A few thoughts and observations over the past few weeks that may be of interest to Industry.
Is their light at the end of the dreary economic tunnel? Judging from the response and feedback from architects attending the AIA Colorado show this past week there just may be. A good number of attendees who came by the BC Wood booth were optimistic that the worst of the downturn was behind them and that a slow return to sustained economic growth could be expected in 2011.
BC wood along with member companies, Fraserwood Industries, Structure Craft, Unison Windows, Linwood homes, and Structurlam participated in the 3 day event which draws approximately 500 + architects, engineers, builders and developers from across the State of Colorado. This was our second year participating and the general consensus was that a renewed sense of optimism and opportunity was felt this year as compared to last.
New BC Wood member, StructureCraft, participated for the first time and according to Mike Marshall of StructureCraft, they were happy with the number of high quality leads that were generated from the event. During the Friday night opening reception, the StructureCraft display was full of architects admiring the massive Paralam column and Glu-lam samples that were a hit in creating a buzz and drawing people into the booth. Many architects also recognized the photos of the innovative “wood wave” roofing design that was a feature highlight of the Richmond Speed Skating Oval shown across the world during the 2010 Olympics.
“All in all we had a very good show, and are happy with the high quality people that we met at the show. We now need to chase down the leads that we got at the event” commented Mike Marshall.
Other members were also happy with the event. Unison windows showcased a new line of custom windows featuring Accoya wood on the exterior and a new innovative exterior tilt and turn mechanism that is thought to be the first of its kind in North America. The response on the product was positive from both residential and commercial architects who especially liked the use of the Accoya wood in providing a design alternative to aluminum cladded product that is the current mainstay of the market. One architect working on the design of a new religious center is keen on using the windows on the project as it will provide a “complementary look to the heavy wood and stone design of the building”
Does the optimistic feel that was taken from the conference mean that the market is gradually returning to normal? Well, the opinions of the architectural community is usually a good measuring stick as they are one of the 1st professions involved in any significant residential, or commercial building project. So if the architect is generally optimistic, then that may be a good sign that there is indeed light at the end of the economic tunnel.
For a list of attendees at this year’s event or for more information, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.