NAHB Lab to Help Move New Products Into Housing Market
The NAHB Research Center, one of the nation's leading housing research institutions, on June 5 announced the grand opening of its new, state-of-the-art product testing laboratory and market research facility.
Part of a major expansion effort to advance housing technology research and improve the quality and durability of homes, the specialized facility will provide home builders and building product manufacturers the industry’s broadest array of third-party product testing, quality assurance and market research services available under one roof.
Since its founding in 1964 as a subsidiary of NAHB, the Research Center has been the home building industry’s leading source of technical information and analysis on housing construction and development issues and an integral component of the NAHB federation’s overall housing advocacy, education and research mission.
In conjunction with the spring meeting of the NAHB Board of Directors, NAHB President Brian Catalde in a keynote address at the ribbon-cutting ceremony cited the important role of the Research Center and its new facility in a redoubled commitment to improve the quality and affordability of homes for all Americans.
Other speakers at the ceremony included Jerry Howard, NAHB executive vice president and chief executive officer; Bob Jones, NAHB vice president and secretary; Don Pratt, chairman of the NAHB Research Center Board of Directors; Gary L. Grossman, secretary and treasurer of the NAHB Research Center Board of Directors; Mike Adams, president of Gardiner & Gardiner; and Michael Luzier, NAHB Research Center president and chief executive officer. More than 500 guests attended the dedication of the new facility.
Driving Innovation in Housing Technology
Noting that there is a wide array of obstacles to moving new products into the housing market, Luzier said that the Research Center is working to improve the situation with its testing and market research. Constructing the new facility is an essential part of the company’s business strategy and will help to leverage its position as a research authority in the residential construction industry, he said.
“This new facility will enable the NAHB Research Center to further integrate our engineering and market research expertise and provide our clients specialized and comprehensive product commercialization services to help them overcome the many barriers to innovation in the home building industry,” said Luzier.
The NAHB Research Center is recognized as a test laboratory, quality assurance agency and certified product listing agency by many building and plumbing code agencies, and by national, state and local code enforcement authorities.
New capabilities supported by the 42,000-square-foot lab include large-scale thermal testing, acoustic performance testing and two-story shear wall testing. Its increased size will also make it possible to simulate natural forces such as wind-driven rain and wind-blown debris on whole-house models, which was not possible in the previous facility.
A unique feature of the laboratory is an integrated 1,000-square-foot market research suite and observation gallery overlooking the testing floor that will provide applied market researchers, focus groups and roundtables with real-time observation capabilities.
The NAHB Research Center provides the following specialized material and structural systems testing, research and certification programs for public and private clients:
- Products and Systems Testing. The Research Center works with builders and manufacturers to test the performance of products and subsystems used in homes today, with both controlled laboratory tests and evaluation in the field.
- Product Certification. The center’s laboratory certifies products to nationally recognized standards. The NAHB Research Center certified seal assures builders, code officials and consumers that products meet or exceed the applicable industry standards.
- Builder and Trade Contractor Certification. Through its National Housing Quality Program, the center has established quality assurance requirements for builders and trade contractors to help these professionals implement Quality Management systems that are evaluated and audited annually to tightly control the construction process and improve customer satisfaction.
- Services for Manufacturers and Industry. The center provides proprietary and customized market research services, including roundtables, focus groups and interviews to help builders and manufacturers understand customer preferences.
For more information about the NAHB Research Center available on its Web site (www.nahbrc.org), click here.