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Innovation in Homebuilding and the Future of Housing

by C. Theodore Koebel
Journal of the American Planning Association ()

Abstract

The future of housing depends in part on innovation by homebuilders. This article explains challenges involved in innovation in home building, as well as providing planners with strategies to influence innovation in the industry. The author reviews the literature and identify sources of resistance to or acceptance of innovation in home building. He also reports the results of two national surveys of innovation adoption and use regression analysis to test variables likely to inhibit or promote innovation. Small builders receptive to innovation are likely to be led by a technology champion and to build custom homes for a relatively affluent and informed clientele. In order to impact a larger portion of the housing market, large production builders should be the target for innovations that contribute to affordability in entry-level homes or to energy efficiency, sustainability and durability in higher priced houses.

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