December 20, 1999
PATH ISO 9000 Framing Project: A Quality Home Construction Tool
When potential homebuyers ask for a "quality"
home, they increasingly mean a "zero defect"
home. That is a tall order. But attractive, affordable
homes that are durable, free of product failures,
and strong enough to withstand natural disasters
pay big dividends.
PATH's ISO 9000 Framing Project aims at providing
the housing industry with an important
new quality control tool for builders and framers
that can help satisfy homebuyer quality demands
as well as increase builder profits. ISO 9000 is
a standard for quality assurance systems that
is accepted around the world. Currently more
than 100 countries have adopted ISO 9000 as a
national standard. When people purchase a product
or service from an ISO 9000 company, they
have important assurances that the quality will
be as expected.
Until now, ISO 9000 has been applied mostly to
nonhousing manufacturing. PATH is supporting
an initiative by the NAHB Research Center and
the Wood Truss Council of America (WTCA) to
achieve ISO levels of quality assurance in the
residential framing process. Framers and builders
from the following companies are also contributing
to the project by implementing ISO 9000 in
their framing operations: Ace Carpentry; All-Tech
Construction Contractors; Del Webb;
K. Hovnanian Companies; Schuck and Sons
Construction Company, Inc.; and Winchester
During the course of the project, ISO quality
assurance tools are being developed and tested
in preparation for their widespread use.
Currently, framing accounts for 15 to 20 percent
of the total cost of the average house. It is one of
the most critical factors in construction-affecting
cost, cycle time, quality, and durability.
Builders using the ISO 9000 standard for framing
will be sure that their homes are correctly
framed. Roof sheathing; connectors and fastening
systems; and floor, wall, and roof components
will be properly installed. Design plans are accurately
executed. The cost of correcting structural
defects after the house is built should be significantly
reduced. An improved, more accurate
construction process will also reduce the need
for custom fitting of building components (such
as countertops, carpets, and cabinets), which in
turn will reduce wasted time.
Through PATH funding, the NAHB Research
Center is developing the first tool for the ISO
9000 project-the ISO 9000 Quality Manual for
Residential Framing-which can be used by any
framing company or builder. The manual contains
a complete set of quality assurance procedures
and forms, including procedures for qualifying
carpenters and their work processes; ways to control the uses of materials, tools, and equipment; job-site inspection requirements; and quality improvement
WTCA is creating a framing-carpenter training manual for
builders. Builders and framers will be able to use the
training or on-the-jobsite toolbox talks. Completion of the
training program is designed to qualify carpentry crew leaders
for the ISO 9000 quality framing system.
"At K. Hovnanian, we wanted to emulate the rigorous structure of ISO 9000
standards in order to produce a 'trade-friendly' version of a Quality Plan.
The Quality Plan will help us and our Trade Partners to continuously identify and
improve construction process disconnects. The long lasting result will be to
build our homes better, faster, at less cost while mutually improving our
profits and adding value to our customers."
Vice President of Quality and Partnering
Next spring, PATH and the NAHB Research Center will
release a pilot project case study report and recommendations
for builders and framing contractors that will outline
alternative strategies for deploying ISO 9000 technology.
The report will detail the business quality and cost results
of adopting an ISO 9000 quality management approach as
well as describe the availability of tools developed under the
program. Project organizers will also begin evaluating the
potential of certifying framers who meet ISO 9000 requirements.
For more about PATH's ISO Quality Framing Project, stop
by the PATH exhibition booth or attend Ed Caldeira's
"Advances in Jobsite Quality" at the International Builders
Show Workshop, Friday, January 14, 1-2:30 p.m., Ballroom
A-Four, Level 3. Caldeira, a specialist from the NAHB
Research Center and leader of the ISO 9000 Framing Project,
will moderate a discussion with builders on the ramifications
of ISO 9000 technology for the housing industry.
Content updated on 1/22/2002
||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