Builders Show Spotlights Innovative Products
January 28, 2011
The International Builders Show (IBS) always delivers panache. Building product manufacturers use the industry’s biggest stage to unveil their latest and greatest designs, often with the excessive exuberance needed to stand out among the sea of products on display.
This year’s show was tamer than most. Singers, dancers, magicians, and spokes-models were a bit scarce. But that did not stop a number of manufacturers from spotlighting some exciting new products.
Following are a handful of products that caught my eye.
Owens Corning featured its new EcoTouch Fiberglass™ Insulation. If you grew up like me afraid of the itchy pink stuff, you are in for a pleasant surprise. EcoTouch has conquered the itch-factor by using natural materials and a new binding agent. It is formaldehyde-free and uses 50% recycled content, 30% of which is post-consumer waste, largely recycled plastic containers. I came, I saw, I touched. No itching. OC also promoted new shingles, roof underlayment, and a nifty interior/exterior tongue-in-grove faux stone product.
Arrow Fastener showcased its RED line of fastening products. The eye-catching booth attracted visitors with the large RED acronym, which stands for Reliable, Ergonomic and Durable, and a snazzy red sports car. But it was the redesigned fastening tools that kept construction pros hanging around. The new line was anchored largely by staple guns, brad nailers and hammer tackers. Features included lighter weights, better grips, and enhanced versatility. I compared a couple of the older Arrow products with their new RED brethren. From the perspective of a laptop-toting office jockey, the RED products fit my hand much better.
Dow Chemical had a lot happening in its booth. Its above- and below-grade Styrofoam™ Structural Insulated Sheathing generated a lot of interest. And for anyone who has ever used Great Stuff™ foam sealant, you’ll be happy to learn Dow has introduced Great Stuff™ Work Wipes to quickly remove excess products from your fingers. I was especially drawn to the Powerhouse™ Solar Shingle prominently displayed at the roofline of the Dow booth. The photovoltaic panels, which use a thin-film flexible substrate, are designed to be installed in place of shingles. Dow is targeting a mid-summer roll-out.
Maxxon Corp. featured its Acousti-Mat products for floor underlayment and sound control. The company is promoting is mats as “all green, all the time” and is positioning its products for specification in LEED-certified projects. Maxxon cites its use of 40% post-consumer waste in Acousti-Mat products as a key reason for selection.
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