Live from the International Building Show Feeling Like a Pig in Mud

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Greenguard’s rain channel Housewrap seen at the Show.

Last year I promised myself that I would attend the International Building Show.  This will be my third time attending and the show has always been tremendously fun and educational.  In years past, many companies showed off their new products like a grandmother who whips out the pictures of her grandchildren.  Same pride and same enthusiasm.  This year with the downturn of building, the show is quieter and it seems not as enthusiastic.   Nonetheless, this show is still impressive and I am enjoying every minute of it.  I am like a pig in mud here.

Yesterday, I visited several companies ranging in product base from lighting to insulation.   With  small mounds of literature and 46 pictures, I can’t possibly cover all of what I saw yesterday in one article. In this respect, I will highlight just a few companies to wet your appetite.

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LEDs were the rage at Progress lighting. Pictured above is their answer to swapping out your old incandescent 65 watt light for a new plug and play LED alternative. The one to the left is an incandescent. The middle fixture is the dimmable LED, and the last fixture is a compact flourescent. This plug and play option is similar to Cree’s LR6, but significantly cheaper at a retail cost of $80 compared to LR6′s $125 cost. The color was good, it dimmed easily, and is compatible with every fixture and automative lighting systems.

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Sherwin Williams’ green line of paints is being touted as not only environmentally friendly, but durable as well. I have wiped many walls in my time from finger prints to stains that I would rather not figure out where they came from. Sherwin Williams’ Duration Home easily wipes away stains with no color rub off. In addition,the Company states that water won’t cause streaks or spotting. Color options include matte, satin, and semi-gloss in a wide range of colors including deep and vivid accent colors. Low Voc primers are available to reduce the amount of top coat required. The Company further states that the paint exceeds the most stringent environmental standards.

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Wayne Dalton’s new garage door made out of recycled steel gives the appearance of grained wood with a smooth feel to it. The door clearly mimics true wood grain, and will be available to consumers in two months. The Company offers insulated doors ranging in R-10-14.8 with a choice of insulated glass to reduce condensation. Priced competitively, an uninstalled single garage door costs approximately $800.

I have a Clopay door, Wayne Dalton’s competitior. One of my dissappointments with the door is that it dings easily from errant balls. I know I can’t expect Superman type doors with four boys. The representative I spoke with said their doors do not dent easily, but to be on the safe side, raise the doors when your children are playing.


Siegenia Aubi’s in wall heat recovery ventilator is the first decentralized ventilator that optimizes indoor air quality. Instead of a centralized unit, each room can have its own in wall system which senses the air quality of the room. My whole house ventilator runs continuously during the day, whereas this wall unit only turns on when needed reducing energy use. The system is ideal for apartments as well as for those who only wish to target certain areas of their house without the added expense of a whole house system. Starting at $200.00.

The show is overwhelming with so much to see and so little time to see it. Stay tune for Day 2 tommorrow.


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