By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect, Sonnhalter
This year’s NAHB International Builders’ Show was as robust as ever, with more than 90,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors packed into the massive, 60,000-square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center. The show has always been a special and important time for builders, remodelers, design professionals, architects and specialty contractors to learn and share their new ideas.
Strong Educational Focus
The show offered more than 150 education sessions in seven different tracks and dozens of hands-on demonstration opportunities. Examples were the “Tech Bytes” sessions, which featured two stages delivered via headphones and attendees could choose the program they wished to follow by using a switch on the headset. The topics for these programs focused on technologies that are changing the home-buying experience and how attendees can better plan their projects and business operations. Other key highlights from the educational portion of the show included the “Game Changer” keynotes which addressed critical issues in the housing industry and the “High Performance Building Zone” which offered practical demonstrations on topics like blower-door testing and rainscreen-sliding details.
The Future of “Smart” Homes
From a tech standpoint, one of the greater themes from this year’s show continues to be “smart” technology and digital assistants and how attendees could incorporate them into their future home building projects. The CEDIA® Technology Pavilion gave attendees the chance to familiarize themselves with hundreds of products and ideas that they could apply to their kitchen, bath, energy efficiency and other construction and remodeling projects.
Another showcase for the latest in smart tech came from The New American Home® and The New American Remodel® model homes which featured some of the industry’s smartest and most energy-efficient products on the market. Some of the highlights from these models included motorized window shades, climate control solutions and in-wall touch panels for sound systems.
One of my biggest takeaways from the prevalence of this technology was its potential for reducing production time and increasing overall customer satisfaction. As this technology continues to grow, we’re seeing prices on these products come down to a point where they are no longer just for upscale projects. Beyond the “wow factor” of this technology, having products that are easier to setup and more intuitive can help address some of the skilled labor shortage issues faced by the home construction business. This technology’s efficiency and ability to reduce the amount of manpower needed to install these products would be able to increase profits, keep customers happy and allow homebuilders to operate with leaner personnel.
Want to catch the show next year in Orlando? Save the date for February 9-11, 2021, and visit buildersshow.com for more details.
And don’t forget to use our Insider’s Guide to Orlando when you are there!