HOW MANY BUILDERS AND trade contractors will go for the gold this year? All U.S. home builders and trade contractors are eligible to apply for the premiere quality award in home building: the National Housing Quality (NHQ) Awards. The NHQ Award, which is patterned after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, gives the highest recognition by the housing industry for quality achievement. From training, to product and quality assurance system certification, to national recognition through awards programs, the NAHB Research Center's NHQ Program is leading the charge in quality matters.

Panels of experts judge entries by evaluating the role that customer-focused quality plays in construction, business management, sales, design, and warranty service.

Preparing an NHQ Award application is an important step in every applicant's quality journey. Participants benefit from the introspective process of preparing an application as well as insightful feedback received from the judging panel. David Simon, president of operations at Veridian Homes, a 2005 NHQ Silver Award–winning builder, says, “The in-depth review of our application and the detailed site visits provide valuable feedback not only for our strategic planning but also for driving quality improvement throughout the organization. The NHQ Award is a reflection of the professionalism and dedication that the entire team demonstrates to building homes on a daily basis.”

Companies interested in applying should request a free NHQ Award application kit from the NAHB Research Center by e-mail at or by phone at 800-638-8556. A presentation given at the 2005 BENCHMARK Conference on writing a successful NHQ Award application and a list of previous NHQ Award winners are also available online.

All entries for 2006 must be received by June 1, 2005. For more information on quality in home building, visit the NHQ Program online at To subscribe to the NHQ Program's free monthly e-newsletter, “Quality Matters,” visit