IBS Dazzles with Products, Trends, Conversation
The industry was on full display during a record-breaking Design and Construction Week
In-person trade shows are officially back. Last week’s Design and Construction Week in Las Vegas drew the biggest crowds in its decade-long history, with 110,000 attendees at IBS and KBIS and over 200,000 at all five shows combined. New products and engaging displays lured show attendees into booths and everyone I visited commented about the nonstop the foot traffic and constant conversation. Following are some of my key takeaways and trends from the show.
Customization and smart design
Plenty of new products this year targeted the custom market. Panda Windows & Doors, for example, displayed a 12 ½- by 6-foot door with a backlit handle; it can be built to up to 18 by 9 feet and has nearly unlimited customization options.
Customer feedback spurred LaCantina Doors to redesign its V2 folding door with three tenets in mind: more glass/fewer stiles, a clean, streamlined aesthetic and ease of operation. The all-aluminum substrate can have a wood-wrapped interior for maximum design flexibility. LaCantina sees more of these systems installed in urban environments, especially in settings where opening the wall will truly extend living space, such as onto a patio or deck.
Imagination truly is the only limit in window and door design. For example, Kolbe Windows & Doors showcased a long window as a backsplash in a kitchen and a large circular window over a bathroom sink. Windows and doors, says Kolbe, can be purposefully designed into a home to maximize and layer daylight.
And let’s not forget the pets: Simpson Door and Cornerstone each had dog doors in their booths as more customers ask for openings for their four-legged friends.
Most every company cited more glass as another design driver. Jeld-Wen showcased its Auraline composite window, which has 20 to 30 percent more glass and Eko-Okna had their sliding glass doors with nearly hidden frames on display.
ODL referenced its “stylized” glass, rather than calling it decorative glass, because the glass can provide style to a home. Trends around natural shape and movement are popular, and the company also developed a system to quantify the degree of privacy glass can provide.
PGT Innovations displayed several innovations from its iLab, including Diamond Glass, a lightweight and extra clear impact-rated glass, and thin triples. Thin triples also fit into a theme of more energy-efficient products hitting the market, especially in light of Energy Star Version 7.0’s implementation later this year.
Supply chain issues have largely abated, but that’s not the only reason for decreased lead times. Companies are working smarter and have improved their processes. Cornerstone shared how it invested in automation to fabricate and assemble doors and Pella previewed some of its improvements around its National Installer Program, coming investments in digital tools and English language learning in its plants.
Ease of use
Despite the huge sizes of these fenestration systems, many multislide and folding door systems can be operated with just a finger or two, thanks to intelligent design and hardware that makes these huge panes of glass feel nearly effortless to operate.
Technology also is more commonplace. Numerous companies displayed automated solutions for operating these door systems. Masonite Doors showcased its new M-Pwr smart door, Schlage’s Encode smart lever brings the smart lock inside and Endura Products listened to customer feedback and updated its Panolock multipoint locking system to work with electronic lock systems.
And this tech integration benefits every demographic—Kolbe shared how they’ve found aging-in-place to be a great market to implement technology as it allows people to operate their windows and doors through technology rather than manually operating them.
Tell us: What were your top takeaways from IBS 2023?