Monday, March 3, 2014

International Builders Show Recap

Over 82,000 industry professionals descended on Las Vegas the first week in February for the 50th annual International Builders Show (IBS). This year, IBS shared the convention center with the Kitchen & Bath Show (KBIS) for the very first time.  Principals Gary Godden and Paul Brady were part of the crowd, as was Senior Architect Doug Walter.  “IBS is the one show each year you MUST do, if you’re serious about keeping on top of new products and trends for housing”, said Brady.

Doug, Gary and Paul at the live design charette.

In addition to the 1,700 exhibitors spread out over the 650,000 square feet of exhibit halls, the conference offered a wealth of educational opportunities.  IBS offered 100 educational sessions across three days.  Among them was a session taught by Paul Brady, along with engineer Ed Fronapfel of SBSA, titled “Avoiding Construction Defects: 15 Lessons Learned the Hard Way”. Paul and Ed shared photos and case studies collected over the years, along with suggested details to improve construction quality.

This was the rare year in which Gary Godden did not present, so he had time to visit the New American Home 2014, an over-the-top idea house just completed in Las Vegas.  Gary reports “Each year they try to outdo last year’s show home, featuring the most innovative, sustainable, and aesthetic features. This year was no exception: a stunning 6,700 desert contemporary with outdoor living on three levels, a 16kw pv system that supplies 83% of the home’s energy, and a LEED Platinum rating”. A virtual tour is online at .

On the KBIS educational side, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Chief Executive Officer Bill Darcy boasted, “Our Voices of the Industry’ educational sessions sold out before the show opened”.  Doug Walter presented a course to the KBIS audience titled “Lighten Up! Daylighting your Kitchens & Baths”, which was a primer on the science and health benefits of natural light, illustrated with scores of good kitchen and bath examples from Godden|Sudik projects and others from around the US.

On the second day of the show, Gary, Paul, and Doug joined forces to participate in a live design charette right on the show floor in the South Hall. The charrette was focused on designing an accessible home for a deserving Army veteran, Sgt. Joseph Grabianowki.  The charette went from 9 to 5, while expo visitors stopped by to watch and comment on the plans throughout the day.  “This was the most rewarding part of this year’s show,” said Brady.  

USA Today wrote of Grabianowski, “So much of Joseph Grabianowski is gone; lost to war. Doctors nearly cut him in half to save him- the worst loss of lower body removal by amputation from either the Iraq or Afghanistan wars”. A Washington area non–profit, Building Homes for Heroes, will be building a new home for Grabianowski.

The Godden|Sudik home was a “contemporary colonial”; all brick and designed to fit into the character of its northern Virginia neighborhood.  An oversized two-car garage had plenty of space for a side-loading van, while all entries into the home are no-step doorways.  The heart of the home was a large L shaped great room/dining/kitchen space that opens to a screened back porch. The client had expressed the concern that the home not “look accessible”, so accessibility was discreetly designed throughout, and included things like hard surface flooring, three-foot doors, lever hardware, rocker switches, 34” counters with roll under spaces in strategic locations next to sink and rangetop, shower benches, hand-helds, and grab bars, among many other features.

Finally, Gary and Paul attended the 50+ Housing Council Awards ceremony, where Godden|Sudik’s Verona project picked up a Gold Award for “Best 50+ Attached Home up to 1800 Square Feet”. They also networked with industry colleagues from all over the country.  Gary has also accepted a nomination to the 50+ Housing Council Board for 2014-2015.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like it was an amazing conference! Thanks for the recap.