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Three big themes from the Builders’ Show

I was one of the approximately 90,000 attendees to descend on the Las Vegas convention center last week for the International Builders’ Show at Design and Construction Week. If my step counter is at all accurate, I’m pretty sure I covered nearly all 600,000 square feet of exhibit space. 

I hope that any of you that I didn’t see at the show were following the event via our live Twitter coverage. For those who didn’t, and those who did and are still buzzing from all there was to see, here are my three big takeaways from IBS 2020.

1. Fenestration is a huge piece of the conversation for builders and architects. 

Windows and doors showed up big as a product category once again this year. Our industry was represented in all corners of the show—even in kitchen and bath exhibits with some eye-catching hardware that extends to our products. And in that regard, I have two words for you: satin brass. 

Attendees are still enthralled by the dimensions window and door manufacturers can offer and, as we know, those dimensions are getting commercially grade massive. Related, indoor/outdoor living continues to be the focal point for modern homes. Fenestration has always been the key piece to that trend, and manufacturers are responding with some truly unique solutions. Take a look at the Best of IBS for some examples. See our photo gallery for even more—a ton of fenestration companies were among the finalists.   

2. Modular construction has arrived in residential. 

It’s been creating a lot of noise in commercial construction for some time, but modular building now clearly has big implications for residential. Show Village demonstrated how windows, doors and really all the product categories can fit in to this modern way of construction. 

There is so much to explore on how this does (and doesn’t) fit for our industry. So, expect much more to come on this in future issues of Window + Door. Email me if you have something to say about it.  

3. Innovation itself is getting more innovative. 

If there were a word for IBS, it would be innovation. But not just in the sense of the buzzword. The products I saw from the participants in our market truly embody innovation. These products solve problems. The companies behind them dig deep into the realities of the building industry, their customers and end-users, the jobsite, and the future of construction to bring those products to market. And not only does this revolution apply to the end-result, but manufacturers are innovating processes, technology and even the supply chain. 

The market continues to evolve. The more trends change, the more they stay the same. What’s important is for manufacturers to look at how they are evolving with the market including and beyond aesthetics and design.  



Emily Katy Thompson

Emily Kay Thompson

Emily Kay Thompson is associate publisher of Window + Door,, and W+Dweekly. Contact her at