June 25, 2004
PATH Unveils Home of the Future
Concept Home Offers Flexibility, Affordability
What happens when housing industry leaders put their heads together to design the ideal home of the future? A select audience got a sneak peek at the answer on Wednesday June 23, 2004, when the Industry Steering Committee of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) unveiled the first architectural model of the PATH Concept Home in Washington, D.C.
A dynamic vision of innovative housing, the Concept Home demonstrates advanced technologies and building practices that hold enormous potential for improving American housing. The home proposes changes in the homebuilding industry that will effectively make home design and construction more efficient, predictable, and controllable with a median cycle time of 20 working days from groundbreaking to occupancy. These methods will result in cost savings that will make homeownership available to an estimated 90 percent of the population by 2010.
"Working with builders and manufacturers we will over the next year develop detailed plans and specifications for this home and, in the not too distant future, work with the housing industry to build this home," said Darlene Williams, HUD General Deputy Assistant Secretary, who addressed a crowd of builders, manufacturers, congressional staff and various housing industry professionals in a private reception in Union Station. "The future is exciting, and we invite you all to join us as we work to improve the affordability, durability and quality of tomorrow homes."
The Concept Home is an outgrowth of PATH's
Technology Roadmap: Whole House and Building Process Redesign
report. Modern homes are currently built to be inflexible, with systems tangled behind interior walls and embedded in structural elements. But the home of the future will combine functions that make better use of labor, material, time, and money, consequently reducing cost and installation time.
The Concept Home represents one vision for the future of housing, with an emphasis on flexibility of systems to meet the specific needs of the homeowner. Innovations in the Concept Home include flexible interior walls that can accommodate family changes, customizable designs that will give the home the quality and curb appeal of a custom-built house without the high cost, and improved production methods that speed construction and improve durability.
Roger Glunt of Glunt Development Company and past chair of the PATH Industry Steering Committee served as host of the evening. Other reception speakers included architect Chris French of Torti Gallas and Partners-CHK, Inc., the architectural firm that assisted PATH with the Concept Home model; Bill Asdal of Asdal Builders and a member of the Industry Steering Committee; and Roger Lewis, architect and author of the Washington Post column "Shaping the City," who noted the growing demand for -- and shrinking supply of -- affordable housing.
"The homes in the model and graphics are intentionally traditional in nature," said French. "The breakthroughs that PATH demonstrates here transcend style. Our goal is to show that these concepts can be applied to all types of housing to foster diversity and community." Williams added, "We now plan to move this concept house into reality."
The Concept Home model went on display at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on June 24 and will be displayed at several venues throughout the year. The architectural model was made possible by the generous support and sponsorship of Dupont and the Portland Cement Association.
The reception was sponsored by several PATH partners, including NUCONSTEEL, CertainTeed Corporation, the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA), and SEISCO/Microtherm, Inc.
For more information:
Scott T. Shepherd
Content updated on 4/19/2005