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Overcoming Barriers to Innovation in the Homebuilding Industry

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April 2005, 70 pages

While new technologies and production processes could help overcome serious problems for housing producers, many characteristics of the housing industry inhibit the development and diffusion of innovations on a large scale. Overcoming Barriers to Innovation in the Homebuilding Industry presents findings from PATH's extensive research on barriers to innovation and ways to overcome them.

The report provides an overview of PATH's literature search on barriers related to risk, fragmentation, education/communication, and industry participant preferences. To develop a practical understanding of how these barriers affect technology adoption within the industry, three expert investigatory panels were convened in fall 2004-one on risk, a second on industry participant preferences, and a third on education/communication. The panels were comprised of seven to 10 leading representatives of key stakeholders and decisionmakers in the housing industry.

The report 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 4/11/2005

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