Not that any Oklahoman needed an excuse last week to flee the state’s near-zero temperatures and spend a few days in Las Vegas, but state homebuilders had a good reason.
More than 400 builders, tradespeople and others in the residential construction business attended the International Builders Show Feb. 4-6 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
They were among some 75,000 people from across the country who attended the show, which was held in conjunction with the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show for the first time as part of the new Design & Construction Week.
In addition to attending classes, they descended upon hundreds of thousands of square feet of product displays, workshops and demonstrations from manufacturers and suppliers from around the world.
Oklahoma’s delegation to the co-located exhibitions — a joint production of the National Association of Home Builders and the National Kitchen & Bath Association — doubled last year’s, said Mike Means, executive vice president of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association.
Walking the convention floor for three days, Means said he was “amazed” by the show’s scope, covering “anything and everything that you see in your house, from windows to bricks to the tiniest little fastener.”
Mike Gilles of Edmond, a builder and founder of Savannah Homes, attended not only to take in the latest products and design ideas, but also to conduct a “very well-attended” class in geothermal technology.
“It was our best show in a long time,” Gilles said.
Gilles said he was impressed by a new generation of solar-powered water heaters that he found particularly applicable to Oklahoma homeowners.
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