Results from the First Concept Home Survey
Creative designs and advances in products, materials, technologies, and production processes make the Concept Home possible to build--but are we ready to embrace it? To learn more about consumer and builder perceptions of the Concept Home principles, PATH is conducting a series of informal online "surveys." Results from the first survey are in and a second survey is underway.
PATH is developing design plans for a high quality, affordable home that meets the evolving needs of homeowners as they change over time. This home--the PATH Concept Home--accommodates changing lifestyles, easily adapts to technological advances, is easy to repair and remodel, looks custom-built, and can be constructed and finished in just 20 days.
Results from this ongoing survey about consumer and builder perceptions of Concept Home principles (see sidebar) demonstrate that:
- Consumers are not yet convinced that factory-built components assembled on-site will result in higher quality homes, though they assume homes built this way would be less expensive-and would look like it too. The top priority for consumers is a safe place to live, with healthy indoor air, solid construction, and resistance to disasters. Purchase price and operating costs are other top priorities.
- Consumers want easy access to utilities like wiring and plumbing. They feel this will save time and money either by allowing them to do work on these systems more easily or hiring professionals at a reduced cost.
- Almost all builders who responded had used factory-built roof trusses or floor components with good results, although most did not have experience with panelized wall systems. Builders recognized that assembling factory-built housing components on-site would reduce construction time and increase quality. Reduced costs and construction time were their priority.
- Builders have a positive view of factory-built components assembled onsite, but consumers, who associate faster construction with poor quality, are skeptical.
Do homeowners want to have the ability to more easily modify or change floors plans when they move to a new home, new children arrive, children leave for college, children move back home, or elderly parents settle in? Understanding consumer values is a PATH priority. Weigh in:
complete the next survey.
Funds Available for Cooperative Research
PATH is pleased to announce the availability of $3 million in grants to further research in
innovative housing technologies. Preliminary applications for grants ranging from $50,000 to $1 million will be accepted until July 22, 2005.
The Department of Energy is accepting applications through July 28, 2005, for research on
energy-efficient technologies in four areas:
- Windows R&D to Achieve the Next Generation of Performance Projects
- Research Tool Dissemination to Increase Energy Efficient Fenestration Product Penetration
- Energy-Efficient Industrialized Housing
- EnergyPlus Advancement
Flexible Floor Plans
feature design and building systems that enable interior spaces to be reconfigured more easily by moving non-load bearing walls.
Organized and Accessible Utilities
focuses on disentangling mechanical systems from each other and the house's structure. The idea is to organize the systems so they are laid out efficiently and logically, and provide easy access to the systems for repairs, upgrades, and remodeling.
Improved Production Processes
encompasses management systems, information and communications technology, manufacturing processes, and assembly processes that improve building quality and efficiency while reducing production time.
Separation of Home Systems
reduces interdependencies by separating the structure, mechanical systems, and floor plan, making a house easier to build, maintain, and change over time.
Alternative Basic Materials
are new advanced materials or those adapted from other industries that can be applied to home building.
Standardization of Measurements and Component Interfaces
simplifies the installation and replacement of products and materials by promoting a standard measurement and interchangeable components.
combines functions to promote increased production efficiency and house performance.