To develop effective solutions for the housing industry, PATH must understand barriers to housing technology research and adoption. Barriers can be found in the building process; in the economic, social, or political aspects of a housing technology; or in general housing characteristics.
A primary PATH function is to review issues attached to each barrier and to develop potential alternatives or improvements, in coordination with existing industrial and governmental frameworks. Reviews must consider the tremendous historical legacy and institutionalization of the barriers, as well as the viability of specific institutions (that is, private industry, PATH, and the Federal Government) to institute change. PATH has developed a series of activities to address the following topics:
- Financial incentives for houses that incorporate innovations
- Private investment in housing innovation
- Technology roadmapping
- Codes that recommend use of housing innovation
- Insurance policies that reward use of housing innovation
- Appraisal/market value accounting for housing innovation
- Public attention and education
- Breaking tradition
- Availability of centralized information
- Geographic diversity
Overcoming Barriers to Innovation in the Housing Industry
PATH convened three expert investigatory panels in Fall 2004--one on risk, a second on industry participant preferences, and a third on education/communication--to develop a practical understanding of how these barriers affect technology adoption within the industry.
The final report provides an overview of PATH's literature search on barriers related to risk, fragmentation, education/communication, and industry participant preferences. It presents the panels' recommendations for actions to overcome barriers to innovation in the three areas. Both conventional wisdom and current practice were challenged by the proceedings. While these recommendations are explicitly made in the context of PATH activities, they can apply to any initiative within industry or government to improve the rate and quality of innovation in the homebuilding industry.
Content updated on 11/15/2006