HOUSING: More for Less

The U.S. housing industry last week demonstrated how better homes can be built for less money. In Knoxville, Tenn., the National Association of Home Builders opened a three-bedroom, 1,051 sq. ft. model aimed at showing builders how new materials and new uses for old materials can turn the trick. Price: $13,500, achieved mainly by preassembled hardboard components. Top features:

¶ Masonite wall sections prefinished inside and out with built-in insulation, ready for quick raising at the site. The outside hardboard surface is wood composition, the inside plastic-coated. Soundproof ceilings also come...