International Builders Show features gigantic exhibit hall, seminars, home tours

Feb. 8, 2002 (Inman News Features) - Three tractor trailers hauling 180,000 pounds of paper reportedly have been driven this week from the National Association of Home Builders? headquarters in Washington, D.C., to Atlanta for the 2002 International Builders Show to be held Friday through Monday at the Georgia World Congress Center.

More than 70,000 building industry pros from more than 100 countries are expected to attend the massive event, which includes a 1 million-square-foot exhibit hall, more than 185 educational seminars and two special house tours, according to the builders? association.

More than a thousand building products vendors are expected to exhibit a vast array of home-related products, including home automation and computing devices, energy-efficient appliances, construction materials, lumber products, building products, cabinetry and counter top products, door, window, wall and flooring products, building accessories, architectural plans, home elevators, home building tools and equipment, and lighting systems.

One educational session of particular interest will be a panel discussion on liability insurance coverage for builders to be held on Friday. Legal and real estate experts will explore strategies to help builders cope with the current trend toward more costly and restrictive liability insurance policies. The panel will be chaired by senior attorneys from Cox, Castle & Nicholson.

Show attendees will have an opportunity to tour this year?s model new American home, located approximately 20 minutes from downtown Atlanta. The 6,400-square-foot, tri-level residence spotlights innovative home products and home-building technologies and is the 19th in a series of show homes that have been built in conjunction with the builders? association?s annual convention.

The home is valued at more than $1.3 million and contains architectural features inspired by Georgia country houses and Caribbean estates and plantations. Features of the four-bedroom, five-and-one-half-bathroom home include a rotunda and entrance hall, a spacious private homeowner?s suite, a carriage house, a waterfall swimming pool and hot tub, a sunset terrace, two fireplaces, a children?s loft, an exercise room, a gourmet kitchen, a sauna and an indoor/outdoor tea room.

Construction of the home was sponsored by the National Council of the Housing Industry, the association?s national organization for building product manufacturers and suppliers and BUILDER magazine. The architect was Melanie Taylor of New Haven, Conn. The builder was Michelle Horstemeyer of John Wieland Homes & Neighborhoods and the interior designer was Jillian Pritchard, president of JP Ltd.

The builders? association said the home meets U.S. Department of Energy standards for highly energy-efficient design. The home reportedly uses 58 percent less energy for cooling than other homes of comparable size use and includes a number of innovative energy-efficient and environmentally sensitive design features.

The main-level living area of the home is designed to accommodate a physically challenged person in or out of a wheelchair.

Another highlight of the show will be the construction of five Habitat for Humanity homes in the convention center?s parking lot. The homes will be delivered to five sites in the Atlanta area, where they will be placed on foundations, then completed and occupied by new homeowners. Habitat founder Millard Fuller and former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp are expected to attend a ceremony on Saturday to dedicate the homes and commemorate Habitat?s 25th year in building affordable housing.

Organizers said the show will pump an estimated $115 million into Atlanta?s economy. Attendees are expected to book more than 50,000 total room nights in 20,000 hotel rooms in nearly 100 hotels.

The home builders? association will hold its board of directors? meetings in conjunction with the industry events.