Conceptual Reference Database for Building Envelope Research Prev

Durability by design: a guide for residential builders and designers

NAHB Research Center
Prepared for, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Contract No. C-OPC-21289 (T-002)

NAHB Research Center, (2002), "Durability by design: a guide for residential builders and designers", Prepared for, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Contract No. C-OPC-21289 (T-002).

Few people intentionally consider durability when designing a home, but rather rely on experience and market acceptance to make design decisions. This approach to design works best in a stable housing market where architectural preferences and material choices do not change or change very slowly. The housing market, however, tends to be dynamic rather than stable and new materials and preferences influence the market continuously, sometimes in dramatic ways. This dynamic condition also places a responsibility on designers and builders to properly apply their experiences, which are often based on older construction methods and materials, to new materials and design conditions. As a result, it is important to understand why certain practices have been effective (or ineffective) in the past so that they can be properly interpreted and considered in the design a nd construction of modern homes.

This manual titled Durability by Design: A Guide for Residential Builders and Designers is intended to raise the awareness and understanding of building durability as a design consideration in housing. The Guide covers basic concepts of durability and presents recommended practices including numerous construction details and design data for matters such as moisture management, ultraviolet (UV) protection, insects, decay, corrosion, and natural hazards. Some attention is also given to matters that may be considered serviceability issues related to normal wear-and-tear, aesthetics, or functions not immediately as sociated with durability.

The contents of this Guide will help to preserve and promote "tried-and-true" practices and concepts related to housing durability, and present them in a manner that can be used to cost-effectively design the durable homes of the future.

Lawrence L. Thompson

General Deputy Assistant Secretary for

Policy Development and Research

This publication in whole or part may be found online at: This link was checked on Dec. 2006here.

Related Concepts

Author Information and Other Publications Notes
NAHB Research Center
  1. Accelerating the Adoption of Vacuum Insulation Technology in Home Construction, Renovation, and Remodeling
  2. Assessing housing durability: a pilot study
  3. Building better homes at lower costs: the industry implementation plan for the residential national construction goals
  4. Commercialization of Innovation: Lessons Learned
  5. Comparative costs of alternative building systems in new residential construction
  6. Moisture moisture protection protection of wood of wood sheathing
  7. Mold & moisture intrusion case study report
  8. Residential construction waste management demonstration and evaluation, assistance agreement number: CX 822813-1-0, Task 1 report
  9. Residential remodeling reports, Moisture Moisture Protection Protection of Wood of Wood Sheathing
  10. Review of structural materials and methods for home building in the United States: 1900-2000
  11. Technology Roadmap: Advanced Panelized Construction - 2003 Progress Report
  12. Water intrusion evaluation for caulkless siding, window, and door systems-laboratory testing results
  13. Wood used in new residential construction 1998 and 1995  

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