Print Page


FAS to Construct Model Home in Houston

FAS to Construct Model Home in Houston


Type: Release

The Federation of American Scientists' Housing Technology project works to address the growing need for safe and inexpensive housing in the US and abroad. Working with experts in structural engineering, architectural design, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and heating and air condition, FAS researched a number of materials and designs that addressed a wide variety of homeowners' needs. This novel approach to housing design went far beyond previous research, which was often limited to examining only one research area, such as environmental protection or low costs.

The Housing Technology Project will be constructing a model home in Houston, Texas, to demonstrate the use of structural insulated panel construction as part of a safe, environmentally-friendly, and cost efficient home. FAS will be constructing a single family home using panels with expanded polystyrene cores and cement board coating. These panels passed rigorous test requirements established by the Uniform Building Code, which dictates standards for building in the United States, as well as additional tests conducted by FAS that looked at structural and fire safety under extreme conditions.

In designing the home, the FAS Housing Technology research group established a list of criteria including cost and energy efficiency when compared to traditional, stick-built homes, attractive architectural details, safety in wind and fire, resistance to mold and pests, and environmentally friendly materials. The design, provided by native Houston architect Roger Rausbach, was specifically formulated for panel use, thus easing construction and lowering costs further.

Construction is expected to begin in late spring 2005, and FAS will work with the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America program and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Partnership for Advanced Technology in Housing (PATH) program to monitor costs, energy use, indoor air quality, and other characteristics of the home as part of an ongoing research project to study and design the best housing technology for environments around the US and the world.

Building America home page

City of Houston Home Page

Florida Solar Energy Council

Partnership for Advanced Technology in Housing

Affordable, Safe Housing Based on Expanded Polystyrene Foam and Cementitious Coating

Return to Listing