Finance Board, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Private sector members include leaders of the home building, product manufacturing, insurance, and financial industries.

For more detailed information, download this file.


For more information on the Supplemental Evaluation Program and to secure a application packet contact:
David R. Conover, NES
Telephone (703) 931-2187
Fax: (703) 931-6505
The material can also be downloaded from

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