Title - Library - Glossary

Glossary of Terms and Acronyms



accessibility - All new construction of covered multifamily buildings must include certain features of accessible and adaptable design. Units covered are all those in buildings with four or more units and one or more elevators, and all ground floor units in buildings without elevators.

accessible design - Accessible design means products and buildings that are accessible and usable by people with disabilities.

ACSA - see Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

AFL-CIO - The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations is the voluntary federation of America's unions, representing more than 13 million working women and men nationwide.

AIA - see American Institute of Architects

Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) - The Alliance to Save Energyis a nonprofit coalition of prominent business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit the environment, the economy, and national security.

American Institute of Architects (AIA) - The American Institute of Architectsis a professional membership organization that promotes the profession in the US, with details of products, events, and services, such as advice on selecting an architect.

American Planning Association (APA) - The American Planning Associationis a nonprofit public interest and research organization representing 30,000 practicing planners, officials, and citizens involved with urban and rural planning issues.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) - The American Society of Civil Engineersis a professional civil engineering organization providing membership benefits, conferences, and other resource information.

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) - The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineersis an international organization of 50,000 persons with chapters throughout the world. The Society is organized for the sole purpose of advancing the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration for the public's benefit through research, standards writing, continuing education, and publications.

APA - see American Planning Association

appropriation - One of the basic forms of Budget Authority. Statutory authority that allows federal agencies to incur Obligations and to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. An appropriation act is the most common means of providing budget authority, but in some cases the authorizing legislation itself provides the budget authority. (OMB Circular A-34, Part II, Section 21.1 (Budget Authority, p. II-3) HUDCAPS Core Financial System Standard Accounting Interface, dated 9/30/97.

appropriation act - A statute, under the jurisdiction of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, that generally provides legal authority for federal agencies to incur Obligations and to make payments out of Treasury for specified purposes. Three major types of appropriation acts are regular, supplemental, and continuing. (GAO) HUDCAPS Core Financial System Standard Accounting Interface, dated 9/30/97.

appropriation authority - Authority given to federal agencies to incur Obligations and to make payments from Treasury for specified purposes.

ASCE - see American Society of Civil Engineers


ASE - see Alliance to Save Energy

ASHRAE - see American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers

Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) - The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is a nonprofit, membership association founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education.

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BEES - see Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability

BFRL - see Building and Fire Research Laboratory

BOCA - see Building Officials and Code Administrators

brownfield - An abandoned, idled, or underused property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived contamination. Brownfield sites include abandoned factories and other industrial facilities, gasoline stations, oil storage facilities, dry cleaning stores, and other businesses that formerly dealt with polluting substances. Economic activities once thrived on these properties, but today, the availability of greenfields, concerns with liability, the time and cost of cleanup, and reluctance to invest in older urban areas make these sites difficult to redevelop.

Brownfields Redevelopment Initiative - An interagency initiative to address the financial and legal risks of cleaning up and redeveloping brownfields. To attract private financing, HUD brings together four existing types of assistance that communities can use to clean up and revitalize potentially contaminated sites: annual formula grants allocated through Community Development Block Grants, lower interest loan guarantee authority through the Section 108 Loan Guarantee program, accompanying competitive grants through the Brownfields Economic Development Initiative program, and additional competitive grants provided through the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control program.

building envelope - Structural elements that enclose a building (walls, roofs, windows, and foundations), and materials within the envelope systems (such as insulation). The building envelope provides the thermal barrier between the indoor and outdoor environment, and its elements are the key determinants of a building's energy requirements that result from the climate where it is located.

Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) - BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) software, produced by NIST's Building and Fire Research Laboratory with funding from PATH and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), supports purchasing decisions by providing key science-based information often lacking in selection of "green" or environmentally preferable building products. Version 2.0 of the Windows -based support software is aimed at designers, builders, and product manufacturers, and it includes actual environmental and economic performance data for over 65 generic building products.

Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) - The National Institute of Standards and Technology's Building and Fire Research Laboratorystudies building materials; computer-integrated construction practices; fire science and fire safety engineering; and structural, mechanical, and environmental engineering. Products of the laboratory's research include measurements and test methods, performance criteria, and technical data that supports innovations by industry and are incorporated into building and fire standards and codes.

Building Officials Code Administrators (BOCA) - Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. is a nonprofit membership association composed of more than 16,000 members who span the building community, from code enforcement officials to materials manufacturers. BOCA is dedicated to preserving public health, safety, and welfare in the built environment through the effective, efficient use and enforcement of Model Codes.

Business and Operating Plan (BOP) - Management plans developed by all HUD offices to accomplish the Department's mission and goals.

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CERF - see Civil Engineering Research Foundation

CDBG - see Community Development Block Grant Program

Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERF) - CERFis a nonprofit organization created by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to bring together diverse groups within the civil engineering community to "facilitate, integrate, and coordinate" common solutions to complex research challenges facing the design, construction, and environmental industries.

Community Builders - People selected to receive training at Harvard and HUD before working in 2- to 4-year temporary fellowships. Community Builders are trained in all aspects of HUD operations to serve as team builders, fostering partnerships and innovation inside and outside the agency. HUD Press Release, March 18, 1998.

Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) - Program authorized by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 in place of several community development categorical grant programs. CDBG provides eligible metropolitan cities and urban counties (called "entitlement communities") with annual direct grants that they can use to revitalize neighborhoods, expand affordable housing and economic opportunities, and/or improve community facilities and services, principally to benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

continuum of care - A program to help more than 330,000 homeless Americans get housing, job training, child care, and other services. The Continuum of Care, which is the centerpiece of the federal policy on homelessness, stresses permanent solutions to homelessness through comprehensive and collaborative community planning. In 1997, the Continuum of Care was one of 25 finalists, out of 1400 competitors, for the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award that is awarded by the Ford Foundation and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. HUDWEB 1/4/99.

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(DOE) U.S. Department of Energy - U.S. Department of Energy is a governmental agency that fosters a secure and reliable energy system that is environmentally and economically sustainable. DOE endeavors to be a responsible steward of the Nation's nuclear weapons, to clean up facilities, and to support continued U.S. leadership in science and technology.

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energy-efficient mortgage (EEM) - When a homeowner or homebuyer applies for a home loan, at the time of purchase or refinance, he or she can roll the cost of needed energy improvements into the mortgage, amortizing the cost of the improvements over the life of the mortgage, based on the expected savings.energy-efficient mortgage program ? Energy improvement programs of the VA, FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Farmers Home Administration. These are national programs available to all homebuyers and homeowners at the time of purchase or refinance.

(EPA) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the government agency charged with the establishment and enforcement of environmental protection standards consistent with national environmental goals.

(EPRI) Electric Power Research Institute - Electrical Power Research Institute is a nonprofit energy research consortium for the benefit of utility members, their customers, and society. EPRI's mission is to provide science and technology-based solutions of indispensable value to our global energy customers by managing a far-reaching program of scientific research, technology development, and product implementation.

(EPSCoR) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research - Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research is a joint program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and several U.S. states and territories. The program promotes the development of the states' science and technology (S&T) resources through partnerships involving a state's universities, industry, and government, and the Federal research and development (R&D) enterprise.

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factory-built housing - Any home that is built in a factory setting as opposed to on site. This can include manufactured and modular homes.

Fair Housing Act - Legislation, first enacted in 1968 and expanded by amendments in 1974 and 1988, that provides the Secretary with investigation and enforcement responsibilities for fair housing practices. Prohibits discrimination in housing and lending based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, or familial status.

Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) - A Program to assist states, local agencies, fair housing groups, and community housing resource boards in bringing public and private efforts together to combat housing discrimination.

fair market rents (FMR) - Rent Schedules published in the Federal Register which establish maximum eligible rent levels allowed under the Section 8 program broken out by geographic area.

Fannie Mae - see Federal National Mortgage Association

Federal Agency Working Group (FAWG) - FAWG is a governing body of PATH that comprises representatives from each Federal agency that performs housing-specific work and that has put forth resources and activities in support of PATH's vision.

(FEMA) Federal Emergency Management Agency - Federal Emergency Management Agency provides leadership and support for the nation's emergency management system so that States, local governments, and others can effectively prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of natural disasters.

Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB) - Supervises Federal Home Loan Banks, which supply member banks with credit to enhance their services as savings depositories and as lenders of mortgage funds.

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) - Freddie Mac is a federally chartered stockholder-owned corporation that supports the secondary market for conventional mortgages. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) An insuring entity established by legislation and administered by the Assistant Secretary for Housing, who is responsible for the Department's various mortgage insurance programs.

Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB) - The Federal Housing Finance Board regulates the 12 FHLBanks that were created in 1932 to improve the supply of funds to local lenders that, in turn, finance loans for home mortgages.

Federal Housing Loan Bank (FHLB) - Created by Congress in 1932, the FHLB System's public policy mission is to support residential mortgage lending and related community investment through its member financial institutions. The System fulfills its mission by providing members with access to reliable, economical funding and technical assistance, as well as special affordable housing programs.

Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) - Fannie Mae is a federally chartered, stockholder-owned corporation that supports the secondary market for both conventional mortgages and mortgages insured by the FHA and guaranteed by VA.

FEMA - see Federal Emergency Management Agency

FHA fund - A fund that comprises four separate funds established to finance specific FHA mortgage insurance programs: Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMI), Cooperative Management Housing Insurance Fund (CMHI), General Insurance Fund (GI), and Special Risk Insurance Fund (SRI).

FHFB - see Federal Housing Finance Board

FHLB - see Federal Housing Loan Bank

fiscal year - Any yearly accounting period, regardless of its relationship to a calendar year. (GAO) HUDCAPS Core Financial System Standard Accounting Interface, dated 9/30/97.

(FPL) Forest Products Laboratory - USDA'sForest Products Laboratory conducts research on expanded and diverse aspects of wood use. Research concentrates on pulp and paper products, housing and structural uses of wood, wood preservation, wood and fungi identification, and finishing and restoration of wood products.

Freddie Mac - see Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation

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Ginnie Mae - see Government National Mortgage Association

green building - A whole-building and systems approach to design and construction that employs building techniques that minimize environmental impacts and reduce the energy consumption of buildings while contributing to the health and productivity of its occupants.

(GOALI) Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry - Administered by the National Science Foundation, the GOALI initiative provides funding to improve industry-university research linkages in the design of products and processes.

Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA or Ginnie Mae) - Major Departmental organization responsible for administering secondary market programs involving insured mortgage loans, such as the Mortgage-backed Securities Program.

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Healthy Homes for Healthy Children - A new life-saving initiative to help parents protect their children from potentially deadly hidden dangers in their homes.

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) - The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975, as amended in 1989, requires most financial institutions and mortgage lenders that make mortgage loans, home improvement loans, or home refinance loans to collect and disclose information about their lending practices. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner Mortgagee Letter 94-22, May 4, 1994.

HOME - Provides funds to local governments and states for new construction, rehabilitation, acquisition of standard housing, assistance to homebuyers, and tenant-based rental assistance.

home page - Generally refers to HUD's Web site: HUD's Homes and Communities Page.

HOPE VI - HOPE VI, or the Urban Revitalization Program, enables demolition of obsolete public housing, revitalization of public housing sites, and distribution of supportive services to the public housing residents affected by these actions.

Housing Assistance Council (HAC) - A private organization that provides funds, training, and other types of assistance to nonprofit groups to facilitate construction of lower-income housing in rural areas. Housing Finance Agencies (HFA) State or local agencies responsible for financing and preserving privately owned low- and moderate-income housing within a given State or locality.

(HUD) U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is the government agency charged with ensuring decent affordable housing and fair housing practices for U.S. citizens. HUD is also responsible for overall management, programmatic decisions, and resource allocations in support of PATH.

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(IBCO) International Conference of Building Officials - ICBOis an association providing information on building and construction codes, as well as products and services to aid public safety through certification programs, seminars, training manuals, and more.

(ICC) International Code Council - The International Code Council (ICC)was established in 1994 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing a single set of comprehensive and coordinated national model construction codes.

(INEEL) Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory - The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratoryconducts fundamental and applied science and engineering to develop, demonstrate, and deploy new technologies that address the needs of the Department of Energy and other customers.

insulated concrete forms - Constructed of rigid foam plastic insulation, a composite of cement and foam insulation, or a composite of cement and wood chips. The forms typically remain in place after the concrete has cured to provide added insulation.

(ISC) Industry Steering Committee - Industry Steering Committeeis a coordinating body of PATH that includes industry pioneers and experts who have made their mark in the homebuilding industry. The ISC also fosters networks between industrial associations and firms that bring resources to PATH and encourage the awareness of housing innovation. As the industrial coordinator for PATH, the NAHB Research Center, convenes the ISC.

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(LISC) Local Initiatives Support Corporation - Local Initiatives Support Corporation helps resident-led, community-based development organizations transform distressed communities and neighborhoods into healthy ones-good places to live, do business, work, and raise families. By providing capital, technical expertise, training, and information, LISC supports the development of local leadership and the creation of affordable housing, commercial, industrial and community facilities, businesses, and jobs.

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manufactured homes - Homes built entirely in the factory under a federal building code administered by HUD. The Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (commonly known as the HUD Code) went into effect June 15, 1976. Manufactured homes may be single- or multi-section and are transported to the site and installed. The Federal standards regulate manufactured housing design and construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency, and quality. The HUD Code also sets performance standards for the heating, plumbing, air conditioning, thermal, and electrical systems. It is the only federally regulated national building code. On-site additions, such as garages, decks and porches, often add to the attractiveness of manufactured homes and must be built to local, State, or regional building codes.

(MHI) Manufactured Housing Institute - Manufactured Housing Instituteis the national trade organization representing all segments of the manufactured housing industry. MHI serves its membership by providing research, promotion, education, and government relations programs, and by building consensus within the industry.

(MHRA) Manufactured Housing Research Alliance - The Manufactured Housing Research Alliance is a non-profit organization with the mission of developing new technologies to enhance the value, quality, and performance of the nation's manufactured homes.

modular homes - Factory-built home built to applicable State, local, or regional codes where the home will be located. Modules are transported to the site and installed.

mobile homes - Factory-built home produced prior to June 15, 1976, when the HUD Code went into effect. By 1970, mobile homes were built to voluntary industry standards that were eventually enforced by 45 of the 48 contiguous states.

Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA) - Mortgage Bankers Association of America is an association representing the real estate finance industry. MBA serves its membership by representing their legislative and regulatory interests before the United States Congress and federal agencies; by meeting their educational needs through programs and a range of periodicals and publications; and by supporting their business interests with a variety of research initiatives and other products and services.

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NARRP - see Nationally Applicable Recommended Rehabilitation Provisions

National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) - The oldest minority trade association in America, founded in 1947 on the principle that all citizens have the right to equal housing opportunities, regardless of race, creed, or color. Internet Site: www.nareb.com

National Association of County Officials (NACO) - An organization of officials in county governments that provides research and reference services for county officials and represents their interests at the national level.

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) - An organization that represents homebuilders at all levels of government and provides information on new developments in the housing industry. It is also responsible for initiating the Homeowners Warranty Corporation, which provides a guarantee of workmanship in residential homes.

NAHB Research Center - The NAHB Research Center is the research and development leader in the home building industry, dedicated to advancing housing technology and enhancing housing affordability for the benefit of all Americans.

National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) - An organization that develops new techniques related to the finance, design, construction, and management of housing. The NAHRO also plays a key role by consulting with Federal Agencies and the Congress on U.S. housing policy.

National Association of Realtors (NAR) - An organization that represents the interests of realtors and promotes education, professional standards, and modern techniques in real estate practices.

National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards (NCSBCS) - The National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards, Inc., on behalf of the nation's governors and their chief building regulatory officials, promotes the development of an efficient, cooperative system of building regulation to ensure the public's safety in all buildings, residential and commercial.

National Evaluation Services (NES) - The National Evaluation Service develops technical reports containing descriptions of a building construction material or product, together with a list of conditions necessary for compliance with each of the model building codes, as promulgated by the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), and the Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI), as well as the International Code Series of the International Code Council (ICC).

(NFPA) National Fire Protection Association - National Fire Protection Association is an international nonprofit organization created to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically based consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

National Homeownership Foundation (NHF) - An organization that encourages private and public organizations at the national, state, and local levels to provide increased homeownership opportunities for low-income families in urban and rural areas.

National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) - A nonprofit organization engaged in improvements in the area of building science and technology.

(NIST) National Institute of Standards and Technology - National Institute of Standards and Technology is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Commerce Department's Technology Administration. NIST's mission is to develop and promote measurement, standards, and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade, and improve the quality of life.

National League of Cities (NLC) - The country's largest and most representative organization serving municipal governments. Founded in 1924, today its direct members include 49 state municipal leagues and 1,500 communities of all sizes. Through the membership of the state municipal leagues, NLC represents more than 18,000 municipalities.

(NSF) National Science Foundation - The National Science Foundation is an independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through programs that invest in research and education projects in science and engineering.

National Tenants Organization (NTO) - An organization that represents tenants in subsidized housing.

(NTHP) National Trust for Historic Preservation - The National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, and advocacy to save America's diverse historic places and revitalize our communities.

Nationally Applicable Recommended Rehabilitation Provisions (NARRP) - A recommended framework for addressing all types of work in every type of building. These provisions are intended to be suitable for use by State and local jurisdictions or model code organizations with a minimum of adaptation. They incorporate the philosophy that improvements required when work is being done in existing buildings should be proportional to the nature and extent of the underlying work. Available from HUD USER.

natural landscaping - Aesthetically pleasing variety of hardy, primarily native plantings well adapted to the local climate and soil. Natural landscaping provides a cost-effective alternative to conventional turf grass lawns. Natural landscaping minimizes the environmentally detrimental effects of pesticides and fertilizers, as well as the noise pollution and emissions associated with lawn-maintenance equipment. It virtually eliminates the need to use water for irrigation, as is required for turf grass lawns. While not maintenance free, natural landscaping requires less time and money for ongoing maintenance than does conventional landscaping.

NCSBCS - see National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards

NES - see National Evaluation Services

NextGen house - The Next Generation of Manufactured Housing (NextGen)project presents two designs for HUD Code manufactured housing that reduce costs by incorporating innovative methods, materials, and systems.

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) - Published in the Federal Register to announce competitive funding programs.

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Office of Management and Budget (OMB) - An Executive Agency that assists the President in overseeing the preparation of the Federal budget and supervises its administration in Executive Branch agencies. In addition, OMB oversees and coordinates the Administration's procurement, financial management, information, and regulatory policies. www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OMB/html/ombhome.html

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panelized house - Factory-built home in which panels-a whole wall with windows, doors, wiring and outside siding-are transported to the site and assembled. A panelized house must meet State or local building codes where it is sited.

Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) - An interagency partnership with a goal of reducing the monthly cost of new housing by 20 percent by FY 2010.

PATH CoRP - The PATH Cooperative Research Program is PATH's open call for technology development. This grant mechanism originally started by NIST for PATH is now coordinated by HUD to fund industry initiated cost shared research for specific technological products or processes.

pre-cut homes - Factory-built home in which building materials are factory-cut to design specifications, transported to the site, and assembled. Pre-cut homes include kit, log, and dome homes. These homes must meet local, State, or regional building codes.

Public Housing Agency (PHA) - An organization, created by local government, that administers HUD's Low-Income Public Housing Program and other HUD programs.

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Request for Proposals (RFP) - A RFP is the instrument used to solicit proposals/offers for proposed contracts using the negotiated procurement method.

Rental Rehabilitation - Grants to cities and states for rental housing rehabilitation. These grants, authorized by Section 17 of the Housing Act of 1937, as amended by the Housing and Urban-Rural Recovery Act of 1983, are designed to attract private financing to rehabilitation.

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(SBCCI) Southern Building Code Congress International - The primary mission of Southern Building Code Congress International is to develop and maintain a set of model building codes for use by local jurisdictions.

(SBIR) Small Business Innovation Research - The Federal Small Business Innovation Research program provides approximately $1 billion annually to American small businesses for early-stage research and development projects.

Section 8 - Housing Assistance Payments Program, authorized by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.

Section 202 - Loans for the construction or rehabilitation of housing for the elderly and handicapped, authorized by the Housing Act of 1950.

sitework - Refers to the building and construction techniques developed outside and around a home, such as landscaping, driveways, drainage, sewage systems, water wells, etc.

Steel Framing Alliance - The Steel Framing Alliance is an organization that was established by the American Iron and Steel Institute in 1998 to rapidly accelerate the use of light gauge steel framing in residential construction.


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(ULI) Urban Land Institute - The Urban Land Institute was founded in 1936 to address the needs of American cities experiencing both suburban expansion and urban decay, with limited public sector planning and no guidance available to the private sector. ULI provides research and analysis, and it encourages responsible patterns for long-term urban growth, conducting inquiries into what constitutes sound real estate development projects and practices.

utility audit - Formal review of a house's energy use conducted by a utility company representative or qualified home energy rater, who provides recommendations for energy efficiency measures, such as weather-stripping, caulking, and insulation.

universal design - Products and buildings that are accessible and usable by everyone, including people with disabilities.

(USDA) U.S. Department of Agriculture - United States Department of Agriculture

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weatherization - Whole-house approach to improving the energy efficiency of an existing home. In the whole-house approach, all the energy-impacting systems in the home are examined and improved upon simultaneously, as needed.

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Content updated on 4/30/2003