NUCA partnered with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to showcase trenchless technology as part of the Innovative Housing Showcase June 1-5 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The Innovative Housing Showcase is a five-day event featuring new building technologies and housing solutions that are making housing more affordable for American families and homes more resilient during natural disasters. More than 2,500 persons, including policymakers, housing industry representatives, media and the general public, were in attendance.
The Showcase includes panel discussions, on stage interviews, and demonstrations with exhibitors, lawmakers, entrepreneurs, and leaders in the housing industry. Exhibitors showcasing their trenchless equipment included NUCA members Akkerman, Barbco, Ditch Witch and HammerHead.
According to NAHB, a lack of available workforce coupled with a lack of accessible building sites drives up construction costs and limits the ability for home builders to construct affordable housing while earning a return on investment. HUD Deputy Secretary Christopher Bourne, who spent time speaking to all NUCA exhibitors, said the advent and use of trenchless technologies will significantly contribute to the ability to provide access to previously undevelopable lots due to inaccessibility of infrastructure, clearing a path to more affordable home construction.
The Innovative Housing Showcase is also an opportunity for NUCA and its Trenchless Technology Department to appeal to a new market segment.
“The trenchless equipment on the National Mall really drew people in. Attendees see the equipment and start asking questions about what it is and how it can help them. Participating in this event is helping to deliver the message of what utility contractors do to a whole new group of people, potentially opening up a whole new market for trenchless contractors and manufacturers,” said Jeff Rumer of NUCA’s trenchless department. “There is some real synergy that exists between HUB, NAHB and NUCA, and we can all help to complement and promote each other’s objectives.”
A side benefit is that working with HUD will help to strengthen NUCA’s advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill by showing the impact that infrastructure investment can have across multiple markets and multiple governmental agencies. “When you can show legislators that a single investment can solve multiple problems at the same time, it gets their attention,” Rumer said.