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Cityscape: Volume 17 Number 2 | Article 6


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Affordable, Accessible, Efficient Communities

Volume 17, Number 2

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

Adoption of High-Performance Housing Technologies Among U.S. Homebuilding Firms, 2000 Through 2010

Andrew P. McCoy
C. Theodore Koebel
Virginia Tech

Andrew R. Sanderford
University of Arizona

Christopher T. Franck
Matthew J. Keefe
Virginia Tech


This article describes foundational processes of a larger project examining U.S. home builders’ choices to adopt innovative housing technologies that improve the environmental performance of new single-family homes. Home builders sit at a critical juncture in the housing creation decision chain and can influence how new housing units change related to energy consumption, and the units they produce can also reflect shifting technology, demography, and policy landscapes. With some exceptions, U.S. home builders have been characterized as being slow to adopt or resistant to the adoption of product and process innovations, largely because of path-dependent and risk-averse behavior. This article focuses on home builder choices by analyzing a summary of innovation adoption literature and that literature’s relationship to homebuilding. Researchers then describe analytical approaches for studying home builders’ choices and markets at a Core Based Statistical Area level, the data and statistical methodologies used in the study, and the policy implications for promoting energy efficiency in housing. Future work will draw on the foundation presented in this article to specify versions of this generic model and report results using improved quantitative analyses.

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