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The Transformative Power of Innovation

Learn which fenestration features and trend shifts we saw at IBS 2024 

2024 IBS Show Floor

You can glean much about fenestration trends by looking at The New American Home 2024 that debuted at this year's International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The architectural touches that make this one-level, 7,722-square-foot home stand out for attendees also set the tone for the year ahead. 

From dramatic pivot doors, functional sliders, modern folding glass walls and flexible window systems, to high-end integrated security door locks, lighting and hardware, this year's show can be summed up in one word: innovation. Tens of thousands explored the latest in technology, trends, research and products to advance the industry and enhance new and existing homes. 

Key trends

  • Go big or go home. Pivot doors keep growing, from 10, 12 and 14 feet to an impressive 17 and 23 feet high. 

  • Enjoy the view. Immense glass multi-sliders and folding walls are pairing with large windows to create immersive openings for daylighting and connection to the outside. 

  • All together now. Accessible technology in fully integrated exterior doors is bringing security and convenience to another level through smartphone-controlled technology, built-in power, LED welcome lighting and biometric smart locks and hardware. 

The show home uses an abundance of glass to blend its interior with the surrounding topography. It also stands out for its “forward-thinking approach to sustainability and efficiency,” says Drew Smith, COO, Two Trails Inc., who has tracked New American Home energy efficiency for 14 years. 

Energy innovation 

With Energy Star 7.0 going into effect late last year, Energy Star windows remain at the top of home buyers’ wish lists (83% according to NAHB’s 2024 What Home Buyers Really Want survey). A majority of window and door offerings throughout the show sported the ubiquitous blue Energy Star-certified product logo. “We’re offering a broad line of Energy Star-certified products … because we believe that’s important and something we can offer to consumers to meet their needs,” says Matt Bereda with Cornerstone Building Brands, which represents more than a dozen different brands under the company umbrella. “We focus on the things they’re looking for, and that helps us to kind of evolve [our offerings].”  

A lot of thought is also going into ventilation and dehumidification to help tighten homes and enhance energy efficiency. Masonite showcased its “show-stopper water and air stopper” high-performance door systems with its Endura z-articulating cap sill and weatherstripping that keep out air and water and provide enhanced sound insulation. And newcomer VanAir offered a “ventilation system designed as a door,” which ditches the transfer vents, door grilles and undercuts for a sleeker appearance. Using an acoustical engineering concept called impulse resonating to channel air through slots and absorptive materials in the door's core, it provides enhanced airflow and 85% more sound privacy. 

Van Air Door

Bertrand Windows & Doors utilized the power of electromagnetic technology and double or triple glazing to heat up glass on the inside (while keeping the outside pane cool to the touch) with its Infratherm heating window system, snagging them a Best of IBS 2024 Award for best home technology. 

IBS at-a-glance 

  • 80th anniversary of the show 
  • 76,000+ total professionals 
  • 1,800+ exhibitors 
  • 678,000+ net square feet 
  • 120+ education sessions 

Sustainable innovation 

Sustainability is still a hot trend in fenestration, with companies showing circular strategies and innovative materials options to help keep things earth-friendly. Masonite’s solid-core interior doors offer a wheat straw filling that “offers 70% more sound-dampening material than our standard hollow doors,” says Jennifer Renaud, Masonite’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, “and are green at heart as wheat straw is a renewable resource.” 

Cornerstone’s Bereda talked about the circular lifespan of the vinyl used in its windows and doors; while consumer demand for vinyl continues to grow and “it will continue to steal market share from wood because of its durability,” the company will continue “to utilize it in as sustainable a way as possible.” This includes reusing their vinyl. “We regrind all of our vinyl … actually extrude it and then use that to produce our frames. We’re also moving away from using any kind of paint over an extruded product. We make sure to optimize that process so the windows will last longer and it helps to protect the environment.” 

Western Window Series 7665
Western Window Series 7665

Social innovation 

Immense pivot doors, and glass multi-sliders and folding walls at heights of 10, 12 and 14 feet, are pairing off with large windows to create immersive openings for connection to the environment and with outdoor entertainment spaces. But the quiet crowd-draw surprise came in the form of awning windows or pass-through windows that creatively unify indoor and outdoor living spaces. 

Attendees were fixated on flip-up, small folding and awning-style windows from BasikWall, Panoramic Doors and Western Window Systems that served as small creative pass-throughs that transitioned between indoor and outdoor spaces such as kitchens and patio bars. The Series 7665 pass-through window by Western Window, in particular, was very easy to open and close with a continuous hinge and pressurized gas struts. 

“We always receive requests where people are trying to connect an indoor kitchen to an outdoor entertainment space,” says Brian Leizerowicz of Western Window Systems. “The usual bar-top multi-slide window that pockets in the walls or bi-fold window is tricky to install. But an awning window on gas struts that just pops open with or without a sill stretches boundaries a bit.” 

Connected innovation 

Accessible technology in fully integrated exterior doors is bringing convenience to another level through smartphone-controlled technology, built-in power, LED welcome lighting and smart keypad hardware. Masonite’s performance door platform “brings power to the door,” says Masonite’s Renaud. “Controlled on an app, you have the ability to light the entire system. The lock and camera are inside the door. There’s a built-in backup battery. The goal is to bring power and operation to the entire door exterior, and be able to easily replace components as necessary.” 

In the realm of door hardware, Schlage’s Encode Plus smart Wi-Fi deadbolt and the Kwikset Halo Touch made their debut at the show. A Wi-Fi smart lock with a small footprint and instant fingerprint reader for secure one-touch encoded access, the Kwikset Halo smart lock opens up transformative discussions about the future of smart door security. “Everything is going to be connected; everything is going to be smart,” says Jeff Sandoval with Kwikset. “Biometrics is really just the beginning of the journey. [Other countries] have recognition authentication in residential, and we’re going to get there in the U.S. market, but it’ll take longer.” 

Secure innovation 

A surge in production innovation happened on two different fronts: safety from natural disasters and security from human factors and crime. “As we're continuing to see more severe weather events, there's a big market for impact-resistant products,” says Cornerstone’s Bereda. “Along the Gulf Coast and further up the East Coast, hurricane-rated products are needed to withstand increasingly extreme weather.” 

Masonite’s acquisition of Endura Products last year resulted in new, M-Protect entry doors by Masonite incorporating a new, multi-point locking system by Endura for added security. To demonstrate the strength of its locks, Masonite repeatedly swung 45-pound weights against the latching edge of its doors—doors with single-point locks broke away quickly, while the M-Protect door held strong after numerous daily demonstrations. 

“We don’t want to just stress hurricane-rated-impact resistance,” adds Bereda. “We want to stress that it is more security. [Impact-resistant glass] is also an awesome way to protect against someone trying to get into your home.” 

Emerging innovation 

Window installation simplified. Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” Well, Pella did exactly that with its Pella Steady Set interior installation system for new construction. The installer-centric design offers easy-to-learn, pre-attached components to help ensure repeatable and reliable window installation. Pella spent four years looking at how installers work in the field, then created a system for installing windows from inside the home, eliminating work performed from a ladder and the need for an extra person— one installer can handle the entire process. And it’s fast. Pella held demonstrations of its new system, with time trials for attendees brave enough to give it a go. Most finished in under two minutes. 

Smart glass hits the residential market. With the recent news of Cardinal Glass partnering with Kolbe Windows & Doors to incorporate its CLiC switchable privacy glass in products, it’s no surprise that smart glass showed up big at the show, making appearances in products from BasikWall, Eko Okna, Fleetwood Windows and Doors, PGT Innovations’ iLab, Sierra Pacific and Weather Shield. Switchable glass in windows and pivot doors drew scores of interested homebuilders despite its high price point, signaling a significant market shift. “This will definitely appeal to the tech-savvy, gotta-have-it set,” I overheard one attendee say. 

Lightweight, impact-resistant, ultra-thin. There was a lot of emphasis on light, thin and impact-resistant glass that meets stringent testing standards for protection against hurricane-force winds, intruders and noise pollution, especially for the super-sized pivot doors, larger-size folding and sliding panel doors, and windows. A stop at PGT Innovations’ booth satisfied all three trends in its Diamond Glass product offerings, featuring Corning Architectural Technical Glass, which takes about 45% of the weight out of laminated glass. In particular, Anlin Windows Catalina single-hung window was on display, featuring ULite thin-triple glass—with an ultra-thin pane of Corning ATG at the center—that complies with all Energy Star zones. 

Pivoting to prototypes. PGTI’s “product incubator” iLab had many prototype products on display, including an ultra-thin laminate (two 0.5 millimeter lites of Corning ATG with PVB interlayer), a multi-layer laminate for thinner and lightweight ballistic solutions, and its smart panel that allows homeowners to adjust the level of dynamic tint and control the amount of daylight entering a home. The prototype Maglev sliding glass door has  some 700 pounds of impact-resistant glass that floats effortlessly along the track thanks to magnets—no lift and slide, roller system or anything touching down below the track is necessary.  

“It’s really interesting. Products are getting bigger and heavier, with more and more glass. You really don’t need automation, but technology to [make the glass] lighter, easier to handle and safer,” says Dean Ruark with PGTI. “As you think about this thin glass and what you can do with it, then it starts to kind of shift the paradigm. Companies should be consistently innovating products to meet evolving needs.” 

Window + Door at #IBS2024



Tara Lukasik

Tara Lukasik

Tara Lukasik is managing editor for Window + Door and its sister publication, Glass Magazine. Reach her at