Energy and Aesthetics: Key Focus Areas for AIA Exhibitors

Kawneer is just one of the many glass industry exhibitors taking part in the 2015 AIA Conference.

Kawneer is just one of the many glass industry exhibitors taking part in the 2015 AIA Conference.

Architects continue to be interested in energy performance and aesthetics. And for many exhibitors at the 2015 American Institute of Architects National Convention (AIA), the focus is on providing glazing solutions and options to meet those demands. The show is underway this week at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

Donnie Hunter with Kawneer Co. Inc., an Alcoa company, said thermal performance and security are topics that still drive conversations with architects. One way his company has approached these requests is through product solutions for the building.

“When you add all of the products together you can offer a solution package,” he said, speaking of the options available through Alcoa. “Owners are also driving toward a single source.”

Firestone Building Products is taking a similar approach. As Robert Anderson explained, the company has historically been known as a supplier of roofing materials. However, it’s been almost ten years since the company started its work with metal panels. This is part of the message Anderson said they are trying to convey.

“We are a building envelope solutions company,” he said, “and we’re providing the transition from roof to wall.”

Speaking of energy performance, Mike Turner with YKK AP said while architects still want to meet code requirements, “what we hear is not always what we’re seeing.” He explained that because the strongest codes are not required in all areas the highest performing products aren’t always the ones ultimately used.

While there are plenty of new products on the show floor to grab architects’ attention, John Stelter with HMI Cardinal said there’s also something he’s seen to be less appealing when it comes to aluminum framing.

“They’re not interested in colors. I had thought they’d embrace colors, but they’re going back to a clear finish,” he said. “They do still want to expand daylighting and the size of the glass is becoming bigger and bigger.”

Exhibitors also featured options that allow architects to be creative with their designs. Deborah Carpenter with Kuraray said the company has been seeing interest in their SentryGlas Expressions printed interlayers.

“You have the ability to print anything you want,” she said. “You could just print a custom color.”

Carpenter added that another feature that architects like is the design flexibility the product provides.

“They’re challenging the limits of what glass can do,” she said.

Exhibitors will continue to showcase their developments through tomorrow. Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for more news and videos from the show.

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