Hands-On BUILDER a Success

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Advanced housing technology experts convened in Tucson, Arizona for a highly successful educational event for builders, architects, mortgage lenders and trade contractors. The program, attended by over 100 housing industry professionals on May 22 and 23, is called Hands-On BUILDER: The Technology Lab for Builders. The Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), BUILDER magazine, and Fannie Mae sponsored this event at the Civano development in Tucson, Arizona.

The two-day conference is a break away from traditional venues where participants simply hear about technologies through a panel format. The first day of the Hands-On BUILDER lab was an interactive lab in which builders were able to explore a community that has successfully embraced advanced housing technologies as well as participate in interactive sessions with subject experts and key industry leaders.

Participants saw live demonstrations of new technologies such as steel framing, SIPs, adobe, rastra, integra-block, and solar as they toured the PATH national demonstration site of Civano, the largest planned sustainable community in the country. In addition, they learned how to make housing more healthy through construction techniques to improve indoor air quality and see innovative water saving techniques.

Participants learned from experts how advanced technologies cost as compared to standard wood framing (per square foot of house; per square foot of wall; time to erect; and comparative labor costs); improve durability; and increase energy savings.

The second day of the event were presentations that covered the lessons learned from using new technologies by home building pioneers; the future of high-tech building; issues with breaking through city codes; the new Fannie Mae financing tools that reward home builders and home buyers for building energy and resource efficient housing; and the competitive edge gained through marketing these advanced technologies.

National experts and top builders such as Stefanos Polyzoides of Moule and Polyzoides Architects & Planners, David Baird of Baird Design & Building, John Wesley Miller of John Wesley Miller Companies, Robert Storie of ContraVest Properties, Inc., Michael Frerking of Living Systems Architecture, Harris Lowenhaupt of Caste Earth, Randy Luther of Centex Corporation, David Cohen of K. Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc., Randy Folts of Pulte Corporation, John Laswick of City of Tucson, Eileen Alduenda of the Tucson Institute for Sustainable Communities, David Kipnis of Marketing Solutions, and Lucy Kraft of Long Realty shared their thoughts on and experiences with advanced housing technologies.

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