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Global Changes in Construction: Our Insights from BAU

Posted by Amelia Keller in Blog, Insights, Takeaways on 02/13/2017

What happens when you bring together 250,000 people from around the world for six days in Munich, Germany?

Ideas are exchanged.

Best practices are shared.

Deeper levels of understanding are reached.

That was, in a nutshell, BAU 2017, the world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems with the 2,210 exhibitors from 45 countries. More than 80,000 people had, like us, travelled overseas.

From our vantage point at the Kalwall® exhibit – our first time exhibiting at BAU (German for `construction’) – we could see how much the world beyond the borders of the United States is changing and this was a chance to see how architects, owners, contractors and other business people are responding to those changes.

Amelia Keller

Here are three key takeaways from BAU 2017 affecting daylighting and fenestration globally.

1. Safety and security is no longer just about airports and government buildings. The safety, security and privacy of guests at hotels, students at schools and employees at banks and high finance institutions are becoming harder to ensure. While airport administrators and government facilities have been working with Kalwall for years to find solutions to similar problems, it was interesting to see the volume of private business owners looking for similar answers.Kalwall’s specialty systems meet UFC 4-010-01 blast requirements and can, for example, provide an extra level of safety for guests in a hotel lobby from a car bombing in the street outside. The translucent panels also afford more privacy while providing museum-quality daylighting™ for interior spaces.

2. Canopies need to be rugged and resistant to pollution. Pollution and heat in certain regions of the world take their toll on canopies meant to provide shelter and shade, leaving architects and construction managers searching for alternatives to less durable polycarbonates.The ruggedness and capacity to resist fading in intense heat, along with its ability keep clean where pollution is a concern made Kalwall canopies an appealing option to business people in desert climates as well as industrial cities.

3. Energy is expensive and daylighting solutions are more important than ever. Technology was a dominant part of the conversation at BAU and a major reason why the world is seeking better ways to produce and store energy. I think my grandfather, Kalwall founder Robert R. Keller, would have been smiling. After all, energy efficiency was one of the reasons he developed his translucent sandwich panel in 1955.

Our technology, with its best in industry thermal and solar heat gain performance, was a conversation starter for business people concerned with the high cost of energy and the ways to be efficient. Renovations, in particular, present cladders the challenge of finding energy efficient solutions.

BAU 2017 was an opportunity to expose more people globally to the benefits of Kalwall. They came looking for the latest advancements, but some technology stands the test of time. This was re-affirmation of a technology we developed 62 years ago.