Innovations at International Builders Show - Day 2

Observations today relate to environmental impacts of building products

1. Only a few exhibitors had booth signage proclaiming, "sustainable" or "green". This is not to say they are not promoting green products -- energy and water conserving products were there in abundance. But the market, at least the home builder market, is no longer painting itself green. Few booths had signage tauting recycled material content, VOCs, LEED, or other green buzz words. It is just a part of regular business now.

2. Not withstanding the above, IBS and the co-located Kitchen and Bath Industry Show are full of signs of conspicuous consumption. 12-tall doors. Shower drains that automatically light-up with colored LEDs when wet. Ironing boards and irons with digital controls -- for $3000. And more. Or, in the spirit of excess, more and more and more...

3. Many foreign manufactures were at the show testing the market or introducing products. I was shocked, however, that several of them would not disclose ingredients in even general ways. A Polish company, for example, has an innovative dry-stack masonry system made from perlite and binders. Other than saying that it did not contain portland cement, they would not disclose anything about the binder. There reluctance to disclose will hinder their introduction at a time when the US construction industry is increasingly asking for transparency.