by Ray Hicks, President, CO2Meter.com
On June 27 I attended the American Institute of Architects show at the McCormick in Chicago. It was a good show, with hundreds of exhibitors, and an interested group of attendees.
I say the audience was interested in the material because there were so many classes and lectures on a wide range of subjects like Green building management and regulations. And virtually every room was filled to capacity or standing-room only. This makes me believe this show will be around for a long time to come.
This is a material and hardware show, foundation to roof, institutional to residential. Amazing window wall systems. The products used to make and appoint “big bucks” houses and offices were all on display: stainless steel, carbon fiber and other exotic materials.
Surprisingly, building and home automation was not a big portion of this show. I believe this audience was looking to the overall efficiency of the buildings and whether they conformed to the California Title 24 requirements that are coming into effect and being adopted across the US.
For this audience - meeting LEED standards is assumed. They are accustomed to compliance, and using constantly changing tools to design and engineer to the constantly changing specifications and requirements. As a result, there were a large number of software companies with add-on packages for Autodesk, Solid Work, Sketch UP and Turbo Cad. In addition, there were many consulting engineering companies capable of modeling the dynamic performance of a building before and after retro-fit construction.
A sign that the Internet is so pervasive: one of the largest and smartest booths was MOPRO, a business website development company that offered architects a means to place their practice on the web and with a catalog of their work. Did I mention that their booth was packed? They turned off all their big screen sales presentations and put the US verses Germany World Cup game on. Very smart!