Home Innovation Insights

New insight on who is opting for off-site technology, when, and where.

Ed Hudson, MBA
March 1, 2019

On Trend with Off Site: When & Where Off-Site Housing Technologies Will Emerge

During this year’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, I presented, “When and Where Off-Site Housing Technologies Will Emerge” to members of NAHB’s Building Systems Council (BSC). The presentation included information from a 10-year summary of our Annual Builder Practices Reports and a survey conducted in December 2018 of 300 home builders who were asked about their future intentions for using building components and off-site housing technologies. While I’d provided an overview of December’s survey findings here on our website, the presentation was based on a more in-depth analysis based on builder type, size, and region.

The information was well-received, and I ended up answering questions by BSC members for an hour or so afterward. Some topline findings that garnered the most interested included:

  • The transition from rafter-framed roofs to trusses will continue to be strong among all types of builders—small and large, and low-end and high-end, and in all regions. The immediate trend is strong now but will taper off within the next five years due to trusses hitting a market saturation point.
  • Many builders are also in process of making the switch from site-built framing to shop-built open wall panels, particularly multifamily builders and high-volume single-family builders.
  • While somewhat less intense than open-wall panels, there is an interest in closed-wall panels that will begin to materialize in the coming 5 years.
  • Pre-assembled floors, or “floor cassettes,” are not in most builders’ current one-year plans, but we expect a big boost of interest developing over the coming 5 years, particularly among large builders to complement their use of open wall panels.
  • The Midwest seems to be adopting components and off-site housing solutions the most, followed by the West. The South and Northeast seem less ready to adopt components and off-site solutions, with the exception of roof trusses. 
  • Modular home solutions tend to be favored by custom builders and builders in the West.
  • Pre-cut framing packages seem positioned to satisfy the needs of larger builders, and builders of luxury homes.

This is just a sample of the interesting tidbits that came out of this analysis. There’s much more to explore – check out the complete presentation and let me know what’s most intriguing to you.

Builders Anticipating Using More Often in One and Five Years

From Ed Hudson’s 2019 IBS presentation, “When and Where Off-Site Housing Technologies Will Emerge.”

Interested in this type of comparative market analysis for your building product or system? Or is there a marketing trend topic you’d like us to explore and present to your industry group? Get in touch to let me know.

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