NSF/PATH Support Advanced Housing Technologies Research

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National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) just announced a $1.5-million initiative to develop technologies that will help create a new generation of housing.

The research initiative will support goals of PATH, a federal government and industry partnership established to develop, demonstrate and deploy advanced housing technologies to radically improve the quality, durability, energy efficiency, environmental performance and affordability of the nation’s housing. Both NSF and PATH each are contributing one-half of the funding for the research effort.

NSF, administrator of the award program, anticipates funding approximately 12 proposals, with awards up to $150,000 for two years, for fundamental engineering research in areas that address PATH concerns. Although collaboration among researchers and partnerships with industry or government laboratories is encouraged, awards are limited to U.S. academic institutions.

“This research could lead to future housing that meets higher standards of energy efficiency, environmental performance, and quality — at affordable costs,” said Vijaya Gopu, NSF’s program manager for the initiative.

“NSF and PATH support for fundamental engineering research in housing will lead to innovations in residential construction and even breakthrough technologies that will transform American housing,” said Elizabeth Burdock, PATH executive director. Proposed research projects must contribute to advancing two or more of PATH’s goals. By 2010, PATH is to (1) reduce the monthly cost of new housing by 20 percent or more; (2) improve durability and reduce maintenance cost by 50 percent; 3) cut the environmental impact and energy use of new housing by 50 percent and reduce energy use in at least 15 million existing homes by 30 percent or more; (4) reduce the risk of life, injury, and property destruction from natural hazards by at least 10 percent and reduce residential construction work illness and injuries by at least 20 percent.

The research initiative will focus a broad array of engineering sciences and technologies and interdisciplinary activities on the effort. Deadline for submission of proposals is January 27, 2000. Awards will be announced May 2000. Complete text of the award announcement is available on the NSF web site at http://www.nsf.gov/home/programs/recent.htm PATH is administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition to HUD and NSF, federal agencies participating in PATH include U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Labor and Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Housing Finance Board, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Private sector members include leaders of the home building, product manufacturing, insurance, and financial industries.

For more information, please visit: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf004/nsf004.htm.

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