A Community Guide To Basic And Cost-Saving
Construction In The American Southwest (January 2004)
Despite the extensive efforts of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) in developing, supporting, and promoting proven, cost-effective,
and cost-saving advancements in housing construction technology,
the implementation of these strategies lags in many parts
of the rural Southwest U.S. This book is written for non-profit
housing developers, local housing advocates, self-help homeowners,
and community groups that provide housing in the rural Southwest,
and is intended to showcase the cost benefits of energy-efficient
home construction and rehabilitation.
HUD’s Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing
(PATH) is a public-private initiative dedicated to accelerating
the development and use of housing technologies that improve
the quality, durability, energy efficiency, environmental
performance, and affordability of housing. As part of the
PATH program, leaders of the homebuilding, product manufacturing,
insurance, and financial industries have joined forces with
representatives of federal agencies concerned with housing.
Although the PATH initiative has improved the way homes throughout
the U.S. are built, PATH research and resources have not reached
housing providers in many parts of the rural Southwest. The
objective of this book builds on the research conducted under
PATH and showcases the research appropriate for housing construction
in that region.
Although the quality of the housing stock in the rural Southwest
has improved over the last 20 years, much of it remains inefficient,
unsafe, low quality, and costly to operate. This book shows
that implementing low- or no-cost construction techniques
can improve the quality and energy efficiency of a home. A
home that is more energy efficient consumes less energy, which
results in lower utility bills and more resources for the
occupant to use toward other living expenses. Even though
some energy-efficient technologies cost more to implement
initially, this extra cost can be offset by long-term operating
savings and by Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs), which recognize
the benefits of energy efficiency and allow homeowners to
include the costs associated with energy upgrades into the
total mortgage amount.
This book presents several cost-efficient practices that,
when implemented, can help affordable housing providers and
owners to improve a home’s performance, resulting in
projects that are high quality, safe, comfortable, energy
efficient, and more affordable.
This book presents more than 30 cost-saving strategies for
housing construction in the rural Southwest. The description
and benefits of the strategy, skill level required for implementation,
the types of projects where the strategy is applicable, and
installation details are included.
There are a number of obstacles that can prevent or limit
affordable housing development, and they are important to
understand before projects begin so that they can be considered.
This book discusses regulatory obstacles to affordable housing
development and those that result from peoples’ perceptions
Three case studies are included as examples of how incorporating
cost-saving techniques and strategies have resulted in the
successful development of affordable housing. The case studies
showcase the unique approach to affordable housing in Hidalgo
County, Texas; how new construction techniques increase affordability
in Brownsville, Texas; and how low-maintenance construction
saves homeowners money in Phoenix, Arizona.
It is HUD’s hope that this book will spur other housing
success stories across the rural Southwest United States.