PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology
Current PATH Projects
The following PATH projects are in progress. Please check back and read PATH Quarterly to find the results of these activities. Below are completed PATH Projects.
Straight Talk: Case Studies from Builders and Remodelers
[IMAGE: Michael Lotesto, a long-time remodeler, believes building performance testing is good for both builders and consumers.]
From one profiled builder: "The case studies are very helpful. I will use them as marketing pieces. One friend said it was the best description of our building method and how we do things differently than she had ever read on us. Thank you PATH for promoting better building techniques." Judy Fosdick, Tierra Concrete Homes, Colorado
Getting Leaner: Improving Production Efficiencies
PATH has entered into a new Cooperative Agreement with the Manufactured Housing Research Alliance (MHRA). Under this agreement two tasks will be performed: 1) to expand lean production analysis to additional manufacturing plants, and 2) to create a model manufacturer's installation manual based on the soon to be created HUD model installation standard. Both of these tasks advance the goals of PATH as set forth in the manufactured housing roadmap, "Technology Roadmapping for Manufactured Housing." The project team includes many of the biggest manufactured housing manufacturers, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), one university, and the MHRA. The project is slated for completion mid-2007.
Exploring the Supply Chain
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association will conduct cooperative research with PATH to study innovation and the construction supply chain. Project announcement: Exploring the Supply Chain
From Concept to Reality: Building the Home of the Future
[IMAGE: Design perspective of single-family detached home.]
Integrating PATH Technologies into Military Family Housing
The overall objective of this project is to develop a strategy for PATH to integrate innovative technologies into military family housing. Read updates of five sites.
Whole House Calculator
This PATH project is developing a Whole House Calculator, which takes inventory of the processes, products, and materials used to design, engineer, and construct a house. Performance characteristics will be rated according to the value given them by designers, builders, buyers, and other stakeholders involved in residential construction. These scores will then be modified by the way the materials and processes interact with each other to arrive at a whole-house score. The calculator will allow homeowners and housing professionals an opportunity to consider various "what if" scenarios.
What do Consumers Think about Factory-Built Housing?
The study involves a survey of current and soon-to-be homeowners from different regions and different backgrounds to see whether attitudes and perceptions are changing, and to help determine whether these technologies have a chance in today's marketplace. Project announcement: Consumer Perceptions of Factory-Built Housing
Housing Research: What's Needed?
[IMAGE: Housing symposium participants consider manufacturers' needs for innovation research.] PATH and McGraw-Hill Construction are exploring how the user-community thinks about technology, and how to achieve greater success influencing innovation in the nation's homes.
Streamlining Building Regulatory Processes Through Information Technology
The National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards is developing and field-testing a guide entitled "How to Streamline your Building Regulatory Processes Through the Effective and Efficient Use of Information Technology."
Unlocking Mysteries of Innovation for Manufacturers
The study will track the internal innovation processes of manufacturers and examine how they develop and market new products. Expected in winter 2006, the results can be used to create models and resources for bringing products past the idea stage, through the proper research and development phases to enjoy widespread implementation. Project announcement: How do Manufacturers Successfully Innovate?
PATH is reviewing innovations created outside of traditional homebuilding circles and identifying potential manufacturers to "matchmake." Throughout the "matchmaking" experiment, PATH will document all of the questions, pitfalls, rejections and failures in technology transfer to prepare both sides of future technology transfers. This will result in guides for the research and industrial community as prototype technical assistance aids, and will ensure a longer and more efficient "life" to the matchmaking. Project announcement: Tech TransferPlus
Market Tools for Small Manufacturers
By developing template tools and guides describing markets, regulations, and political processes in homebuilding, PATH can provide a source of readily accessed information for small manufacturers, based largely on large manufacturers' advanced skills. Project announcement: Commercialization Tools for Manufacturers
Innovation in the Evaluation Service Processes
The goal of this effort is to describe strategies, which will increase the acceptance, utility, and value of evaluation service reports with regard to the acceptance of new technologies. The project is underway. HUD project contact: Dana Bres
Cooperative Effort to Develop Remodeler Certification
EPA, DOE, and HUD are funding an effort to expand procedures for certifying and accrediting remodelers in the energy retrofit market. Project announcement: Remodeler Certification
Advancing Energy-Efficient Remodeling
In partnership with the remodeling industry, PATH is conducting a multi-year project aimed at developing voluntary guidelines, or protocols, for energy-efficient remodeling. A national group of industry representatives is guiding the effort.
Exploring the Connections: Performance Criteria for Panel Connections
This project will produce a greater understanding of panelized construction and develop Performance Standard Criteria for panel connections to encourage widespread use of this building technology. Project announcement: Performance Standard Criteria for Panels
Foundation Alternatives for Modular Housing
PATH will study the technical options for installing modular housing on slab-on-grade foundation systems and examine the alternatives in terms of technical viability, cost and market acceptance. Project announcement: Slab-on-Grade Modular Housing
Improving Information Flows
PATH and Virginia Tech are studying the relationship between information flows and work processes of small-volume and medium-volume residential builders. Results are expected in the first half of 2006. Project announcement: Industrializing the Residential Construction Site - Phase 5 Modification: Virtual Manufacturing
Evaluating Homebuilding Software
In this study, PATH will describe how software used by homebuilders is improving the residential homebuilding process and describe results obtained by builders. PATH will identify builders who have experience with automated production systems and work with those builders to document the value and efficacy of the systems in use. The study will describe what builders are using and how the automated tools are performing in real-world applications. HUD project contact: Dana Bres
Testing Sealants and Coatings Durability
This PATH/National Institute of Standards and Technology program is preparing to test coatings and sealants with the goal of developing improved predictors of their durability. Contributing to the development of testing protocols is the Sealants Consortium, a group of leading manufacturers. Additional confirmation of the testing protocol will be provided by well-known, third-party product evaluators.
The study includes:
HUD project contact: Dana Bres
How Do Panels Accommodate Utilities?
PATH is evaluating different types of panel systems and documenting how they integrate wiring and other utilities. The study will suggest ways that integration of wiring and utilities can be best accommodated within different kinds of panelized wall, floor, and roof systems, including open-wall wood frame panels, structural insulated panels, honeycomb composite panels, and concrete panels. HUD project contact: Luis Borray
PATH will examine the role that architectural design can play in advancing housing affordability through technology innovation or creative design. The project includes:
HUD project contact: Michael Freedberg
Planning for Long-Term Disaster Housing
Long-term emergency housing is intended to shelter residents for periods ranging from three months to several years. In this study, PATH is examining strategies for the provision of long-term temporary or permanent housing for large numbers of individuals and families. It will consider
HUD project contact: Dana Bres
Prescriptive Methods for Structural Insulated Panels
PATH is developing and coordinating a proposal for a prescriptive code for SIPs in the International Residential Code, with the following goals:
HUD project contact: Dana Bres
Under this grant proposal, the Affordable Housing Task Force will form three project work groups to initiate an implementation program to
HUD project contact: Dana Bres
Recently Completed PATH Projects
Characteristics of Innovative Production Home Builders August 2006
PATH's recently completed research into the behaviors of production homebuilders posits answers to questions about how this group selects, implements, and communicates about innovation.
Energy Efficient Remodeling Protocols The following reports document the progress of this multi-year effort:
[IMAGE: Moisture-Resistant Homes - A Best Practice Guide and Plan Review Tool for Builders and Developers.]
Moisture-Resistant Homes March 2006
This guide advances the goal of designing, building, and maintaining houses that manage moisture effectively. By making moisture-resistant best practices available in an easy-to-use form, a variety of the most common moisture-related problems in homes can be avoided.
Proceedings of a Workshop to Review PATH Strategy, Operating Plan, and Performance Measures 2006
The National Research Council convened a workshop to discuss the draft PATH Program Review and Strategy, Performance Metrics, and Operating Plan. These workshop proceedings provide an edited, but inclusive, transcript of that discussion. The draft performance metrics and operating plan is included in the appendix.
[IMAGE: Factory Built Housing Roadmap (Including Recomendations for Energy Research)]
Factory Built Housing Roadmap (Including Recommendations for Energy Research) January 2006
This document is the second on the topic of manufactured housing. This version expands on the original Roadmap by suggesting a broad array of research initiatives including a comprehensive discussion of energy and its role in the future of factory built housing.
Residential Roofing Research Agenda
This PATH report offers a research agenda for developing residential roof systems that serve multiple functions and provide improved performance. The report covers residential single-family buildings; roofs of all ranges of pitch; and roof systems, including components and subsystems. PATH strategies aim to improve hazard mitigation, energy performance, roof functionality, environmental impact, safety, and efficiency in roof system construction.
Residential Panels Benchmark Requirements
This PATH report identifies the panelized wall systems currently available in the U.S. and international markets. The report describes their technical specifications, how they perform, and in which applications they are used most often. Standard performance criteria that all panelized wall systems need to meet to integrate with existing methods of construction are also described.
Industrializing the Residential Construction Site Phase IV
How can we automate home construction to improve construction workflows and coordinate construction sites? This is the subject of HUD's fourth report in a series of five on methods for industrializing the residential construction site. This report features the results of computerized simulation models of panelized framing. The report also describes the panel erection process in a clear, step-by-step manner, and provides estimates of required labor time.
International Conference on Factory Built Housing: Innovation in Home Manufacturing
The objective of the work which this report describes was to evaluate the opportunity and need for, and potential benefits of, an international conference on factory built housing. An additional objective was to begin to characterize the content and structure of such a conference.
Getting Lean: Assessing the Benefits of Lean Production in Factory Built Housing
Manufactured Housing -- Saving Money by Saving Energy
How Builders Choose (or Don't) to Use Panels Read the report "Integrating Panels into the Production Homebuilding Process."
CAD Details for Technology Inventory
PATH Tech Sets 1-6
Organizing Residential Utilities: A New Approach to Housing Quality
Overcoming Barriers to Innovation in the Homebuilding Industry
Information Technology to Accelerate and Streamline Home Building (PDF, 355 KB)
Building Moisture and Durability
The Diffusion of Innovation in the Residential Building Industry
Content updated on 9/8/2006
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