PATH Announces Call to Small Businesses for Proposals for Major Research Projects

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The 5 contracts expected to be awarded as a result of this solicitation will cover the following PATH categories and brief descriptions:

PATH 9 – Creating Whole House System Solutions

While many research and intellectual groups have loosely defined the concept of the ‘whole house,’ most of these have only suggested broad changes in the ways that individual home building firms function and the home building industry is structured. The PATH Roadmap, however, has suggested the current industry must go beyond individual changes and into advancing wholistic approaches to designing, constructing, and maintaining homes, or systems thinking. This project will define both technically and contextually the technical and operations components of a whole house. This involves reviewing past examples of whole house approaches, and assembling categories for the technological systems necessary to accomplish this concept.

PATH 11 – Durability/Moisture: Applying System Solutions

One of the goals of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) is to increase the durability of housing while maintaining affordability. The presence of moisture is perhaps the most significant durability issue to be addressed in the design of homes.Moisture needs to be looked at as an aspect of the whole house and its construction as well. To approach this, a comprehensive plan shall be created as to how to coordinate research and other activities leading to better moisture resistance in single family housing that looks at the whole house aspects of the problem.

PATH 12 – Whole House Research: Disentangling Utilities

New subsystems in housing-like indoor plumbing, electric wiring,central HVAC-have been simply “added to” the home rather than “integrated into it. This problem has become critical as more systems are panelized; installing utility systems in conventional stud construction is awkward and often ends up compromising structural or insulating integrity. This project focuses on how to integrate utilities into these building systems or disentangle them from these building systems to best achieve more affordable housing.

PATH 13 – Panel’s Research I: Wall Panels Benchmark and Performance Requirements

The broad purpose of this project is to define what panelized wall systems are currently available and their technical specifications, how do they perform and in what applications are they most used, and what are the standard performance criteria that all panelized wall systems need to meet in order to integrate with existing methods of construction. This project involves reviewing all panelized wall systems currently on the market, assembling categories for the technical product specifications necessary to identify similarities and differences. After the literature review and analysis, a detailed study of the conflicting technical performance attributes (e.g., structural performance vs. weight limitations vs. material durability, etc.) must be performed. Suggested parameters for these attributes will also be developed.

PATH 14 – Tools for Streamlining the Code Enforcement Documentation and Communication Process

This project will examine the tools currently available to code enforcement offices, tools currently available in industries with similar requirements, and potential tools which could be developed for use by code enforcement offices to document their uses and potential. The solicitation package will provide additional information regarding the above PATH projects. This is a new acquisition. There are no current contractors performing this work under individual contracts nor historic data is available concerning these individual contracts nor any other PATH programs.

This solicitation is total set aside for small business concerns. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code is 541710 (engineering research and development laboratories or services) ,and the size standard is 500 employees, average for the last three years.

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