Despite a Recent Surge in COVID-19, the International Builders’ Show
Is Ready for a Comeback

By Drew Vass

“We’re back.”

That’s the signal officials promoted for the International Builders’ Show this year, after temporarily shifting to an online-only format (one that took a technical nosedive in its first attempts).

“[It’s] hard to say with what’s now happening,” said Matt Thomas, marketing manager for Nana Wall Systems Inc., of the expected turnout. “Most people I’ve spoken with were excited to see many of the people they see each [year at the] show, but now I’m hearing, ‘My plans may change.’”

In mid-December, officials for Plastpro said they were excited to show off the company’s newest products, though, “We expect a lesser attendance due to COVID-19, and we are always having second thoughts concerning the health and safety of our employees,” said marketing manager Blake Huang. By early January, the company reported it was pulling out.

Despite the circumstances, this year the event returns to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., where it looks to make a rebound. Approximately 18 door and window companies plan to exhibit—fewer than the 24 seen in pre-COVID years. Big names, such as Andersen, Jeld-Wen, Marvin and Sierra Pacific, are missing from this year’s list.

Show officials say they’re proceeding on current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Florida and local Orlando health authorities, further declaring, “We will continue to monitor their recommendations and will update relevant information as needed.”

All registered attendees are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within five days of attendance, including either a polymerase chain reaction (PCR, also referred to as diagnostic or molecular) test or a rapid antigen test. For those unwilling or unable to provide test results, show officials say proof of full vaccination will suffice. Per the CDC, U.S. residents are fully vaccinated if they have completed two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

A CDC vaccination card, or a photo, photocopy, or digital documentation of such a card, is acceptable, as are government issued vaccination records in English.

Everyone is required to wear a face mask when riding on an official show hotel shuttle and when indoors at the convention center, from the time of move-in through move-out, as well as at other show-related venues.

With those precautions in place, “We are somewhat concerned about the attendance at the show due to COVID-19, but hopeful we’ll see a huge turnout,” says Tae Lee, vice president of operations and co-founder of Copper Creek Hardware.

For those who plan on attending, following is a preview of what you can expect to see at the event.


Booth S828: Hope’s Windows

Hope’s Windows will show off its solid, hot-rolled steel and bronze door and window systems. Ahead of the event, the company debuted its Old World Suite, a new product with incredibly thin and elegant arrow-shaped steel frame profiles. The design represents a return to old world style (thus the name), but with the added benefit of more than 100 years of advancements in modern performance, officials say.

The product’s steel profiles closely resemble the three-point casement designs that were among its mainstays in the early 20th century. Recent iterations fill the need for historically accurate, high-performance replacement steel windows, including in restoration projects. According to company information, the design includes a proprietary Thermal Evolution technology.

Products in the Old World Suite offer extremely narrow sightlines, with the ability to accept monolithic or insulting glass for energy efficiency.

Booth W3152: Wizard Screen Solutions

For those looking to offer large format screens, Wizard Screen Solutions will provide a hands-on look at its custom retractable screen solutions. Officials say the company’s VistaView and Horizon screens offer door and window companies a chance to provide “best in class” solutions, with cutting edge designs in retractable screens and captured mesh. Horizon is available in sizes up to 42 feet wide, with a low profile, ½-inch bottom track, an auto stop feature and captured mesh.

A SmartScreen motorized product is available in select markets, where it’s designed to maximize the potential of outdoor living spaces with motorized

Booth W3600: Kolbe Windows and Doors

Officials for Kolbe say they will highlight the technology behind the Forgent Series of products. With a proprietary Glastra material, Forgent doors and windows are designed for strength, durability and energy efficiency. The company employs AccuForge, an innovative, miter joint technology that employs nip-welding for strong, airtight and watertight seams, along with a smooth, high-end finish.

Unique configurations will be on display, including a complementary sliding door with midnight interiors and exteriors, in a center-opening, four-wide unit and 7-foot-8-inch-tall panels. The unit is crowned with a head window including pine interiors in painted black.

A direct-set casement and awning display will show off products that combine to create floor-to-ceiling views, while a Forgent Series window with 7/8-inch performance divided lites shows two direct-set windows employed for views and ventilation.

Booth W4021: ODL

ODL plans to highlight two of its latest products at the show, including Celebration Doorglass, a handcrafted product that’s created by fusing clear glass with delicate pieces of colored glass. The result includes a one-of-a-kind piece of art, officials say, pushing the boundaries of decorative door glass. Celebration’s glass fusion process results in hues that blend together for unique textures in small residential door light applications.

The company will also display its Large Format Blink Blinds. Available in sizes of up to 8 ft. by 8 ft., the new oversized option for its Blink line features durable blinds between two lites of glass. The product’s jumbo format is designed for picture windows, large bath windows and expansive sliding and multi-panel sliding patio doors, where it’s ideal for maximizing natural light yet also capable of delivering privacy.

Booth W4847: NanaWall

Officials for NanaWall say Generation 4 Folding Glass Walls rely on the same design principle used by high-speed rail systems, via the two-point contact of a Gothic Arch Roller System, paired with advanced sills. As a result, officials say panels slide effortlessly and have been tested through over 20,000 operational cycles. Generation 4 also offers what the company claims are the slimmest frames in the industry, while minimizing exposed hardware.

Booth S1837 – Door and Window Market Magazine [DWM]

While at the show, swing by the booth to meet [DWM]’s editors and staff. While you’re at it, pick up a copy and spread the word about our latest special publication: [DWM] Builders’ Guide to Doors and Windows.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

DWM Magazine

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