Consumer choice modelling: What is steel frame worth to
"Choice modelling" techniques make it possible to estimate the
value that house buyers would put on houses built with steel
frame compared to those built 'traditionally' (with a brick/block
cavity wall). A choice modelling experiment was caried out in Jan/
Feb 2004 to tackle this question. The experiment and results were
described in an academic paper delivered to the July 2004
European Network for Housing Research conference in
For more details, download the paper.
Selling steel houses
A very particular aspect of the English housing market is
consumer resistance to 'prefab', partly the result of previous
technical and social failures and partly due to the lack of choice in
the market place.
For more details, download Steel frame or concrete block inner
The English housing market: Pressures for change and
barriers to innovation.
The successful application of innovative construction requires an
appreciation of the cultural, economic and regulatory context,
factors which are too often ignored in the development of new
housebuilding methods. Housing experimentation in England has
been carried out largely in the public sector. Private house
builders, by contrast, have prospered since the speculative
housing boom of the 1930s by appealing to popular tastes in
design and the conservatism of the English housebuyer. This has
resulted in large volumes of popular and commercially successful
housing, but, until recently, very little innovative practice.
Current conditions are making the conventional approach to
speculative housing increasingly untenable. Demand for new
housing is strengthening and conventional house types are
becoming obsolete due to demographic change. Availability of the
green field sites preferred by developers is decreasing, and
regulations on energy use are tightening.
For more details, download Irresistible force? Pressures for
A number of factors act to prevent housebuilders from innovating
in response to these pressures. The planning system creates
delays and encourages mediocrity, the house is more a financial
investment than an efficient, functional dwelling.
For more details, download Immovable object? Barriers to