By Keat Foong, Executive Editor
Orlando, Fla.—Multifamily developers, owners and operators received a building products tour tailored especially for them at the recent 2012 NAHB International Builders Show (IBS). The guided trip to booths located on the vast IBS convention show floor was organized for the first time by NAHB.
The purpose of the expedition is to view products that are specifically of interest to multifamily developers, said Manny Gonzalez, principal of KTGY Group Inc. “The convention floor could be overwhelming,” he added. Gonzalez had advised NAHB Multifamily in identifying companies to be included on the route. He said another goal of the tour was to present a broad selection of product categories, from wall assembly to ventilation to flooring. Developers need to keep up with new products developments also because of fast-changing technology in most product categories today, Gonzalez added.
The companies that were included in the two-hour tour were: Panasonic Home and Environment, James Hardie Building Products, Lousiana-Pacific Corp., Mohawk Industries, Schlage Lock/Ingersoll Rand Residential Solutions, Leviton, Icynene Inc. and Ply Gem Windows and Doors.
Mohawk presented its line of stain-resistant carpet that was shown on video to be resistant even to droppings and stains caused by a huge hippopotamus. The Smartstrand Trixta carpet, which could be steamed cleaned without the need for detergent, is the first fiber innovation in the multifamily channel segment in over 50 years, according to Mohawk.
The fiber combines the durability of nylon with permanent, built-in stain- and soil-resistance, according to the company. “Smartstrand proved to be the fastest growing carpet in multifamily history,” the company stated.
Other products examined by tour attendees included James Hardie’s ultra-contemporary line of fiber cement panels; Panasonic’s high-performance verticle and horizontal mounted ventilation units that meet Energy Star, LEED and CalGreen standards; and Lousiana Pacific’s labor saving one-piece sheathing for use in roof and wall constructions.
One of the attendees was James B. O’Malley, owner of O’Malley Development LLC. O’Malley said another benefit of following such a tour was to stop at booths that he may not otherwise have visited. O’Malley, a land developer, is currently involved in developing a 216-unit multifamily project in the mixed use Tyler’s Ridge at Sandhills in Southern Pines, N.C.