The Belgard team once again hit the first quarter trade show circuit to keep a finger on the pulse of industry innovations, needs and design trends. Below are some of key takeaways and insights from the first quarter shows that have the most impact on the hardscapes industry.
INTERNATIONAL ROOFING EXPO
Breaking the previous attendance record, IRE 2020 was the biggest roofing show to date with over 17,000 attendees at the February event held in Dallas. Key takeaways from the show included:
High Wind Uplift Resistance: There was a noticeable increase in awareness and requirements for high wind uplift resistance systems for rooftop applications. Attendees to the Westile® booth were encouraged to learn about the multiple rooftop paver systems that the Belgard commercial team offers to address this need.
Retrofitting Solutions: Looking for efficiencies, more companies want to expand usable space by converting rooftops into plazas and terraces versus expanding the building footprint. A lot of interest was shown in pedestal systems that allowed for retrofitting a rooftop, even with an uneven or sloped surface. Booth visitors were also intrigued by the aluminum joist and pedestal systems that would allow the use of plank applications.
Multiple Aesthetic Options: Whether new construction or a retrofit project, builders were looking for more design choices and were drawn to the variety of aesthetic options for rooftop pavers including wood pavers, concrete slabs, stone-textured concrete pavers, and the multiple styles of contemporary porcelain pavers—which are available in various interpretations of wood and stone.
NAHB INTERNATIONAL BUILDERS' SHOW The largest homebuilder show in the country, IBS 2020 was held in Las Vegas in January and showcased the latest innovations for the residential construction market. Some trends noted at the show include:
Upgraded Outdoor Living: This continues to become the norm in new construction, particularly with custom homes and upscale developments. Visitors to the Belgard booth showed particular interest in stone grill islands and linear outdoor fireplaces, which builders could include in upgrade packages for homebuyers.
Interesting Applications of Porcelain Pavers: Porcelain pavers continue to grow in popularity. They offer an upscale look that’s stain resistant, skid resistant and virtually maintenance free. Contemporary styles mimic interior design trends, allowing for seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor living environments, which is a huge trend. Booth visitors were particularly drawn to their use for design accents like water features and countertops, allowing for fully cohesive outdoor designs that complement the paver field.
Whole Backyard Solutions: Builders are seeking efficiencies and liked that Belgard works in tandem with sister companies like MoistureShield® composite decking to offer whole backyard solutions that can include a porch, patio, outdoor kitchen, and fire and water features. They were also impressed by how MoistureShield’s CoolDeck® Technology reduces heat transfer by up to 35%.
Labor Saving Options: With a labor shortage still plaguing the construction industry, builders came to the show looking for technologies and innovations that could reduce manhours. Products like Tandem® Modular Block and Weston® Stone Outdoor Living Kits drew a lot of attention for their ability to drastically reduce hardscape installation time.
Biophilic Design Elements: A major theme noticed at the show was an uptick in biophilic design elements (or natural elements and textures) woven into both indoor and outdoor designs.
Outward Migration of Trends: Popular colors and styles for interior spaces one year seem to make their way to the outdoor spaces the next. For example, the modern farmhouse trends of natural timbers and stone accents were more prevalent as interior design elements at last year’s show but were more prevalent for exterior use at this year’s show.