Learning, Implementing New Ideas

During the second week of January, thousands of trade professionals will step foot onto the Orlando Convention Center floor for the 2011 International Builders’ Show. They will learn new skills, check out new products, and meet with new and old colleagues.

I enjoy meeting with builders and asking what they’ve seen or heard at the show that excites them. It’s always interesting to hear the array of things they bring up. And it’s fun to see how excited they get about new ideas, practices and products.

In this issue’s cover story (pg. 12), Ben Mulder, designer and principal of 4D Architects, Kirkland, Wash., praised his clients for allowing him to do something new. In his words, he used an aggressive architecture that some clients would not be open to. By taking a look at the cover of this magazine, you can see what he’s talking about.

“They allowed me to design a roof so it shed snow away from where they don’t want it,” Mulder says. But the roof doesn’t simply shed snow away; it makes a statement.

Mulder had the opportunity to do something creative and “aggressive” because his clients were open to it. But not everyone gets that opportunity. Luis Jauregui, AIA, touches on this in his column this month (pg. 6). “How do you help your client visualize a solution that hasn’t been done before? From discussions with the client to presentation of drawings and 3-D models, sometimes it comes down to trust and confidence held by the owner for the work and reputations of the professionals he chose for these same reasons,” Jauregui writes.

During IBS, you will most likely come across new ideas you will want to implement with your clients. Isn’t that exactly the reason you attend the show?

There are many industry awards that recognize innovative building and design practices, including RD+B’s Excellence Awards. On Fri., Jan. 14 at IBS, Rob Heselbarth, editorial director of the magazine, will recognize some of our Excellence Award winners during lunch at the Custom Builder Symposium. If you’re planning to attend the show, consider spending your Friday with Excellence Award winners. Maybe you’ll come away with new, exciting ideas from your peers.

Here’s to a successful 2011!