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Dispatch from Design and Construction Week, Las Vegas

The second annual Las Vegas Design and Construction Week took place in mid-January, with thousands of exhibitors and tens of thousands of participants flocking to Sin City for five interrelated trade shows: the 2015 NAHB International Builders' Show (IBS), the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), Las Vegas Market, The International Surfaces Event (TISE), and the International Window Coverings Expo. 

Exhibitors from all corners of the design and construction industries showed off their new product releases.  Home automation products that can be monitored or controlled by smart phone featured prominently, as did retrofit products that enable consumers to capture energy, water and other resource savings without undertaking a complete home remodel.  We also saw innovative new products that promise to reduce construction time and cost, and deliver a tighter, more energy efficient building envelope.

Here's a sampling of what was new and exciting at IBS and KBIS last month:

Broan debuted its new Sensonic bathroom fan at IBS, which delivers high quality audio inside a quiet ENERGY STAR bathroom fan, wirelessly controlled through a Bluetooth-enabled device.  A retrofit kit is available for music fans who already own a Broan QT Series fan.

Broan's Sensonic bathroom fan plays audio from any connected Bluetooth device.

Broan's Sensonic bathroom fan plays audio from any connected Bluetooth device.

The "connected home" was a prominent theme at KBIS as well.  Dacor showed its new Discovery IQ range and ovens, which consumers can control using a smart phone or wireless device.  Imagine preheating the oven on your commute home from work, or setting the appliance to send an alert to your smart phone when its integrated meat thermometer determines that dinner is ready! 

Dacor's Discovery IQ range can be accessed remotely and includes the convenience of pre-programmed recipes. 

Dacor's Discovery IQ range can be accessed remotely and includes the convenience of pre-programmed recipes. 

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Dacor launched an additional innovative upgrade to its appliance lineup.  Using its new DacorMatch system, the company will create custom colored appliances from a paint chip, fabric swatch or Pantone color code.

The DacorMatch system creates custom-colored appliances from pantone colors or paint swatches.

The DacorMatch system creates custom-colored appliances from pantone colors or paint swatches.

The show had no shortage of products for retrofit applications, many of which can be installed by experienced do-it-yourselfers.  Taco, a leading manufacturer of hot water plumbing products, launched its Hot-Link System at IBS.  With a simple valve installed underneath a sink and the Hot-Link circulator pump installed at the hot water tank, retrofitters can have instant hot water and capture the water-saving advantages of a structured plumbing system without undertaking a major renovation.

Taco's Hot-Link System gives homeowners the benefits of a structured plumbing system without the need for a major renovation.

Taco's Hot-Link System gives homeowners the benefits of a structured plumbing system without the need for a major renovation.

Reengineered to comply with ENERGY STAR's upcoming greater energy efficiency requirement, Panasonic revamped its WhisperFit remodeler bathroom fan with several additional features that will make it more flexible (e.g., variable fan speed controls) and easier for a do-it-yourselfer to install when it becomes available this year (including a simplified three-step process using its Flex-Z Fast bracket, which makes it easy to install the fan from below an existing ceiling). 

Panasonic's redesigned WhisperFit fan uses a simple three-step process to replace a bathroom fan from below the ceiling.

Panasonic's redesigned WhisperFit fan uses a simple three-step process to replace a bathroom fan from below the ceiling.

CertainTeed Insulation has a new open cell spray foam insulation, CertaSpray X, with an integrated ignition barrier.  Applied in a single step process, CertaSpray facilitates an airtight building envelope in less time and at a lower cost.

CertaSpray X spray foam insulation with integrated ignition barrier uses a single step application process to save time and cost.

CertaSpray X spray foam insulation with integrated ignition barrier uses a single step application process to save time and cost.

Huber Engineered Woods has its own new product launch intended to create an air tight and water tight building envelope.  Unveiled at IBS, flexible ZIP System Stretch Tape makes it easy to air seal around curves and other tight spots where flashing is required.

ZIP System Stretch Tape creates an airtight and water tight seal around curves and other hard-to-reach areas.

ZIP System Stretch Tape creates an airtight and water tight seal around curves and other hard-to-reach areas.

We saw many other interesting products make their debut at IBS/KBIS.  There's seems to be no shortage of innovation in the design and building industry!

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