Home Innovation Insights

Insider insights on what's going on in the home building industry.

Browse
Archive
Bob Hill, PE
September 23, 2014

No Product is an Island

No home is made of just one product. And no one product within a home works without some reliance on one or more other products. Does your product play well with others? Don't be the weakest link in your clients' home systems, or get in your own way on the path to your next innovation. Understand how your product works in relation to a range of connections and assemblies by conducting non-standard testing with Home Innovation Research Labs.

comments (0)

Continue Reading


Bob Hill, PE
August 27, 2014

“R” Your Insulation Products Meeting Expectations?

With model building codes ramping up thermal envelope requirements for homes, and homebuyers becoming increasingly concerned (and knowledgeable) about managing their energy bills, both builders and buyers are scrutinizing the performance of the insulative products used in their homes. R-value is the most obvious and universal “proof point” that batt insulation will perform as expected, but how confident can you be that the R-value posted on a label actually reflects how that product will perform? Very confident … as long as the product also carries our Lab Certified mark.

comments (0)

Continue Reading


Bob Hill, PE
June 27, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Lab Director: Post-Audit Reflection

The phrase, “You’re being audited,” can strike fear into the heart of anyone. I am personally recovering from our latest lab audit, or, more accurately, our latest surveillance assessment. Unlike an IRS audit, however, the audits we undergo as an accredited third party are not at all unpleasant; in fact, they’re very beneficial. But they do take a big commitment of time and energy, and involve a certain amount of stress as our company’s credibility relies heavily on the value imbued by our accreditations. Find out what's involved and how this helps define our culture of accountability.

comments (0)

Continue Reading


J. Michael Luzier
June 25, 2014

A 50-Year Legacy of Innovation

Having just marked our 50th year in business last week, it seems like a perfect time to look back on some of the key home building innovations our team has helped to gain acceptance in the mainstream by eliminating barriers to market penetration. While there's probably no one builder who uses all these innovations, I bet most builders use at least one on a regular basis. We're proud of that legacy.

comments (0)

Continue Reading


J. Michael Luzier
May 30, 2014

Conquer Conservative Builder Syndrome: Get Tested!

Product failures happen. Because they do, builders tend to stick with the “tried-and-true” building materials, believing that wise builders don’t get fooled by new product claims. So how do new products break through? Consistently, our research shows the most important factor in a builder’s decision to try a new product is confidence that the manufacturer has done the proper testing and evaluation on the product. Have your products been tested?

comments (0)

Continue Reading


Bob Hill, PE
May 22, 2014

Moisture Testing: An Ounce of Prevention, Better Than a Pound of Cure

Energy efficiency requirements in the building codes are becoming more and more stringent. This has lead to the unintended consequence of builders having to contend with and mitigate excess moisture in the homes they build. Making houses tighter with less air infiltration creates positive energy benefits but, unless adequate ventilation is provided in the right way, there can be moisture-related issues like mold growth. Proper moisture testing for building products is crucial to ensure they perform as manufacturers, builders, and homeowners desire.

comments (0)

Continue Reading


Bob Hill, PE
April 7, 2014

It's Gettin' Hot in Here...

Guests who tour Home Innovation Research Labs are impressed with our sizeable Hot Box. Indeed, we have one of the largest in the country. Less brawny, but equally titillating, are our four heat flow meters. This equipment is essential to measure the thermal efficiency of insulation (and a variety of other building products), commonly measured by R-value, a measure of resistance to heat flow. And increasingly, as Professional Builder magazine recently noted, energy efficiency is table stakes for the new market.

comments (0)

Continue Reading


Bob Hill, PE
March 10, 2014

Our Credibility Is Your Currency

There is a common barrier to innovation faced by builders and product manufacturers alike. They may be certain their product or technology is superior, but can they convince relevant decision-makers to change from tried-and-true methodologies and products? The answer is yes – if they have credible and demonstrable proof to back up their claims.

comments (0)

Continue Reading


Michelle Foster
December 26, 2013

The Calendar Year is Ending But Opportunity Springs Eternal - What's Your Next Opportunity?

It’s not always easy to collect the right kind of information from the right kind of respondents for the residential construction industry. But with 50 years of expertise on the ins and outs of the housing industry, we have the know-how to overcome the potential difficulties that come with getting meaningful, actionable data.

comments (0)

Continue Reading


Bob Hill, PE
November 21, 2013

Up Close and Personal with "The Racker"

While its name might conjure up images of a middle ages torture machine or a modern-day MMA move, our "Racker" is actually used to understand the shear wall performance of building assemblies. Find out what makes this custom piece of test equipment particularly well-suited for ensuring structural systems are up to the test.

comments (0)

Continue Reading