Held last week, the IBS (Intl. Builders Show) was a bevy of announcements that set the stage for where the residential construction market is headed in 2018 and beyond. Here are some of the top announcements and trends discussed at the show.

AR vs. VR
Paul Cardis, founder, Avid Ratings, www.avidratings.com, Madison, Wis., declares VR (virtual reality) is dead. He believes the future will center around AR (augmented reality), as mobile devices will be able to change and visualize options.

AI Is Hot
Multiple technology companies are unveiling new AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities. Hyphen Solutions, www.hyphensolutions.com, Dallas, Texas, is one such company. Felix Vasquez, CEO, Hyphen Solutions, says there are a number of trends in the industry today that are driving the need for this, which includes construction cycles changing due to weather, the labor shortage, the need to consider trade capacity, and jobsite readiness.

“Technology should be available and near,” he explains in order to help builders address the challenges that currently face the construction industry today.

The company also built an alliance with Acumatica, www.acumatica.com, Bellevue, Wash., to offer collaboration for building suppliers and manufacturers.

Smart Neighborhood
The Smart Neighborhood in Alabama was center stage at the show. It is a community of 62 homes equipped with emerging energy-efficient technologies, materials, and appliances, all connected to the Southeast’s first community-scale microgrid. Data gathered provides insights into how neighborhoods of the future will function.

Builder Announcements
Meritage Homes, www.meritagehomes.com, Phoenix, Ariz., made a few big announcements from the show. The first was a renewable living home in Orlando that has renewable energy sources and sustainable building materials. The second is a partnership with iDevices, www.idevicesinc.com, Avon, Conn., for smart-home solutions. With this, it will provide automation and home control to all M.Connected Homes built in 2018.

These are just a few of the hot topics and highlights from the show room floor, and will impact how the residential construction industry does business in the year ahead.

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