Home Innovation Insights

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

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August 9, 2022

Latest Insights into New Home & Replacement Markets for Windows & Doors

Earlier this summer, I was invited to deliver the closing presentation of the WDMA 2022 Annual Technical and Manufacturing Conference. I shared 10-year market trends on window and door purchases in new and remodeled U.S. homes and insights into purchasers. As I have for more than 20 years, I sourced my data from Home Innovation’s annual trusted and industry-leading Builder and Consumer Practices Reports.

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July 21, 2022

Supply Chain, Labor Markets Creating Opportunities for Alternative Building Materials

Labor and supply chain issues have shaped the industry in recent years, particularly since the COVID pandemic. The net result has been longer construction cycle times, rising construction costs, and simply a much more difficult environment for building and remodeling homes. Our recent 2022 Builder Practices Survey sheds more light on how builder choices of home features, products, and materials has changed in response to these market conditions.

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June 16, 2022

Let’s Go to The Tape: Market Opportunities Presentation

Earlier this spring, I was asked to be a guest speaker at the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council’s Tape Week conference in Buena Vista, Fla. I provided the audience with an in-depth review of six key market opportunities for pressure-sensitive tapes and adhesives in residential construction, referencing our most recent Builder and Consumer Practices data trends and key drivers and market volumes for the six product categories. Below is a brief recap of the presentation takeaways:

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May 20, 2022

Market Reflections: Home Kitchen Remodeling in 2021

Home Innovation recently published our 2022 Consumer Practices Reports, based on the latest survey of households on home improvements and repairs in 2021. Kitchen remodeling is still hot – maybe even a bit “overheated” – and changes in material choice trends have been very fast-paced. Quartz continues to gain at the expense of the once-dominant Granite for Countertops; both came in at nearly equal shares (around 25%) of kitchen remodels. Marble also gained, but Laminate and Acrylic Solid Surface continued to lose their luster in the eyes of homeowners.  Kitchen Cabinet trends continue as they have been — painted cabinets with flat-panel-in-frame designs are the most popular in home kitchen remodels at 28% of all cabinets installed; finally surpassing the former #1 position holder, cabinets with raised panel doors and wood finish.

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May 12, 2022

2022 Consumer Practices Reports Available

The results of Home Innovation’s 2022 Consumer Practices Survey (CPS) on home remodeling are in and analyzed! The top overall finding is that U.S. and Canadian home remodeling purchases are still very strong, two years into the pandemic. The DIY purchaser segment is back to near-historical levels after a spike in 2020, and the outdoor living category is still blazing hot.

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May 6, 2022

Why is it Important the NGBS is Part of the I-Codes?

The National Green Building Standard (NGBS) ICC-700 was developed as a collaboration between ICC and NAHB to create a rating system for homes and multifamily buildings that would be used as voluntary, above-code program. Two aspects of the NGBS were innovative and helped propel NGBS Green to become the most widely used green standard for residentially-used buildings in the United States. First, the NGBS is written in code language, so that everyone on a project team -- architects, specifiers, general contractors, MEP engineers, subs, insulation crews, HVAC installers – can understand it because they all know and understand the building code. Second, the NGBS is designed for a specific type of building occupancy, not type of construction -- it's designed for the buildings where we live. Many experts scoffed at this idea when the NGBS was being developed, but it has come to serve the specific needs of multifamily builders, which differ vastly from commercial builders and developers, much more comprehensively than any green building program that came before it. Find out more about how the NGBS both aligns with and adds value to the building codes.

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Green Building, Building Practices, Energy Performance, Marketing, Homebuyer Preferences, Building Codes

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April 22, 2022

Earth Day Reflections: Looking Back on 2021

Today, on Earth Day 2022, everyone is taking rightful stock of the world around them and the impact they have on it. For NGBS Green, that’s not just something we do one day a year – it’s our full-time mission and purpose. But, we figured today was a great opportunity to take a look back at all the NGBS Green certification program did in 2021 to help move the needle further toward creating a better, more sustainable, healthier, and more fulfilling built environment for the places where we all live, both behind the scenes and in the spotlight.

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April 4, 2022

Current Market Trends & New Opps Revealed for Plastics In New Construction and Remodeling

On March 1st, I was pleased to speak at the opening session of AMI’s 2022 PVC Formulation Conference in Cleveland. I provided an overview of product trends in new homes and remodeling from 2011 to 2020, tracking market shares of PVC and other plastics products. I concluded with a discussion of how the past two tumultuous years are now resulting in opportunities for plastics. I covered the product categories where PVC is already a big player in the market, and those where they could become one, including flooring, piping, siding, decking, fences, and others. 

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March 30, 2022

The SEC Ups the Ante: Greenwashing Riskier Than Ever

New SEC rules will require public companies to report on the climate impacts of their business. The SEC proposal requires companies to disclose climate-related risks – such as how climate might impact their business, operations, or financial condition – in their statements and corporate reports. Companies will also be required to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, per the new rules. For our NGBS Green certification clients, the proposed SEC rule provides additional validation of your decision to design, build, and own high-performing real property assets, and seek a third-party certification of their conformance to back-up your environmental claims. The SEC rule aligns closely with the value of third-party certification. The NGBS Green mark signifies to investors, consumers, government staff, and other stakeholders that a building’s environmental claims are independently verified.

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March 24, 2022

Housing Innovation: It’s What We’re All About

In late February, I participated in an interview/discussion during the Building Products Strategy Summit held by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. The subject was innovation in the U.S. housing construction market. When I joined Home Innovation Research Labs nearly 30 years ago, my initial assignment was to support the Advanced Housing Technology Program (AHTP) – a deep exploration of barriers to innovation in home construction, to evaluate and catalog more than a thousand beneficial new home technologies. The AHTP program was initiated to answer concerns that innovation in housing lags other industries. The insights uncovered through that program, along with other diffusion-of-innovation research I’ve been involved in, serves as the foundation for Home Innovation’s current marketing research practice.

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March 14, 2022

COVID Changes - Temp or Perm? Part 2

In taking another look at our recent survey of builders regarding the permanence of 22 business and new home changes adopted during the pandemic, we found that most practices – aside from the strictly virus-spread-mitigating ones – will be retained by more than half of builders who responded to the survey. These include practices such as utilizing a greatly-expanded network of building product suppliers, and putting more emphasis on outdoor living space, healthier indoor air quality, and home layout changes that provide space for remote work and schooling. See where there were differences in what will stay and what will go based on size of builder, as well as local vs. regional vs. national differences.

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February 16, 2022

Got The Stuff to be an NGBS Green PRO? PROve it!

Building professionals who want to learn more about a green building certification for homes, apartments, and mixed-use buildings that is affordable, credible, and provides tangible value, or just want to promote their existing NGBS Green expertise, now have a new way to do it. Home Innovation Research Labs' new training and professional designation, NGBS Green PRO, explains how the National Green Building Standard ICC-700 (NGBS) can help you build or remodel green, high-performing buildings and tout your knowledge to prospective clients. The program consists of four training modules, all AIA and ICC approved so you can earn continuing education credits. After completing all the modules and passing the tests you can earn the NGBS Green PRO professional designation.

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December 21, 2021

COVID Changes - Temp or Perm?

There’s certainly no arguing that COVID changed our world, but the debate continues as to whether the day-to-day changes are temporary or if they will have a long-lasting impact on our behaviors. In an effort to determine if COVID will have a lasting impact on new home features and on the business of building them, Home Innovation Research Labs conducted a survey in collaboration with Professional Builder magazine to learn specifically what practices were adopted as a result of COVID, and which of those practices will remain after the pandemic is “over.”

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November 15, 2021

The Who, What, How, When, and Why of the NGBS Green Appeals Process

As the NGBS Green independent certification agency, Home Innovation takes the responsibility of granting a green building certification very seriously. NGBS Green certification follows a carefully prescribed process designed to ensure that buildings are designed and constructed to the NGBS’s rigorous requirements, and our 100% third-party verification system requires an independent Verifier to schedule multiple inspections to ensure what the architect designs is what gets built.  But construction can be messy and sometimes, even with the best intentions, the process goes awry. Perhaps the site superintendent forgets to schedule the Verifier’s site visit before the sheetrock contractor hangs drywall in some apartments. Or, maybe the building owner misses a key program deadline. Less common, but also possible, is that an NGBS practice is written unclearly, and real-world compliance is uncertain. The NGBS Green Appeals process can offer administrative relief, or at least consideration of an alternative compliance process, for projects that face such issues.

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October 15, 2021

Proof Points: An NGBS Green Home is a Better Built Home

The NGBS Green certification process is designed to confirm a home or multifamily building meets the stringent requirements of the National Green Building Standard ICC-700 (NGBS). A building that earns the NGBS Green certification mark has been shown to conform to the NGBS as verified in-person by an Accredited NGBS Green Verifier and certified as conforming by Home Innovation Research Labs. As the national NGBS Green certification agency, our Quality Assurance (QA) oversight runs deep and we have expansive procedures to ensure buildings earning the certification mark are NGBS compliant. These QA procedures reinforce the NGBS Green certification mark by increasing homebuyer’s and renter’s confidence, bolstering the program’s value to builders and developers, and solidifying the program’s credibility with lenders and government agencies. Find our more about the QA that's "baked in" to our certification program.

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March 22, 2021

Brand New Brand Data

Based on our 2020 end-of-year survey over 100,000 U.S. households, the 2021 Consumer Practices Reports are now available. The new information is “must read,” shedding light on how COVID-19 changed the U.S. and Canadian home remodeling industries and including incredible detail. You may have seen some of the previews we’ve shared over the past several weeks in our Trend articles on pro vs. DIY remodeling during the pandemic and the products that did best in the “year of DIY”.

In addition to the standard product reports, we also have our Consumer Practices Survey (CPS) Brand reports available. These reveal how specific brands faired during the pandemic, and may call out some elements of the path forward.

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November 13, 2020

Home, Home on the … Infill Lot

While the markets for new homes and building materials roil with unpredictability, there are some things in the new home construction industry that are a little more stable—such as the types of building lots available. “They’re not making any more land,” the old adage goes, and land for new residential developments is universally reported to be in extremely short supply.

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September 21, 2020

With COVID-19 Market Disruptions, Slight Needle Tilt in Attitudes Toward Offsite Construction

Prior to COVID-19, a tightening labor supply and hot housing market portended a bright future for offsite housing construction methods, such as panelization and modular. In the wake of coronavirus and rising availability of workers sidelined from other industries, at least one key driver of builders adopting offsite methods may have faded. Are builders less inclined to adopt offsite construction now? Or are there other factors making them more ready for the change? A recent survey aimed to find out the answer to these and other related questions.

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September 4, 2020

Offsite Construction is the Answer—But, to Which Question?

A lot of attention has been given to offsite building solutions in recent years, and data show that it’s quickly making inroads in multifamily and commercial construction. Offsite construction has also been touted as a solution to the shortage of skilled construction labor that has hampered housing production in the past few years. Large single-family builders have told us repeatedly how difficult it has been to keep up with housing demand because they can’t get homes built fast enough – they attribute this to the tight schedules of subcontracted labor who can’t find enough skilled workers to keep up. NAHB reports that the average cycle time for building a single-family home has increased from 6 months to 7 in the past few years.

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August 20, 2020

COVID-19 Brings New Mix of Customers, Product Sales to Pro Yards (Part II)

The national news and trade press have regularly kept us up-to-date on the COVID-19 traffic boost in home improvement warehouse (HIW) stores, largely due to their visibility with retail locations across the country and publicly-traded stock, which makes information on their performance readily available.

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August 13, 2020

COVID-19 Brings New Mix of Customers, Product Sales to Pro Yards (Part I)

Building products manufacturers, mills, and wood treatment facilities are keenly aware of the COVID-19 traffic boost in home improvement warehouse (HIW) stores, such as Home Depot, Menards, and Lowes. If they have a strong presence in those locations, these manufacturers are happy about that boost. But many who aren’t well established in HIW stores and are more dependent on lumber and building materials dealers are feeling like they’re missing an opportunity.

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July 10, 2020

New Builder Practices Report Reveals Air Tightening Strategies Among Home Builders

With most of the 2020 Builder Practices Reports now available, we’ve been anxiously reviewing each report for new trends in building products for new homes. In addition to our traditional line up of questions, the 2020 survey contained some new topics—for example, we added questions on air sealing methods for new homes.

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June 30, 2020

Do I Hear an Echo?

The 1970’s was the greatest home building decade in U.S. history in terms of the total number of new homes built—nearly 18 million residences in that decade. Fueled by the Baby Boom generation’s need for housing, there was a rental housing boom in the early 70’s, followed by a very strong starter home market, and later as the Baby Boom generation continued to move through its life cycle, began buying move-up homes like they did starter homes a decade earlier.

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June 10, 2020

The Great Outdoors: Trends from 2020 Consumer Practices Survey

For the past several years, Outdoor Living upgrades have been getting a lot more attention as homeowners seek to expand their living space from within the walls of the home to beyond those borders. Average new home size has shrunk in the past few years, but the expansion of outdoor living space has more than filled the gap the shrinking home has left.

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May 26, 2020

Changes in Consumer Remodeling Choices

Our 2020 Annual Consumer Practices Survey is complete, data compiled, and reports will be available starting this week. More than 110,000 U.S. and Canadian households participated this year and provided highly-detailed information on their remodeling activities and purchases from nearly 40 different product categories. This is an incredibly important data year as it establishes a pre-COVID-19 benchmark to measure against. The home flooring replacement market, for example, was anything but static in the preceding year.

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May 11, 2020

Brushstrokes & Chill: Interior Painting, Outdoor Living Get Boost During Stay-At-Home

Occasionally, unforeseen opportunities arise in the course of research where data can be analyzed for a purpose that was not originally intended. Collecting data from our 100,000-response Consumer Practices Survey (CPS) occurred from mid-February to mid-April 2020; this collection period spanned the period of time when we first began seeing COVID-19 as a serious threat in the Unites States and governments began restricting certain businesses and activities.

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May 1, 2020

Post-COVID-19 Market Environment for Construction Products

While in most states home construction has been considered “essential” in our COVID-19-restricted economy, that doesn’t mean that all things have been “business-as-usual.” Quite the contrary. Builders and contractors are reporting that social distancing measures and shut downs in other sectors of the economy have slowed sales, lengthened construction times, and reduced the reliability and flexibility of their workforce. As states begin allowing limited re-opening of more businesses, construction companies are focusing on how to handle a surge in demand. But will the building product industry, with its own COVID-19 curtailments, be able to sufficiently supply a robust rebound of the residential construction industry? And, just as importantly, what product mix will satisfy the needs of the new industry environment?

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April 22, 2020

Building Product R&D During COVID-19 Pandemic: Full Steam Ahead or On Hold?

In theory, business disruptions, even one as unexpected and drastic as COVID-19, can spur innovation in an industry as companies adapt to overcome new challenges to their economic viability. However, reality often favors the opposite end of the spectrum, where companies opt to retrench, preserve cash, and focus on short-term, revenue-generating functions as they prepare for a potential protracted downturn. This tactic likely results in reallocating dollars away from R&D and market expansion efforts. And, since these activities are generally associated with a company’s innovativeness – and further, its long-term health and viability – the chasm between the theoretical benefits and harsh reality of major disruptions widens.

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April 17, 2020

Focus Shift: Builders’ Views on Skilled Labor Shortage Change in the Face of COVID-19 Crisis

One of the hottest topics in the industry press prior to March of this year was the ongoing and growing shortage of skilled construction labor. The coverage reflected the perceptions of home builders across the country as they faced this daunting issue and its effects on their businesses. Over the past few weeks, however, with builder confidence about future sales dropping sharply in response to COVID-19, we felt it was time for us to re-assess the labor environment as a builder priority.

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April 2, 2020

Which to Pick? Energy Efficiency vs. IAQ

Growing interest in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) have some believing it will soon rival Energy Efficiency in consumers' housing-related decision making. So we put it to the test, adding a question to our 2020 Consumer Practices Survey. Take a look at my summary of what we found.

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March 18, 2020

Looking for a Needle in a Haystack? We’ve Got It!

Finding and surveying a consumer group with specific home repair or remodeling purchase experience can be challenging, at best. Sometimes, it’s like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Here’s why it can be so difficult — each year…

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February 28, 2020

PROVE IT! Time & Motion Studies of Building Product Installations

You know your product addresses the growing construction labor shortage, but your claims are falling on the deaf ears of skeptical potential buyers. They’ve heard that claim before and want someone to provide verification that it really works. Unfortunately, for manufacturers who have developed truly improved products, there are few standard test methods to empirically validate benefits like these.

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January 31, 2020

The Year Ahead in Residential Housewrap

Historically, one of the biggest challenges home builders have faced is keeping rainwater out of wood-framed walls. Earliest techniques included big roof overhangs to shelter walls from rainwater, lapping siding boards to push water away from walls, protecting the framing with moisture-resistant sheathing materials, and later, placing a water-resistant layer like asphalt felt beneath siding to protect wood elements from rot.

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December 17, 2019

Up On the Rooftop: Building Trends That Matter to Santa

As many of us prepare for the upcoming holidays, I thought I’d do my part by scouting out changes Santa might see as he readies to land on the rooftops of U.S. homes next week. I did some fact-finding in our Annual Builder Practices Reports to determine how changes in new home construction, particularly on roofs, may impact his annual Christmas eve mission. So below is my list – neither naughty, nor nice; just the facts as revealed in Home Innovation’s 2019 Builder Practices Reports … but I did check them twice!

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November 21, 2019

Really Cheap Survey Sample of Construction Pros!

Going with a really cheap survey sample may be one of the biggest mistakes your company could make in conducting market research among construction pros. No doubt, you can get cheap survey sample for about any set of qualifications for just $5, $10, or $20 per completed response. However, we have found through our own experience, as well as anecdotally from clients who’ve been lured in by cheap prices in the past, that more than 75% of “qualified” construction pros from consumer panels are not really construction pros at all; and the rest of the list is typically of questionable quality. As they say, garbage in, garbage out.

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September 19, 2019

That’s a Wrap: Housewrap Trends in the Residential Market

During this week’s Housewrap 2019 conference in Ft. Lauderdale, I presented, “Trends and Opportunities in the Residential Housewrap Market.” The presentation included information from our Annual Builder Practices Reports and Annual Consumer Practices Reports.

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August 30, 2019

Study Finds Current Labor Climate is Both Opportunity & Barrier for Offsite Housing Solutions

At Home Innovation Research Labs, we’re continuing to monitor the building industry climate and market opportunities for offsite housing construction through our surveys of home builders. Most recently, our August 2019 Omnibus Survey of builders included several questions on this topic.

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August 9, 2019

Builders Still Sensitive to Materials Price Increases

In recent years, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on the skilled labor shortage affecting construction and the related changes in building and buying patterns this has caused among home builders. But there may be an even greater pain-point among builders that’s getting a lot less attention—builder sensitivity to increases in building materials prices. Given the nature of the construction business, price increases over the course of home construction (currently averaging 7 months from breaking ground to completion) cuts into margins, while price declines are a windfall. The problem is that lately price increases have far outweighed decreases.

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May 10, 2019

Hot, Fresh Data Now Available: 2019 Annual Builder Practices Reports

Data collection for our Annual Builder Practices Survey is complete and initial findings are now being published. More than 1,500 U.S. home builders participated this year to give us highly detailed information on their new home characteristics and the products they purchased for their homes.

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April 12, 2019

New Data from Annual Remodeling Survey Sheds Light on Changing Market

Data collection for our Annual Consumer Practices Survey is complete and we’re now compiling and publishing the initial findings. More than 110,000 U.S. and Canadian households participated this year, and provided highly detailed information on their remodeling activities and purchases in 30 different product categories for the last year.

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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 home 300 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.

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January 25, 2019

Education & Training Key to Overcoming Builder Challenges With Energy Codes

Two weeks ago, I blogged about a summary of findings to a builder survey, where more than 250 write-in responses to the question, “What are your biggest challenges in constructing homes to meet current energy codes?” were received.

Responses varied widely. In an attempt to summarize the breadth of responses, I would say they indicated that building more energy-efficient homes means the home building industry has to change, and change can be painful — particularly painful when the industry is producing at near capacity, labor and materials costs are rising, and both management and jobsite labor are in short supply. The 85% of respondents who indicated having challenges seemed to convey that the fast pace of building code changes is disrupting the design and construction of homes, and they are trying to sort things out.

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Building Products, Marketing, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Insulation, Data and Trends, Energy Performance

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January 11, 2019

Builders Identify Top Challenges in Meeting New Energy Code Requirements

In December 2018, Home Innovations Research Labs fielded our Omnibus Survey of 300 U.S. home builders, which included dozens of questions from sponsoring manufacturers. We also included some of our own questions to gain insight into current building construction issues.

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Building Products, Marketing, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Insulation, Data and Trends

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January 4, 2019

The Evolution of “Smart” Homes & Technology

It’s been about 30 years since Home Innovation Research Labs built the first Smart House prototype in Maryland research home park. The whole “smart home” concept has been on the verge of exploding in the market for decades, but along the way changing homes, demographics, technologies, and lifestyles have continued to evolve and caused wrinkles in the plans of companies and organizations bringing this technology to market.

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Building Products, Marketing, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Insulation, Data and Trends

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July 18, 2018

Builder Survey Data Analysis: Trends in Trim, Insulation, Sheathing, Cabinets

The data is in! Home Innovation’s 2018 Builder Practices Survey continues to reveal many new trends and reversals. Some of the most notable changes we’ve seen so far have been highlighted in my recent Trends posts. Here are a few more points I’ve found interesting during my ongoing analysis…

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Building Products, Marketing, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Insulation, Data and Trends

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May 24, 2018

Brand Study Paints Very Different Picture of Choices in New Homes and Remodeling

Trends will come and go, but one thing that’s always been consistent about the construction industry and markets for building products is that it is highly fragmented. A product manufacturer’s success in one of the many market segments almost never indicates if they can or will be successful in another market. Buyers of materials have very different purchase journeys, depending on whether it is for a production home, non-residential building, infrastructure project, home remodeling done by a professional, or a do-it-yourself undertaking.

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Building Products, Marketing, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences

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March 14, 2018

True Value: NGBS Green Certification Lauded for Adding Value for Builders and Homeowners

Greenwashing. Unfortunately, it’s not a new form of consumer deception. But, fortunately, there are both new and improving means of shining a light on those who seek to deceive, as well as recognizing and rewarding those who provide true value with high-performance, green building.

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Green Building, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing, Survey Research, Data and Trends

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March 9, 2018

Building Codes and Market Change: Do Codes Lead, Follow, or Coincide with Industry Practice?

Based on my past 25 years of researching innovation in home construction, I’ve seen the impact of building code changes on market and industry practices. Normally, however, it’s industry and market adoption of superior building practices that lead to building code changes.

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December 8, 2017

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Why work harder to find products that meet your NGBS certification needs, when you can work smarter by specifying NGBS Green Certified Products? Our NGBS Green Certified Product program bridges the gap between manufacturers who produce NGBS-compliant products, and the builders/designers who want to use them.

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Green Building, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing

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January 9, 2017

NGBS Green: Keys to Success in 2016 and Beyond

2016 was a good year for NGBS Green, marked by steady growth. As we head into the new year on the brink of recognizing our 100,000th NGBS Green Certified home, it's a good time to reflect on the keys to the market success of green certification and how they will continue to benefit participants going forward.

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October 14, 2016

Pivotal Advance in Green Building Valuation

Home Innovation Research Labs recently announced a data sharing agreement with my company, Pivotal Energy Solutions. The announcement may have seemed inconsequential at the time, but I’m convinced that what this agreement represents is a critical next step in the marketing of energy-efficient homes and has potential to impact your business in a BIG way.

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October 9, 2015

Is It Really All About That Price? Not Likely!

Many builders mistakenly believe that green certified homes are a niche product; that only the most environmentally-conscious consumers care about green features. Instead, they reason, homebuyers are all about the sales price. Find out why, more and more, that's simply not the case.

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May 1, 2015

An NGBS Retrospective: 50,000 NGBS Green Certified Homes

With the 50,000th NGBS Green Certified home in our very recent past, it seemed like a perfect time to look back on what a game-changer the NGBS rating system has been to the home building industry, and celebrate the achievements of our dedicated NGBS Green Partners who have sought third-party green home certification.

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Green Building, Building Practices, Energy Performance, Building Codes, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing

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December 11, 2014

Take Advantage of New Appraisal Tool for Green Homes

Imagine a buyer expecting you to provide a proposal for a new home without knowing what size or type of home they want you to build. Ridiculous! Impossible! Well, that's not too far off from what often happens in high-performance appraisal requests. Find out how to take full advantage of the "Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum" recently issued by the Appraisal Institute to ensure your appraiser can properly value your NGBS Green Certified home by knowing the details of the construction and the high-performance features.

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Green Building, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing, Energy Performance, Survey Research

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November 26, 2014

3 Simple Green Home Marketing Rules

A recent national consumer insights study estimated that 60 percent of Americans, roughly 185 million people, are interested in green and healthy living. OK. So you build green homes. But are you doing your best to reach those green-hungry consumers? Don't go to the effort of having your home NGBS Green Certified and then keep it a secret. Following some simple green home marketing rules can help you get the most out of your commitment to green by helping buyers better understand what they will get (and what they won't be lacking) by buying a green home.

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November 4, 2014

5 Tips to Help Market Your Green Homes

Some builders are adamant that homebuyers don’t care about green. They rationalize this conclusion because homebuyers don’t typically ask for green features explicitly. However, market research consistently confirms that a majority of mainstream Americans do care about sustainable choices. One national consumer insights study estimates that 60 percent of Americans, roughly 185 million people, are interested in green and healthy living. So what's missing? Builders need to apply the basic tenets of effective marketing to their green home marketing -- deliver the right message to the right audience in the right way.

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October 17, 2014

Are You Willing to Bet it All on Energy Efficiency?

Homebuyers want much more out of their homes than just energy efficiency. The research findings proving this point are irrefutable. Yet there are still builders who put all their marketing might onto the single-point message that their homes are energy efficient and will provide a tangible, monetary payback. That's leaving a lot of unclaimed marketing chips on the table for the home features buyers value even more than energy and the related cost savings. Isn't it time to face the facts and deliver what homebuyers really want? Homes that provide a healthy place for their families, comfort, and contribute to a sustainable lifestyle — truly green homes.

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October 8, 2014

Local Green Home Advocacy Efforts Lead to Jobs, Market Development

Frustrated by lack of local knowledge about or interest in green home building? See how one local jurisdiction in Washington State used the National Green Building Standard as a catalyst for positive change in job creation and green home market development.

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September 26, 2014

Significance of a National Standard for Green Homes

The National Green Building Standard (NGBS) provides consumers a single standard by which to make informed decisions for what may be the most important, if not most expensive, purchases of their lives: their homes. With an NGBS Green Certified home, consumers rest assured that the appropriate practices and products have not only been installed, but have also passed (at least) two independent inspections by an accredited, third-party verifier. Consumers should look for the NGBS Green Certified mark to help separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to truly green homes and apartments.

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September 12, 2014

Don’t Get Caught Flat Footed with Market Changes

As a building product manufacturer, it’s important to base your assessment of market change on reliable data and not the latest industry hype. Find out how our product usage data helps vigilant product managers spot changes as they're beginning to happen, when there's still time to act and not just re-act.

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September 5, 2014

Making Significant Strides on Green Home Appraisals

Too often, the value of the green features in high-performing homes have been either underestimated or overlooked during the appraisal and lending processes. This limits the ability of builders to properly differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and the ability of homeowners to get the full value of their homes in appraisals and resale pricing. But the times they are a changin’! Over the last year, important strides have been made to ensure that appraisers and lenders are equipped to recognize and value green home features.

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August 8, 2014

Which Costs More - Getting Third-Party Verification, or Not Getting It?

Compared to other national third-party green certification programs, Home Innovation’s NGBS Green Certification fees are remarkably affordable. The “bricks and sticks” costs to comply with the NGBS are also relatively affordable for most projects, due to the expansive point-based system to achieve green certification. So, verification costs end up being the biggest bucket of “added cost” for projects seeking NGBS Green Certification. But experienced NGBS Green Partner builders and developers will attest to the benefits and value that independent, third-party verification provides green projects.

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August 1, 2014

Prove Your Green Home Claims through Verification

As Ronald Reagan famously declared, “Trust, but verify.” We concur, especially when it comes to green home building. All good intentions aside, there is a lot of complex and interdependent building science at work behind the scenes of any high-performance home, which is why third-party verification is critical for us to have confidence declaring a project “green” via our NGBS Green certification program.

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July 16, 2014

Align Your Green Home Marketing with Your Buyers' Values, Not Your Own

One of the most significant obstacles to green home building is the prevailing builder myth that ALL consumers ONLY care about energy efficiency because an energy-efficient home will cost less to operate. It's just not that simple. While many consumers do care about energy efficiency, and a portion of those care about it specifically because a more efficient home, apartment, or car will save them money, that only tells part of the story. Find out more about the other pieces of the green home marketing puzzle that builders must learn to solve.

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July 3, 2014

Exterior Materials Trends from Annual Builder Practices Survey

With new single-family housing starts up 16 percent from the previous year, 2013 brought some needed relief to a beleaguered industry. What did that mean for building products usage? After comparing data from our 2013 Annual Builder Practices Reports to the previous year, what we saw largely met our expectations. However, there were a few surprises that may signal some fundamental changes in builder preferences for new home materials. Take a look at what we observed for residential exterior materials.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Survey Research, Building Products, Marketing, Roofing

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May 1, 2014

Time to Rethink Canada

Some U.S. manufacturers of building materials have overlooked Canada as an important part of their market development efforts, instead concentrating on expanding their presence into new U.S. geographies or penetrating deeper into existing markets. This may have been rational, for example, in 2005 when the Canadian housing market about 1/10th the size of the U.S. market (measured in new homes completed). Last year, Canada’s housing market was about 1/5th the size of the U.S. market. The stability of the Canadian housing market is also noteworthy, and the anemic rebound of the U.S. new home market are more reasons to take a closer look at Canada.

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April 28, 2014

Start Engaging the Apartment Renter Looking for Green Living

Consumers are crying out for ways to live green. They intrinsically believe that it’s the right thing to do. However, when faced with the most important decisions about where to live, green just can’t compete against more important criteria. That’s fine, because living green is an important part of each box prospects are looking to check. 

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Green Building, Marketing, Homebuyer Preferences, Energy Performance

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April 10, 2014

The Pitfalls of Brand Share Studies of Construction Products

A successful year for your company may mean a couple percentage points gain in market share against your competitors. But how do you know your competitive position with any certainty? Are sudden changes in sales affecting only your company, or is the entire market or product category up or down for some reason? Since most companies' product category sales and production figures aren’t made public, companies often resort to conducting their own brand share study to answer these and other questions.

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April 1, 2014

The End of Business as Usual

Today’s housing market presents builders and remodelers with lots of changes. More stringent energy codes. A shortage of skilled labor. Changing consumer preferences. Advanced building science technologies. Rising land and material costs. As a result, builders' and remodelers' practices are changing at a similar pace.

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November 28, 2013

Green Homebuyers (Still) Not Willing to Give Up Comfort, Convenience

Over the past decade, we've undertaken dozens of market research projects to uncover what consumers know or don't know, like or dislike, want or don't want in green homes. Find out what insights this long-ranging look at consumer preferences has given me, and some of the most meaningful and easy remedies to barriers that might confront builders heading down the green home path.

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October 3, 2013

Good, Fast, or Cheap - Why Choose?

The old adage says consumers can pick two — good, fast, or cheap. So if you want good + fast, the result will be expensive. Contrary to this common belief, when designing NGBS Green Certification our goal was to deliver a program that met all three criteria. Find out how we've met this goal.

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September 19, 2013

Carpe Design: Get Ahead of the Curve in Home Design

Home design may be holding onto to tradition on the exterior, but on the inside, consumers are yearning for more and different all the time. Find out how some recent data from a builder survey may reveal where the action really is for home innovation -- after all, it's what's on the inside that counts!

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September 12, 2013

Is Green Certification Worth the Cost?

Is just building a high-performing home enough? Is there value in a third-party validation that what you say about the homes you build is actually true? Find out more about how NGBS Green certification is not just an added cost on your bottom line, but an added, marketable value to the products you offer consumers.

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August 8, 2013

Don’t Hide Behind the Fine Print. Stand Behind Your NGBS Green Certified Home.

Consumers hate fine print, for good reason. Now, in addition to the extra level of quality NGBS Green Certified homes already provide, there's even more reason for builders of these homes not to hide behind fine print and stand behind their homes with the Bonded Builders Warranty Group Residential Energy Guarantee. 

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June 6, 2013

6 Reasons to Choose NGBS Green Certification Over LEED

Despite having tens of thousands of green home certifications under out belt, the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) and Home Innovation's NGBS Certification Program are still not as well-known as LEED. Find out why NGBS is still the best choice.

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May 9, 2013

To Park or Not To Park: The Real Value of Garages (Part 3)

In this third and final in our series discussing our recent consumer survey on garages, I cover some of the "wish list" items consumers say would help them enjoy their garages more. There are potential market opportunities for product manufacturers and other industry professionals.

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April 25, 2013

To Park or Not To Park: The Real Value of Garages (Part 2)

In this second of a three-part series, find out some of the demographic differences we found in terms of how people use their garages. There are potential market opportunities both in what has changed and in what has remained the same.

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April 18, 2013

To Park or Not To Park: The Real Value of Garages (Part 1)

We investigated all-things-garage in a recent survey commissioned by the Wall Street Journal, and found some interesting market opportunities for product manufacturers who can satisfy the garage makeover needs of today's homeowners, renters, and buyers. In this first of a three-part series, find out some of the regional and demographic differences we found in terms of garage size and type.

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April 5, 2013

2013: A Green Building Odessy

So far this is turning out to be a really transformative year for green home building generally, and the Home Innovation NGBS Green Certification program specifically. Find out why. 

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Green Building, Building Codes, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing

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March 14, 2013

Invention vs. Innovation

What's the difference between Invention and Innovation? And why is the later more important than the former in the home building industry these days? Our newly-appointed VP of Innovation Services provides some perspective. 

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February 14, 2013

NGBS 2012: What's In It For Consumers?

What does ANSI approval of the 2012 National Green Building Standard mean for home buyers and owners? Plenty ... and good! Find out more about the consumer benefits imbued in the 2012 NGBS. 

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Green Building, Homebuyer Preferences, Energy Performance, Insulation, Building Codes, Building Practices

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January 18, 2013

6 Ways to Maximize Your 2013 IBS Experience

The International Builders' Show is an outstanding place to gather market intelligence and uncover current trends shaping our industry. Learn six tried and true ways to enrich your show experience from a market researcher, analyst, and IBS veteran.

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January 3, 2013

Fellowship of the New Year's Resolution

Like many, a new year has me reflecting on past accomplishments, pondering new goals, and committing to a few new resolutions. Why not make a resolution that gives you the possibility of success and provides some extra joy – resolve to build a green certified home this year.

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Green Building, Homebuyer Preferences, Energy Performance, Marketing, Air Sealing Design, Building Practices, Insulation

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December 13, 2012

Bullish Future for Luxury Home Market?

Don’t throw in the towel on the luxury home market just yet. As single-family housing is coming back to life, some hints of a strengthening luxury home market are appearing as well. Find out what's keeping me optimistic about a bright future for building product manufacturers and suppliers.

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December 6, 2012

Multifamily is Hot. Why Green Certify?

The multifamily market is booming and the forecast is bright. So why is voluntary green certification for multifamily also booming now? See what's driving this decision in many markets.

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Green Building, Data and Trends, Energy Performance, Homebuyer Preferences, Affordable Homes, Marketing, Survey Research

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November 15, 2012

Occupy Green: My 99% Solution

How can we get more builders to build green certified homes and more consumers to seek them out? So glad you asked! Weigh in on this “99% solution” toward building a brighter future for green residential.

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October 4, 2012

Got Third-Party Certification?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued updated Green Guides earlier this week that emphasize the value of third-party certifications in minimizing potential consumer confusion and "greenwashing." A must-read for those who market their homes as green.

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Marketing, Green Building, Energy Performance, Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences

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September 20, 2012

Tried & True: Home Innovation Lab TESTED

In the highly competitive building product market, find out how Home Innovation Research Labs is helping manufacturers highlight the "gee-whiz" product attributes that set them apart from the competition.

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Product Testing, Building Products, Homebuyer Preferences

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September 6, 2012

Effective Green Messaging for New Homes

Don't be fooled – just because prospective homebuyers don't ask for "green" specifically, doesn't mean they don't want the benefits that living in a green home can provide. A homebuyer survey we conducted earlier this year proves that green marketing can be very successful as long as you don't leave the meaning of green open to interpretation.

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Green Building, Survey Research, Marketing, Homebuyer Preferences

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August 16, 2012

Do Customers Really Care About Green?

A recent shopping trip highlighted some very salient elements about marketing "green" to consumers – find out my lessons learned.

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Green Building, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing

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July 26, 2012

Rockin' The Suburbs

Suburbia, which has taken its share of criticism from planners, is still the preferred housing location of a majority of households, according to Harvard's latest state of housing report. Some builders and developers are quieting the suburban critics by doing it right.

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Building Practices, Green Building, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing

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July 19, 2012

Survey Says... Consumer Austerity Fading, Efficiency Rising

Our Annual Builder Practices Survey shows a return to some pre-recession higher-end preferences and an increase in energy efficiency practices.

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