As uncertainties mount about theduration of the U.S. housing market slowdown, China’s residential boom is swiftly moving ahead, accounting for about 100 billion square feet per year. This represents a meaningful avenue for growth for North American manufacturers. To investigate this opportunity, the NAHB Research Center has launched its second “China Builder Practices Survey” to gather data on the characteristics and volume of building materials used in new-home construction for key cities in China such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Currently the only independent, comprehensive study of Chinese builder preferences and purchasing habits, the study’s data will help product manufacturers and suppliers make strategic decisions for expansion in the Chinese market. The Research Center’s signature study, the annual “Builder Practices Survey,” has for years provided extensive data about the size, style, type, volume, and other characteristics of materials used in new and existing U.S. homes and serves as the basic blueprint for the China survey.

Economic growth is still very strong in China and provides a potential life raft for U.S. building material producers affected by the market downturn.

Michael Luzier, president of the NAHB Research Center, says, “The size of the new-home market in China is impressive and presents enormous business opportunities for North American manufacturers who are ready and willing to explore that market for building products. This survey will shed light on the relatively untapped potential of China’s burgeoning housing industry. It may be just what manufacturers are looking for in the current market.”

The China survey will investigate the volume of construction materials—such as windows, insulation, roofing, wood products, concrete, and others—used in four representative Chinese metropolitan areas. Although the Chinese survey is based on its American counterpart, the questions and processes are customized to the region’s market.

The Research Center’s staff, working with Chinese academics, architects, and construction engineers, will conduct the study. Manufacturers, suppliers, and industry groups interested in taking an active part in this survey effort should contact Ed Hudson, director of market research, at 800-638-8556, ext. 6305 or e-mail