May 2007 Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Good News, Bad News Good News, Bad News

In a year when the country's new-home sales fell precipitously, by around 17 percent, the BUILDER 100, as a group, more than held its ground, dropping its total closings by a scant 1 percent over 2005's totals. That difference in year-end numbers leads to an even more amazing conclusion—that the nation's top 100 builders grew their market share by an astounding seven percentage points. And the builders in the top 10 grew their share the most—by 5 percent over last year, giving them a total of 25.71 percent of all sales. In other words, America's top 10 builders were responsible for more than one of every four new homes sold in 2006. Read more

Energy Star Gazing Energy Star Gazing

With electricity prices rising as much as they have been for the last five years, it is important that you outfit your homes with as many energy-saving features as possible. One way to do this is with Energy Star-qualified lighting packages. Read more

High Style

A great kitchen has many important elements, including cool appliances, hardworking countertops, and an attractive yet durable floor to withstand abuse. But don't kid yourself: All of these things come second to the element that really anchors the kitchen—the cabinets. Read more

Measured by the Foot Community Planning Measured by the Foot

PEDESTRIANISM BY DESIGN has become a mandate for most urban planners, but certain assumptions about what makes a neighborhood walkable haven't been empirically challenged—until now. A recent study by the RAND Corp. confirmed that pedestrian activity increases in areas featuring grid street patterns with four-way stops and in mixed-use zones with a diversity of businesses. But researchers found no evidence that shorter blocks (of less than 600 feet) encourage walking, as is the conventional wisdom among New Urbanists. Read more

Land Opportunity Southern Springboard

WHEN ONTARIO, CALIF.–based Frontier Homes finalized its $29 million purchase of the real estate assets of bankrupt builder Turner-Dunn in February, it not only established its first beachhead in Arizona, but possibly set the stage for further growth in the Southwestern U.S. Read more

Lab Work

This laboratory provides academics an opportunity to work with industry manufacturers, designers, and home builders to test ideas and bring the next generation of home technologies and home medical applications to market. Read more

House Blend: May 2007

- Data from the National Association of Realtors show that single women accounted for 22 percent of home sales nationally in 2006—up from 14 percent in 1995. - Recent survey finds that ranch-style houses are gaining in popularity. - State politicians in California, Connecticut, and New Jersey introduce bills aimed at eventually banning the sale of incandescent light bulbs. - Read more

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