IBS Offers Something for Architects, Too

The National Association of Homebuilders hosted its International Builders’ Show last week in Orlando, Fla., and while the event was focused on reaching builders, many companies who exhibited featured products of interest to the architectural community as well, such as operable glass walls, windows and decorative glass.

One theme that seemed to be carried out by a number of exhibitors was the move toward large, operable glass walls. Companies were there featuring not only such systems, but hardware options as well.

One manufacturer, Nanawall, displayed a number of these wall options. Matt Thomas, marketing manager, was excited to talk about the company’s new Passive Solar House system, the WA67T, which has triple glazing and a foam layer to meet Passive House Standards set by the Passive House Institute. It has a U-value of 0.17 and meets Energy Star requirements for the United States and Canada. Thomas said one feature is that it allows homeowners in all climate zones, including the Northeast and other cold regions, to still enjoy the benefits of the exterior by opening up their living spaces to the outside, just still provides thermal performance and weather resistance.

Also featuring large movable glass wall options was Weiland Sliding Doors and Windows. Mike Richards, with Window Classics, is a dealer for the company in Florida and said they were featuring hurricane-impact options. In fact, the door on display was 10 ½ feet tall and was impact rated. As Richards explained, “South Florida needs large door systems that meet impact requirements.”

And when it came to new window options, those seemed to be getting bigger and bigger, too. At Marvin the company introduced several new products in both its Integrity and Marvin lines, but John Kirchner, public relations manager said the special sizes will be a “game changer.”

Marvin’s residential ultimate double hung is available to fit rough openings up to 42 ⅜ by 96 ⅞ inches, allowing the window “to fill bigger openings without sacrificing performance.” The larger sizes are available in both clad and wood models. In addition, the window achieves a WDMA-certified DP40 rating across all sizes, providing protection against air and water infiltration.

Aside from large openings, another trend seen during the show was decorative glass options for doors and windows.

Bella Fleur was a first-time exhibitor and showcased its recently launched EssenceGlass, which combines resin, glass and organic materials to create a product that can be used in a range of architectural applications, such as doors, windows, wall systems and more.

Miguel Villarreal, the company’s marketing manager, showed a window display featuring the decorative product, as well as the water tight Paradise Pergola, which features the EssenceGlass in the form of the BellaBlade product.

ODL, based in Zeeland, Mich., also introduced four new decorative doorglass patterns—here the new patterns are regionally focused.

“Broadening regionally was this year’s target,” says Bobbie Locke, marketing director. For example, the Delray is great for Florida markets, she says. “We just launched these and are getting really great feedback.”

It wasn’t all about the glass however, and Locke was particularly excited about the company’s Light-Touch enclosed blinds. She explains that the homeowner can now raise, lower and tilt in one function, and the operator will never get aged, and the blinds offer a full light block.

“This product is already taking off and we are not even shipping it yet,” says Locke, who points out it will be ready in the March-April timeframe.