LAS VEGAS — The International Builders Show (IBS) is in the middle of a three-year stint in the land of fast money, and the 2014 engagement did not disappoint. The 2013 event had boasted approximately 62,000 attendees. This year was the first time that IBS and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) — two extraordinary events — were co-located in Las Vegas. With more than 1,700 combined exhibitors covering more than 650,000 square feet of floor space, the first annual Design & Construction week, Feb. 4-6, delivered an educational experience for more than 75,000 global attendees.

Here are just a few of the highlights from the first annual Design & Construction Week 2014:

Gen. Stan McChrystal, a four-star general and the former commander of the U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, headlined the opening ceremonies with a moving keynote address on Tuesday morning.

It was standing room only as hundreds of attendees and exhibitors networked during the Official IBS House Party at the Hard Rock Café on the Vegas Strip.

Thousands of building professionals attended more than 100 education sessions that were available on topics that included more than 50 housing, sales and marketing, and high-performance building classes, to name a few.

The New American Home 2014 — National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) exhibit home — welcomed thousands of visitors to see first-hand its cutting-edge efficiency, technology, and sustainability, all set in a contemporary-style home with a stunning desert view.

Four-time Grammy winner Pat Benatar gave a rockin’ performance during Thursday evening’s IBS Spike Concert, closing out the event.

Trane, a brand of Ingersoll Rand, announced a strategic partnership with St. Jude Children’s Hospital on Feb. 4. The manufacturer will serve as a national sponsor of the 2014 St. Jude Dream Home® Giveaway and will donate heating and cooling products for more than 30 custom-built homes. The homes will be raffled off throughout the year to local families through the sale of $100 raffle tickets. The funds raised will support the efforts of St. Jude in fighting children’s cancer and other diseases.

“We are incredibly grateful to Trane for its generous support of our St. Jude Dream Home giveaway. Trane’s help with this very important fundraising initiative will help to support our mission to find cures and save children around the world,” said Brian Doyle, senior director, St. Jude Dream Home giveaway.

The program is one of the largest single-event fundraising efforts for St. Jude, a hospital internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment. Each year, approximately 30 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway projects, valued up to $600,000, are built in cities across the country in partnership with local home builders using mostly donated materials, supplies, and labor.

Over two decades, the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway effort has built and given away 340 homes and raised more than $260 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“For more than 100 years, Trane has been known for its unstoppable reliability in providing home comfort to families with our heating and cooling products,” said Scott Martin, vice president, marketing, Trane. “We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with St. Jude to provide lasting comfort for those families who win the St. Jude Dream Home giveaway, and ultimately support St. Jude in helping families by saving children’s lives.”

Overcoming Childhood Cancer

Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened in 1962 as a place of compassion devoted to treating children regardless of race, color, creed, or their family’s ability to pay. Since then, it has grown into a premier pediatric research institution dedicated to changing lives around the world. The hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The hospital’s research has helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the institution opened to almost 80 percent today. It is a designated National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, and no family ever pays St. Jude for anything.

In 2014, the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway will be held in the following cities:

• April: Biloxi, Miss.; Peoria, Ill.; Warner Robbins, Ga.; and Monroe, La.

• May: Hampton Roads, Va.; Santa Maria, Calif.; and Colorado Springs, Colo.

• June: Lafayette, La.; Bakersfield, Calif.; Baton Rouge, La.; Boise, Idaho; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Memphis, Tenn.; Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans; Springfield, Mo.; and Tulsa, Okla.

• August: Shreveport, La.; and Paducah, Ky.

• September: Bowling Green, Ky.; Charleston, W.VA.; Jackson, Miss.; and St. Louis.

• October: Charlotte, N.C.; and Kansas City, Mo.

• November: Fresno, Calif.; and Denver.

For more information on the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, visit

Points of View on the Show Floor

Many of the HVAC companies exhibiting at IBS had recently attended the AHR Expo in New York City. Asked what different products they might be showing at IBS, and their reasoning for attending the nation’s largest home and garden show, many responded with big smiles. IBS is a good opportunity to reach key residential new construction customers without a rush of competitors standing in line, as is often the case at the AHR Expo.

John Miles, of Samsung Quietside, a manufacturer of ductless mini-split products, said, “New home builders have embraced ductless technology in many of their designs. It is no longer a novel technology that is only used in remodeling applications. Builders and consumers are requesting innovative products for complete home heating and cooling.”

In addition to its primary ductless products, Quietside displayed a solar product. “Of course it’s a smaller segment still, but some builders want to differentiate their offerings, and we have something they need,” said Miles.

Gavin Campbell, senior vice president, Intertek Group plc, said, “Intertek performs testing for windows, lighting, roof systems, and any mechanical system in a house or building. We are much better known in HVAC circles as a testing agency for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), but with requirement changes being what they are, we expect to continue expanding in the home builder market.”

He said that codes are more stringent in commercial buildings than in homes because of familiarity. A simple example: Homeowners know where all the exits are; however, a first-time visitor to a commercial building facility does not — ergo product testing for exit doors to ensure safety and reliability.

Andrew Kireta Jr., vice president market development, Copper Development Association Inc. (CDA), said, “The International Builders Show gives us the opportunity to reach out to many influential people in the new construction market.” The stated mission of CDA is to defend and grow markets for copper based on its superior technical performance and its contribution to a higher quality of life worldwide.

CDA promoted its small-diameter copper tubing, which Kireta said can provide for enhanced heat transfer and energy efficiency.

SIDEBAR: HVAC Products Exhibited at the 2014 International Builders Show

The ACHR NEWS scanned the International Builders Show (IBS) floor in search of products specifically directed at the residential new construction and renovation markets. As recently as 10 years ago, only a handful of HVAC companies might have attended the IBS. Approximately 60 HVAC-related companies exhibited at this year’s show, and many more attend to see what their competitors are offering the residential new construction market.

ClimateMaster Inc. featured its Tranquility® 30 Digital (TE) unit, which joins the award-winning Tranquility® 22 Digital (TZ) to create a packaged heat pump product line integrating digital communicating controls, two-stage capacity, variable-speed fan, and variable-flow geothermal source functions within a single package. The TE unit additionally employs iGate™ communications technology, which allows end users and contractors to custom-tailor, monitor, and adjust unit functioning directly from the thermostat; and vFlow™, which intelligently varies water flow based on changes in unit capacity level and source water temperature to maintain optimum system performance.

In addition, ClimateMaster displayed its comprehensive line of Tranquility split systems, providing HVAC solutions for both new construction and retrofit applications with limited/challenging spaces. These include the Tranquility Cased Coil (TAC) and Digital Air Handler (TAH) Series units, as well as the Tranquility Digital Split (TES) Series units, which provide the line’s highest efficiency and lowest operating cost. “Our split products are very appealing to the builder market, and that is why we are displaying it prominently here in Las Vegas,” said Raj Hiremath, marketing director, ClimateMaster. “The indoor unit, outdoor unit, and the air handler are all fully communicating.”

In addition to the Tranquility products, Hiremath said, “The Trilogy 40 EER unit will be ready to ship in the spring; this is a product that also provides hot water for owners. From the consumers’ point of view, the energy efficiency is extremely attractive. From a contractor’s perspective, 15 sensors will communicate to the thermostat, so diagnostic work is made much easier, and it can be configured remotely.”

ClimateMaster partnered with ecobee to create a Wi-Fi-enbabled thermostat. “The contractor can pull all diagnostics from the stat, and every ClimateMaster product built since 2011 has this feature,” said Hiremath.

CertainTeed Corp. unveiled SMARTBATT™ with MoistureSense™ Technology, a fiberglass batt insulation that contributes to healthier homes and buildings by intelligently managing moisture. The insulation adapts based on moisture levels in the wall cavity, blocking moisture from entering when humidity is low and allowing the wall to breathe when it senses high humidity that needs to be released, helping reduce the potential for mold and mildew growth. SMARTBATT also offers highly efficient thermal performance and enhances acoustical control by helping to block disturbing outside noise.

During the show, two celebrities spoke with attendees in the CertainTeed booth — Norm Abram from “This Old House” and Mike Holmes, host of “Holmes on Homes.”

“When it comes to performance, style, colors, and innovation, CertainTeed offers an unrivaled portfolio of interior and exterior building products, resulting in a unique one-stop shop for builders,” said Eric Nilsson, vice president of corporate marketing for CertainTeed Corp. “That being said, our commitment to the building industry extends far beyond our products — we’re dedicating significant time and energy in providing builders and remodelers with ancillary training, selling tools, and rebates that contribute to better buildings.”

Panasonic Eco Solutions launched two vent fan products at the International Builders Show that offer customization for the unique needs of builders and remodelers. WhisperGreen Select is a modular option for the company’s line of WhisperGreen vent fans that provides customization and easier installation. It features two new options: Pick-A-Flow and Plug and Play Technology. With the option of selecting from modules that easily snap into place, builders can design a system that provides fan speed control, light or motion sensing, and condensation sensing control.

Panasonic also introduced EcoVent™ as a solution to a major industry challenge for custom and production builders and contractors: passing airflow testing by home energy raters (HERS). According to Panasonic, EcoVent is an economically priced, easy-to-install, Energy Star-rated vent fan that incorporates a unique Veri-Boost™ feature to ensure that designed airflow is achieved to help meet ASHRAE 62.2, Energy Star 3.0 for Homes, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes, CA Title 24, CalGreen, and most green building programs — without compromising the look and style of any bathroom.

“Energy raters are now verifying the airflow of installed vent fans prior to certifying that they meet green building standards,” said Patricia Monks, product manager, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America. “Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important that builders install products that actually deliver designed airflow. EcoVent with Veri-Boost provides the necessary power and ensures that fans will pass verification testing.”

The compact 70-cfm ventilation fan has a quiet operation of 1.1 sones at 0.1 water gauge (wg), and is equipped with a unique Veri-Boost switch that provides a 20-cfm-output boost if necessary to meet airflow requirements. The boost provides greater than or equal to 50-cfm installed performance. At 50 cfm, EcoVent still has a quiet operation of 1.4 sones at 0.25 wg.

Nuheat Industries displayed its Wi-Fi floor heating thermostat, the Nuheat SIGNATURE. The thermostat, scheduled to launch in May 2014, will offer clients the ability to control thermostats from an app on their iOS or Android smartphones. Floor heat is an efficient and alternative heat source, and the ability to control any floor heating system remotely offers the end user additional energy savings benefits. In addition to having full access to all thermostat settings, homeowners can change the floor’s temperature and view energy usage at their fingertips.

According to a NuHeat spokesperson at the show, the new stat easily connects to Wi-Fi network; is 802.11 b/g/n compatible, and offers fully secure WEP, WPA, and WPA2 network options. It has a 3.5-inch, 320-by-480-pixel, color, backlit, LCD touchscreen, and remote access control via free smartphone apps (iOS and Android) or a Web browser. It also features seven-day programmability, and outdoor temperature and weather forecast information by zip/postal code supported by The Weather Channel. Customers can monitor their energy usage in hourly, weekly, and monthly views.

Carrier Corp. displayed its Infinity® Series of heat pumps, fan coils, and air purifiers, in addition to Infinity gas furnaces with Greenspeed™ Intelligence. The series of products reinforced to builders that a system approach in new home construction is very important for total comfort. One additional option suggested is the Ideal Humidity System technology by adding Infinity control, Carrier humidifier, and variable-speed furnace or fan coil to the heat pump.

Infinity Series heat pumps cool a home with sound levels as low as 66 dBA. The Infinity quiet operation is due to Carrier’s exclusive Silencer System II™ system, which features a silencer top, integrated fan motor, forward-swept fan blades, compressor vibration isolator plate, sound hood, and split-post compressor grommets to help deliver quiet operation by maximizing airflow and minimizing vibration.

Lennox Intl. Inc. showed a variety of home control products and a Lennox® Ductless Mini-Split air conditioner and heat pump line. The company touts the line as a perfect solution for areas where traditional systems and ductwork aren’t feasible. Using one hole in one wall, the installation is fast and easy for contractors. The heat pump product boasts up to 22 SEER and 10.2 HSPF, using efficient inverter technology in all models. Lennox also plans to offer training and technical support for the mini-split line.

Publication date: 3/10/2014 

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