news - February 2021
Highlights From the International Builders’ Show
Some noteworthy products and technologies from the leading builders event.
By Doug Weinstein
LAST WEEK’S INTERNATIONAL BUILDERS’ SHOW® Virtual Experience (IBSx), the premier annual residential housing and commercial construction trade event had a little bit of everything you come to expect from the yearly event. Here are three products that caught my eye:
With this week’s winter story that’s packing a wallop, this is pretty timely to talk about the most energy-efficient floor heating solution available – the STEP Warmfloor. The flat, flexible polymer heating element is made of a semi-conductive polyethylene, which distributes heat safely, evenly and efficiently. It can be installed directly underneath all types of flooring including natural stone, ceramic and porcelain tiles, hardwood and laminates, and carpet. A LEED and Energy Star compliant heating solution, STEP Warmfloor boasts a 40-60 percent reduction in energy consumption, compared to other heating options for a cleaner, greener, and more cost-effective alternative to forced heat. Available for residential and commercial properties, STEP Warmfloor is comprised of radiant heating mats that can be used in new construction, remodeling, and retrofit applications, alike.
Here's what really caught my eye though - STEP Warmfloor can be used as the primary home heating source. It's also a healthy alternative to forced heat systems because it does not transport allergens and dust, making it the ideal solution for those that suffer from asthma and allergies.
The Easy-Slide Operator – Pella’s innovative, new hardware solution – was named winner of the Best Window and Door Product category at IBS 2021.
The recently launched hardware solution allows homeowners to open and close casement and awning windows by easily sliding the operator up to open and down to close the window, offering a much smoother operation and enhanced user experience.
With more than two years of design development and consumer testing, Pella refined the Easy-Slide Operator to make the mechanism simple, smooth and durable. The Easy-Slide Operator has been tested to 20,000 cycles, which is the equivalent of opening your windows once per day for 54 years. The revolutionary window hardware was developed based on Universal Design Principles and is designed to be a solution for all people, regardless of their age or physical ability.
The Easy-Slide Operator is currently available on Pella Impervia fiberglass casement and awning windows. The company plans to expand the availability of Easy-Slide Operator to additional product lines in late 2021.
Across the United States, Schneider Electric is offering solutions that focus on the four key areas: providing best in class safety and protection, creating an enhanced lifestyle with connectivity, incorporating AI and machine learning, and embracing modern aesthetics and modular designs. These solutions include:
Square D Energy Center – A more resilient, efficient and aesthetic all-in-one home energy system designed for smart homes offering personalized digital control over residential energy use.
- Addresses changing building regulations, including California’s Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, requiring solar as part of all new home construction.
- Integrates an array of smart home technology, including whole-home surge protection, EV connectivity, Qwik-Connect solar inverter, backup interface module, backup-ready panel, and more.
Wiser Home Energy Monitor – A connected solution integrated into the home's electrical panel providing real-time information to optimize home energy usage and track savings.
- Enhanced monitoring and control of residential energy use through a single app.
- Updates and alerts to track energy use for all electrical devices across the home.
Square D Wiring Devices – High-performing, multi-tasking, connected light switches, dimmers, outlets and combination devices that can control room lighting and monitor energy.
- Embedded sensors monitor energy consumption down to the switch level, offering greater insight to optimize residential energy use.
- Classic functionality available in a wide range of colors to enhance the aesthetics of any home, easy to install and compatible with Alexa and Google Home for voice activation.