Does this qualify as user-driven innovation?
“Low-impact Hobbit home only cost US$4,650 to build” – from Gizmag:
Simon Dale, with the help of his father in-law, has single-handedly built this low impact Hobbit house in the woodlands of West Wales. The eco-house, which rose from a muddy hole in the ground and took three months to complete, came in at under US$5,000 (GBP3,000) – demonstrating that you don’t need to be architectural school graduate to come up with the goods. There’s no need to be envious, however, because Dale will give you the plans and know-how to build your very own.
There is a lot of do-it-yourself is home building, where individuals come up with their own designs – especially in the “eco-friendly” area. But it doesn’t seem that a lot of these innovations get picked up by the home construction industry as a whole.
What is it that fosters or retards the adoption of user innovations in construction? Is it the decentralized, small scale nature the industry? After all, even the biggest of the home builders only have a small portion of the market. And many of those companies tend to be local or regional in nature (there are a few exceptions). This would make an interesting case study on diffusion of innovation.