EACH YEAR, WITH THE feedback of thousands of builders across the country, the NAHB Research Center's Annual Builder Practices Survey (ABPS) documents materials usage in new-home construction. The ABPS is one of the most comprehensive sources of data on residential building materials available, covering purchases by volume, size, style, type, and other characteristics to provide perspective on industry trends and product market share.

Survey categories range from flooring and cabinetry to garage doors and fireplaces. ABPS data helps not only Research Center experts but also product manufacturers evaluate a true picture of the U.S. market for home building products, including brief and lasting trends resulting from various factors such as product shortages, emphasis on energy efficiency, or innovations. For example, a review of 2006 results shows dramatic movement toward the use of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) piping in new homes. This is not surprising considering recent copper shortages, but at 15 percent to 18 percent this marks one of the largest market-share increases in the past two years.

“Product manufacturers have come to trust and rely on the Research Center's analysis to enhance product development,” says Ed Hudson, director of Market Research at the NAHB Research Center. “Our longstanding relationship with the industry provides unparalleled access to builders, and there is no other survey available in the marketplace today that presents the opportunity to respond to market conditions based on input directly from home builders.”

The ABPS and its counterpart for residential remodeling, the Consumer Practices Survey are now available. Data reports covering new-home–construction material purchases are organized into single-family attached, single-family detached, and multifamily homes, and can be segmented for focus on specific geographic regions. For more information, contact Shelton Cartwright at 800-638-8556 or visit www.nahbrc.org.