It’s a rare opportunity for us to experience a home and building industry trade show right in our back yard, so when the moment arises, we take advantage. This year the K&A team made the trek to AIA Atlanta, the American Institute of Architects Conference held at the Georgia World Congress Center, May 14-16. Here are our observations:
From oversized windows to large sliding door systems, manufacturers are showcasing new products that provide homeowners with the ability to take advantage of beautiful views.
For example, Marvin Windows and Doors’ Scenic Door collection, featuring the new Ultimate Multi-Slide, Ultimate Lift and Slide and Bi-Fold Doors, takes the concept of Built Around You® literally. The Ultimate Lift and Slide Door is available in a range of configurations, and allows for a smooth transition between interior and exterior rooms.
Weather Shield’s new Contemporary line of windows and doors features a slim-line appearance and more glass exposure to maximize viewing. Select window designs include the 90-degree corner window and casement and awning window. Door styles include bi-fold doors and sliding doors. All are available in a multitude of interior wood finishes and exterior colors.
Kolbe Windows and Doors’ new VistaLuxe® collection was collaboratively developed with architects. With its clean lines and large expanses of glass, VistaLuxe can be customized to fit a home’s distinct style. Each product has an extruded aluminum exterior, which allows for low-maintenance and durability, while the beautiful wood interior offers a contemporary feel.
Weiland by Anderson is also at the forefront of designing expansive windows and doors. Their Liftslide door takes indoor-outdoor living to the next level by providing a seamless transition between interior and exterior spaces. The Liftslide door has been tested and rated for optimal air, water and structural performance.
My key takeaway from AIA Atlanta is that architects are driven by differentiation—they’re looking for products that will help their designs stand out.
For example, Big Ass Fans showcased their new product, Haiku® with SenseME™ technology. This three-blade fan actually senses when people enter or leave a room and turns on or off accordingly. The same technology can monitor a room’s temperature and humidity in order to adjust fan speed.
Another noteworthy product at AIA Atlanta was the TechTop wireless charging surface by LG Hausys. With its embedded surface technology, it enables a mobile phone to charge without cables or outlets. Some phones need adapters, but LG is collaborating with manufacturers to broaden device compatibility.
My biggest observation from AIA Atlanta was the inclusion of Millennials. A lot of the booths and exhibits I saw seemed to be targeting a younger generation. Also this year, the AIA Center for Emerging Professionals and the American Institute of Architecture Students hosted Emerging Professionals: Make Your Mark—a booth that encouraged young architects to sketch the world they want to see on blank wall panels.
My takeaway from AIA Atlanta was its emphasis on vibrant colors. A lot of exhibitors seemed to have brightly colored products on display. For example, Feeney, Inc. had their Express Yourself by Feeney line of DesignRail® aluminum railings, giving homeowners and designers a vivid palette of dramatic hues, in addition to traditional colors like black, bronze and white.
Vibrant colors were also on display for building exteriors. Swisspearl®, a leading manufacturer of cement composite facade systems, offers a line of sustainable products made of natural materials in a wide range of finishes and colors, with special fabrication, perforations, textures, engravings or other surface treatments available.
PPG Industries is one of the world’s leading coatings companies, and has developed The Voice of Color® program to address their customers’ inherent attraction to color and its effect on emotions. The Voice of Color system has over 2,000 color palettes, including the Frank Lloyd Wright™-branded Fallingwater® and Taliesin™ palettes featuring the nature-inspired colors from Wright’s Fallingwater home in Mill Run, Penn., and the original palette of 36 hues compiled by Wright in 1955.