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PATH Launches Tech Set 2: Technologies for a Durable Building Envelope
While adopting just one or two technologies can reap great benefits, some technologies deliver maximum performance when used together. The PATH "Tech Sets" take the guesswork out of choosing cost-effective technologies that can improve home quality. This April, PATH released its second Tech Set at Builder Mart in Timonium, Maryland, to promote a durable building envelope. The technologies in this set can decrease the cost of construction and maintenance by protecting the foundation and the frame and reducing moisture infiltration. Each Tech Set offers an options package, so builders can use all the technologies, or just a few.

Concept Home Enters Phase Two
In 2004, PATH introduced the homebuilding industry to the Concept Home, a model that demonstrates some of the best innovative ideas gathered from industry leaders. In Phase 2, PATH is working with its partners to make these homes available in the marketplace

First, PATH is challenging builders to develop complete plans and specifications for homes using Concept Home technologies. PATH will also work closely with manufacturers to produce these systems and designers who can envision the needs of America's changing households. This March, San-Francisco-based Clever Homes, LLC, became the first Concept Home Prototype Partner. This progressive builder will share information with PATH on new Concept Home products, techniques, and research developed by Clever Homes.

PATH's Concept Home Advisory Board convened on March 15 to compare perspectives on the project's principles and the challenges impeding their implementation. Among its findings, the Board identified lack of uniformity in local building codes as a substantial obstacle to standardized production methods and the poor condition of many lots, which can impose limitations on certain production methods.

To help PATH learn more about what contractors and consumers envision as the future of America's housing, Building is conducting an online survey about many of the flexible building practices suggested by the Concept Home. Your answers will be completely confidential and used only to measure public opinion. Every quarter, a new survey will be conducted and results will be released from the previous quarter.

NSF Announces Research Program and Request for Proposals
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced a program solicitation in support of PATH. This year's solicitation focuses on proposals in five interdisciplinary areas at the forefront of housing technology: (1) defining a national housing research agenda: construction management and production; (2) structural design and materials: research needed to reinvent housing in the United States; (3) building enclosures: a strategy for NSF support; (4) housing technology, community, and the economy; and (5) building the "whole house" greater than the sum of its parts: the whole house and systems integration. Proposals are due April 19, 2005. Read the full text on the NSF Web site.

New Software for Sizing HVAC Equipment Available for Concrete Homes
Using standard HVAC equipment-sizing methods for insulated concrete homes is likely to result in an oversized HVAC system. The January/February issue of Home Energy Magazine reports that a new software is available to help builders correctly size HVAC equipment in homes with insulated concrete walls. The software, HVAC Sizing for Concrete Homes, was developed to help residential contractors estimate the heating and cooling system capacity for single-family concrete homes. The software can be ordered from the Portland Cement Association on its Web site,

PATH Attends U.S.-Mexico Forum on Public-Private Partnerships for Housing Innovation
PATH was part of a delegation from the United States to participate in the U.S.-Mexico Forum on Public-Private Partnerships for Housing Innovation from February 28 to March 1 in Quintana Roo, Mexico. The forum was part of a broader strategy to build bonds to promote economic growth and higher living standards for citizens of both the United States and Mexico. Participants included representatives from HUD, the NAHB Research Center, Dupont, and the International Code Council.

Content updated on 7/5/2005

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