Partnership in Advancing Technologies in Housing
About PATH
About PATH
Housing Industry ProfessionalsLine


Advanced Technology Homes for 80K Preview at NAHB Builders Show

Dallas Mayor Ronald Kirk and U.S. Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner William C. Apgar today opened a prototype for a subdivision for single-family detached, advanced technology homes, priced at approximately $80,000, in Dallas, TX. The development, called the Vistas, will provide low-income families with a first opportunity at home ownership. The model home at 423 Pleasant Vista Dr, built by Vistas builder Carl Franklin Homes, will open for tours during the National Association of Home Builders International Builders Show January 14-17, 2000.

The Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), a White House industry and federal government initiative to develop and deploy advanced technology within the U.S. housing industry, has named the Vistas a national demonstration project. The 1,250-square-foot, three bedroom, two full-bath homes with attached garages will feature a number of new technologies cited by PATH with the potential of radically improving quality, durability, energy efficiency, environmental performance, and affordability of the nation's housing.

Potential Vistas homebuyers are eligible for City of Dallas downpayment assistance, funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's HOME program, authorized by the Home Investment Partnership Act.

"Vistas is an example of Dallas' commitment to making the dream of home ownership a reality," said Dallas Mayor Ronald Kirk. "This project not only provides affordable housing, but it keeps it affordable through the use of energy saving technologies," he said.

"Advanced technologies are critical tools for building the next generation of American housing," said William C. Apgar, HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner. "By working with cities such as Dallas and builders such as Carl Franklin Homes to move quality innovations quickly into the residential home marketplace, PATH offers homebuyers the opportunity to benefit from the exciting ideas for home quality, durability, energy efficiency and affordability," he said.

"Our integrated package of advanced technologies saves energy and improves the quality, comfort and affordability of the home," said Carl Franklin Homes builder Steve Brown. "We are proud that, through PATH, Dallas is setting an example of how Americans can live better in the 21st Century," he said.

Technologies used in the model, called the "Carl Franklin Technology Demonstration Home," also will be incorporated in the Dallas Home and Apartment Builders Association's New Millennium Benefit Home which will be built next door to the Carl Franklin Homes model. The New Millennium Benefit home, to be built in early 2000, also will feature PATH-evaluated technologies. The Benefit Home will be sold, with profits going to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas.

Advanced technologies in the Carl Franklin Technology Demonstration home include the following:

  • Air Admittance Vents. Air admittance vents (AAV) are pressure activated, one-way vales for plumbing drainage and vent systems that allow air in but prevent plumbing systems sewer gases from escaping. Conventional plumbing vents allow gases to escape and must extend above the roof to minimize odors. With AAV roof penetration can be avoided and the overall venting system may be reduced by 25 percent to yield a reduction in vent system cost;

  • Geothermal Heat Pumps. GHPs, also called ground-source heat pumps or Geoexchange , use the natural constant heat storage capacity of the earth or ground water several feet beneath the surface to provide energy efficient heating and cooling. A GHP system consists of indoor heat pump equipment, a ground loop and a flow center to connect the indoor and outdoor equipment. Despite a high initial cost, savings are recouped through high efficiency and low operating costs. GHP also do not make outdoor noise;

  • Structural Insulated Panels. SIPs consist of two exterior structural panels or skins, adhered to a rigid foam core. These components combine to form structural members without the use of framing members. SIPs have excellent thermal performance due to uninterrupted insulation and high insulating values per inch of foam. They provide airtight construction and excellent soundproofing because there are few penetrations in the wall. They create high R-values without the need for increasing wall thickness;

  • Fiber-Cement Siding. This product is composed of cement, sand and cellulose fiber that has been cured with pressurized steam to increase its strength and dimensional stability. Fiber cement siding resemble wood, but it is more durable than wood, termite-resistant, non-combustible, and warranted to last 50 years. It costs about the same as or less than most other exterior wall coverings;

  • Tankless Water Heater. The heaters, compact in size, have an electric heating device that is activated by the flow of water. Once activated, the heater provides a constant supply of hot water. Manufacturers claim they can cut the typical energy bill 10 to 20 percent. The savings result from elimination of standby losses -- energy lost from warmed water sitting in a tank. Equipment life may be longer than tank water heaters because it is less subject to corrosion. Expected life of tankless water heaters is 20 years, compared with between 10 and 15 years for tank-type water heaters;

  • Pre-Finished Drywall Corners. Pre-finished drywall corners are made of fiberglass. The highly workable inside and outside corners can correct hanging and framing imperfections and withstand movement and impact. According to manufacturers, labor can be cut by one-third and joint compound can be cut by one-third, compared to traditional techniques; and

  • Pigmented Concrete Floor Finishes. Tinted concrete is a cost effective and durable alternative to conventional floor coverings.

On behalf of PATH, the NAHB Research Center will evaluate how the advanced technologies perform on a community wide or production scale. The Vistas will seek ENERGY STAR© Homes ratings, certifying the energy efficiency of the homes.

Joining forces with Carl Franklin Technology Demonstration Home project are the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, Bank One, the Department of the Housing and Urban Development, and PATH.

PATH is administered by HUD. 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.

Contact: Stephanie Carnes PATH
(202) 708-4277