Building systems do for housing what the assembly line did for automobile production: they streamline the process, improve quality control and minimize waste, all while reducing costs and making homes more affordable. Systems manufacturers cut and prebuild everything from individual components to entire homes within a factory-controlled environment and use highly engineered construction methods. Systems-built houses are of the highest quality, not just meeting, but often exceeding code requirements.
Systems building techniques are prevalent in residential and commercial construction. From the panelized roof truss of a single-story home to the modular components of a high-rise apartment building or office, more and more builders are employing building systems into their structures because of their ease and speedy construction.
Building systems include modular, panelized, concrete, log and timber frame homes. All systems-built homes have their own defining characteristics, but there are many benefits in common.
- Quality Control: Building homes in a factory setting allows for more consistent quality due to uniform construction processes, training techniques and inspections.
- Energy Performance: Systems-built homes are often more tightly built and thus more energy efficient, which can result in lower heating and cooling costs for the home owner.
- Sustainability: Assembly in an enclosed, indoor environment with little waste allows them to fulfill some key components of green building certifications, including the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard.
NAHB helps connect building systems manufacturers single-family and multifamily custom and production builders through the Building Systems Councils. The Council sponsors educational and networking events like the annual Mega-Tour and Building Systems Showcase to raise awareness of the flexibility of building systems for many residential applications.
To join the Building Systems Councils visit the Council pages to download an application:
NAHB Education offers regular webinars on building-systems related topics and ways that manufacturers and builders can make their operations smarter and leaner. Visit the Webinar Rewinds page for examples.
Still have questions about building systems? This frequently asked questions guide should help.