TO SUPPORT ITS BURGEONING role as a full-service building product commercialization consulting firm, the NAHB Research Center recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to start construction of a new material and structural systems testing laboratory facility on its Upper Marlboro, Md., campus. With nearly 42,000 square feet of additional space planned, the newly expanded laboratory will greatly enhance the testing and evaluation, market research, and product certification capabilities the company provides.

Begun in 2005, the Research Center's significant investment in the facility includes the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment required to help its experts keep pace with the expanding needs of the home building industry and to broaden its capabilities as an accredited testing and quality assurance laboratory and certified product listing agency. Additional offerings will include large-scale thermal testing, acoustic performance testing, and two-story shear wall testing. Nearly 1,000 square feet of space will be dedicated to a sophisticated market research facility to include an observation gallery overlooking the testing area, allowing real-time observation of products in use for focus group sessions. Ongoing third-party testing and certification programs for plumbing, steel framing, OSB, and insulation manufacturers will also benefit from the greater efficiency provided by the increased space.

Research Center president Mike Luzier says developing the new facility is an integral part of the company's business strategy and will serve to maintain its position as an objective authority in the residential construction industry: “The Research Center is recognized internationally for its research, product testing, and certification services. [O]ur new facility will result in greater offerings for our clients and the residential industry at large. Further, it will help to support the company's mission by creating a dynamic new environment to improve the performance of home building products and practices.”

For more information on the Research Center's testing and certification programs, contact Robert Hill, director of laboratory and certification services, at 800-638-8556, ext. 6244, or visit