Editor’s Letter – Spring 2022

First Thoughts

The health benefits of performance homes.


Greetings. As the benefits of performance homes are realized – healthier interiors, resiliency from crazy weather patterns, lower energy costs – more consumers are asking for clean air, acoustically quiet interiors, intelligent lighting design and a lower carbon footprint. And the design-build industry is responding in kind.

We kick off this issue with a look at the recent International Builder’s Show (IBS) and Kitchen and Bath International Show (KBIS). Of importance was the universal messaging about resiliency and sustainability. Building materials designed to withstand the elements, especially fire retardant characteristics, were well represented on the show floor.

Sustainable packaging was also a big deal at the show, as Eric Schwartz captures in a timely article, and Sean O’Keefe visits with Electrolux who is a leader in energy-efficient appliances that make people’s lives better. The mindset from multiple manufacturers seems to be that you can achieve sustainable goals while also improving performance.

We profile Draper, a leader in commercial window shading products. Our visit to Draper’s impressive manufacturing campus in Spiceland, Indiana highlighted their lean manufacturing processes and the scale they bring to window treatments. Draper has entered the residential market with their shading products and brings just-in-time delivery and customization factors into play that systems integrators and designers will love.

Steve Panosian contributes a great article on lighting and how to coordinate design and automation. Bill Hensley explores the world of Modern Mill, a no-waste manufacturer of wood-like products made out of rice hulls from their base in Mississippi. And George McClure brings the Spirio from Steinway & Sons to life, as well as part two of his engaging interview with noted architect John Brittingham.

Rounding out our issue is a quick peek at an incredible technology from LG Display, the much vaunted rollable OLED TV screen. It rolls up when you want to watch the telly, and rolls down when not in use so your view is unobstructed. And Agostinho Costa talks about getting sound right, with a close-up look at Danish speaker design firm, DALI. These sound sculptures are not only beautiful works of art, but they perform magnificently and integrate cleanly into any space.

Finally, Josh Christian weighs in with his final thoughts on how architects, builders and designers can partner with qualified technology designers and rely on professional advice when it comes to addressing potential technology needs for new builds and major remodels. Getting in early not only saves money, but avoids wasted opportunities.

Let’s go see where technology meets design.

Technology Designer