Home Innovation Insights

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

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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 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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Ed Hudson, MBA
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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Ed Hudson, MBA
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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Ed Hudson, MBA
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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Vladimir Kochkin
October 12, 2018

It’ll Cost You! Where Codes Meet Costs

There are lots of passionate individuals and companies in our industry who are working to bring about positive change. Whether developing a new product, testing a new construction technique/method, introducing a new building code provision, or advocating for a new industry policy, cost is always a factor that needs to be considered on the road to innovation. Cost can be the factor that stops a great idea from going forward.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
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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Ed Hudson, MBA
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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Thomas Kenney, PE
April 19, 2018

Hot or Not: How's Your Product's Thermal Performance?

With increasingly stringent energy codes, building product manufacturers are developing new products and innovative construction techniques to improve the thermal envelope. Code officials, builders, and architects want reliable thermal conductivity data. But, without testing, you can't know the U-value of the assembled component. Hot Box testing is a reliable way to capture shareable, marketable data that is far superior to modeled performance.

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Thomas Kenney, PE
April 2, 2018

Product Certification: Are You Ready for the Challenge?

For many smaller building product manufacturers, simply following best practices and common sense may work most of the time. But, for those looking to grow market share and compete on a regional or national level, that may not be enough. Having a formal quality assurance (QA) system is often the next step in your company's journey to market growth and success; and it is a must for getting your product certified as code compliant.

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Michelle Foster
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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