“US architecture billings index falls in April – AIA.”1 With headlines like these abounding in the marketplace, industry conventions like AIA’s provide an oasis of relief from a number of perspectives.
The first is that thousands of manufacturers, students, architects and industry influencers from around the world attended. The fact we all were there, in the face of these tough market conditions, is the first relief.
The second is that innovation is still alive and thriving in these challenging times. Kawneer itself was showcasing a number of new products and Alcoa Architectural Products, a sister company, made a big splash by launching their new EcoClean line.
Not only did Kawneer launch three new products – 1600 Ultra Thermal (UT) Curtain Wall System™, AA®250/425 Thermal Entrance Doors and Clearwall™ SB (Shear Block) Curtain Wall - at this show, we showcased products launched last year including Versoleil™ Single Blade Sunshade, Clearwall™ SS curtain wall, Trifab® 451UT (Ultra Thermal) framing, IR 501UT (Ultra Thermal) framing, and AA®3350 IsoPort™ Horizontal Sliding window.
Another major addition to the booth was the Traco products, which were showcased for the first time along with the Alcoa brand since the former’s acquisition by Alcoa. And it was not only us: a number of other glass and system manufacturers had some really good products to showcase. I was lucky enough to look at most of the exhibitors’ products and was enthused by the spirit of this industry to keep on improving and raising the bar.
The last sense of relief I had was from the fact that the architects, for whom we were there for in the first place, are still interested in innovative products; that can do more with less, reduce a building’s energy footprint, and still look distinctive enough to prove that the practice of architecture has maintained its artistic and scientific equilibrium. As we look ahead, Kawneer, Traco and Alcoa Architectural Products will continue to bring architects and glaziers more exciting products (which are going through the development pipeline as we speak) and will raise the bar again for the industry like we’ve been doing for more than 100 years.
I would like to hear your feedback on our new products and innovations.
1Reuters, May 18, 2011
Image1: EcoClean web page, click to enlarge image. Click here to view web page