News and Events
Accounting for 25% of a home's energy use, lighting offers a huge opportunity to improve efficiency. Despite the availability of advanced controls and lighting techniques, few are commonly used in residential construction. PATH's fourth Tech Set, "Energy-Efficient Lighting," shows builders and remodelers how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of lighting through easy-to-use technologies and designs.
PATH-recommended design features for natural daylighting include spectrally selective glazing, seasonal window shading, overhangs, shading with deciduous trees, radiant barrier window treatments, and tubular skylights. PATH-recommended technologies for artificial lighting include ENERGY STAR® qualified fixtures, full-spectrum fluorescent lights, dimmer switches, motion sensors, and white LED lighting.
PATH's Tech Sets provide builders manageable, systems-based packages of proven, innovative technologies that can be easily adopted in new construction. Released quarterly, the sets show how technologies can be used together to obtain benefits that are greater than the sum of the parts. Tech Set 1, "Resource-Efficient Plumbing," highlights five technologies that are easy to install and result in speedy delivery of hot and cold water. Tech Set 2, "Durable Building Envelope Details for New Construction and Additions," shows builders the components they need to create an affordable and durable building envelope. Tech Set 3, "HVAC: Forced Air System," provides guidelines on improving the performance of the forced air system through proper design and installation.
In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, PATH has been reaching out to builders, remodelers, and other members of the homebuilding industry to provide information on disaster recovery. Visit PATH's home page to find a wide array of practices and technologies to improve the disaster-resistance of new and existing homes and aid reconstruction. These include:
- Wind- and water-resistance strategies
- Technologies to speed construction
- Hurricane retrofit strategies
- Flood recovery strategies
- Natural disaster resources
PATH is also preparing articles on these topics for home builder association magazines in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
PATH has been working hard to advance the Concept Home. Learn about developments in the Concept Home design, publications and partnership opportunities for manufacturers, and the Concept Home survey.
In July, members of the PATH Concept Home Advisory Committee met in New Hampshire and immersed themselves in the innovative atmosphere of Bensonwood Homes. Tedd Benson, a member of the Advisory Committee, co-hosted a meeting to discuss the development of the Concept Home plans and the incorporation of innovative technologies.
The meeting participants toured Bensonwood's operations, where advanced design and fabrication systems connect design to engineering and production of timber frame homes. The attendees observed the computerized design facilities and highly automated production machinery that crafts timber components based on electronic designs. The group also watched skilled craftsmen create one-of-a-kind timber components for a soon-to-be-built home.
The committee left New Hampshire fueled with enthusiasm from Bensonwood's innovative approach to homebuilding, as well as concrete ideas for next steps in the development of the Concept Home.
Are you ready to learn how new homes can be designed and built for easy customization and future expansion? Are you ready to manufacture innovative products that will help builders construct these homes? PATH has released
Principle #1: Flexible Floor Plans [PDF], the first in a series of technology research papers that will help manufacturers determine next steps in six areas of innovation that are essential to developing the PATH Concept Home-and to the future of innovative housing.
Principle #1 features floor plan designs and building systems that allow interior spaces to be reconfigured more easily. Principles 2 through 6 will focus on organized and accessible systems, improved production process, alternative basic materials, standardization of measurements and component interfaces, and integrated functions.
The technology report series will be released on PATHnet between October and December 2005, leading up to the unveiling of Concept Home design plans and specifications in February 2006.
PATH is seeking innovative manufacturers dedicated to long-term strategic visioning and R&D to create systems that will meet the needs of tomorrow's homebuyers. For more information, contact James Lyons at 301-889-0017 or at email@example.com.
What do you want in tomorrow's housing? BuildingSurvey is conducting a series of brief online surveys to learn more about consumer and builder perceptions of Concept Home principles and objectives. Complete one or more surveys to let us know. PATH will use the survey responses to guide its next steps in Concept Home design.
PATH and the National Science Foundation awarded $3 million in grants on September 12 to the following ten university researchers who are working to advance housing technologies. NSF-PATH Program Awards are designed to spur innovative background research, a key component to technology development. PATH will be providing updates on all NSF projects in the coming year.
- Florida International University: Advancing Performance Based Design through Full-Scale Simulation of Wind, Water and Structural Interaction (Dr. Forrest Masters)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Video-Based Assessment of Advanced Light Redirecting Components in Windows and Luminaires to Optimize Lighting in Buildings (Dr. Marilyne Andersen)
- Ohio University: Feasibility of Developing Self Sustainable-Ammonia Power Houses(Dr. Gerardine Botte)
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Thin-Film Active Building Envelopes (Dr. Steven Van Dessel)
- University of Alabama: Innovative Multifunctional Structural Panels for Cost-Effective Panelized Construction (Dr. Nasim Uddin)
- University of Kansas: Optimal Integration of Renewable and Phase Change Materials in Insulation Systems for the Reduction of Thermal Loads Across Building Walls and Ceilings (Dr. Mario Medina)
- University of Michigan: Technological Innovations in an Industrially Designed and Manufactured Modular Housing Concept for Low Energy, Prefabricated, Low-Rise Low Income Housing Units (Dr. Harry Giles)
- University of Missouri-Rolla: Core-filled Biocomposite Panels for Energy Efficient Housing (Dr. K. Chandrashekhara)
- Virginia Tech: Modeling Adoption and Diffusion of Residential Construction Innovations (Dr. Charles Koebel)
- Virginia Tech: Facilitating Supply Chain Support for the Commercialization of Innovative Products in the Residential Construction Industry (Dr. Walid Thabet)
PATH's new Technology Inventory Web site makes it easier to access reliable information on new homebuilding products, processes, and partners. Maintained by the NAHB Research Center, the Inventory contains over 160 technologies searchable by keyword, Tech Set, overall category, and stage of development. In addition, CAD details are now available for several technologies.
Content updated on 1/4/2006