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2017 International Builders’ Show Takeaways

This year, the International Builders’ Show took attendees back to sunny Orlando, Florida, for a week focused on design and construction. From education sessions to product introductions, and — of course — a bit of fun, the show certainly left attendees and exhibitors feeling inspired. Here are a few big trends we noticed: 

Building science is all the buzz

As technology continues to advance, the industry is becoming more and more open to innovative products and practices. Builders are also still feeling the strain of labor shortage and are adopting products and methods that streamline installation for time savings and reduced risk of improper installation.  Many show attendees who stopped by the Huber Engineered Woods booth noted that product innovations that simplify the building process are becoming game-changers for the industry. Huber Engineered Woods’ flagship products ZIP System® sheathing and tape and AdvanTech® subflooring, that help reduce risk of delays due to rework from weather exposure in building envelope and subflooring construction, continue to get attention from professionals looking for an edge on the job.

Resiliency is the future of building

The most progressive builders have had an eye towards resilient construction for years. Focused on a structure’s ability to be re-inhabited after a disaster event, resiliency is not only gaining traction with designers and builders, but also with homeowners and insurance entities who recognize the added home value in building or rebuilding homes to higher standards to reflect specific location factors. In fact, groups like FORTIFIED Home™, created by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety® (IBHS), provide builders and homeowners with tested resilient building guidelines to help protect homes in areas vulnerable to high-winds, wild fires and earthquakes, for examples.

At the show, we talked to many attendees about the resiliency benefits that come with quality building materials like our ZIP System® sheathing and tape for roofs. With a built-in water-resistive barrier and taped panel seams, ZIP System sheathing and tape creates a strong sealed roof deck that helps protect homes from water intrusion during construction or during a high-wind event if roof coverings are blown off. With an easy, two-step installation that replaces felt or roof underlayment, ZIP System sheathing and tape is an efficient way to protect a home’s most vulnerable area to water penetration during a storm.

Standards are growing, and simplicity in materials is key

The construction industry is evolving at a rapid rate, and code is changing with it. As 2015 IECC and IRC/IBC codes are being adopted across the country, at Huber Engineered Woods, we are working closely with builders, engineers, purchasing agents and designers to incorporate products that help meet evolved guidelines for higher performing thermal envelopes.

Hot topics at the booth this year were how to achieve lower air changes and greater R-value in building enclosures. ZIP System® R-sheathing, called “ZIP System Vers. 2.0” by Builder  magazine at the show, is helping advance exterior wall designs in various climate zones. The unique insulated sheathing panel includes built-in foam insulation in a variety of thicknesses for an easy way to incorporate exterior continuous insulation, while providing a continuous water and air barrier and structural sheathing on the outside of the assembly, for easy subsequent flashing and cladding applications. Check out our quick reference guide to code compliance using ZIP System R-sheathing in this “Code Counts” article.

It’s time to focus on the next generation

Last but not least, we definitely noticed a push to attract and retain new talent. As the building industry matures, there is a need to spark interest in design and construction among young men and women. This will ensure that we continue to have a talented, well-educated workforce to take the industry to new heights in the future.


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