Seven problems. Seven products.

The building industry’s biggest show was full of problem solvers.

In one corner of the Las Vegas Convention Center parking lot during the 2023 International Builders’ Show, a boxy, two-story house rose above the pavement. It was a shining symbol of a potential solution to a major industry and societal problem.

Boxabl, as seen in Las Vegas.

“That is how we solve the national housing crisis,” Palo Tiramani, CEO of Las Vegas-based Boxabl, told the local Fox 5 news crew shooting on location from the Builders’ show.

Whether or not Boxabl succeeds in disrupting the building industry (who remembers Katerra?), its ambition and innovation are to be commended.  Around the Lass Vegas Convention Center, the  vast majority of the booths and exhibits were tackling what might be considered more realistic and specific problems faced by homebuilders and homeowners. 

Here are some of those specific problems and solutions.


Problem: Labor constraints, weather damage
Solution: Georgia-Pacific ForceField System

The Weather resistive panels and single-step installation mitigates the problem of labor shortages. It’s a one-person job, not a four-person job. The integrated WRB/AB requires fewer layers to achieve the same benefits as a traditional WRB product—it dries in faster, saving time, too. The entire system is design for compatibility with a System Warranty, which equals accountability from one manufacturer. Solves the problem of communicating with multiple companies. There’s one tape product needed to complete the system - one and done. Solves the problem of multiple products. 

Problem: Code compliance, vapor infiltration
Solution: Huber Engineered WoodsZIP System Rainscreen

Here’s the newest product option in the ever-evolving ZIP System Building Enclosures portfolio of products. Available where ZIP System products are sold, the Rainscreen (the black barrier photographed here) helps builders streamline their approaches to high-performance water, air, vapor and thermal management.

Engineered to help meet new code-required 3/16” air gap requirements in stucco and adhered stone assemblies, ZIP System Rainscreen consists of a rigid drainage mat covered by a heavy-duty fabric that has been approved as a secondary water-resistive barrier, which is also required for “absorptive” or “reservoir” cladding assemblies.

Combining the high compression strength of the 1/4” drainage mat with the 5-7-perm WRB layer strikes an excellent balance of durability and effective moisture management for various cladding systems. 

Problem: Drought, water conservation, brown lawns
Solution: The HydroLogic Digital Water Timer

This smart-watering solution from Melnor offers home owners flexibility and control over their lawn maintenance schedule. The timer insures that watering is regular, and it also prevents wasting water with a  handy rain-delay feature, which easily allows for suspension of  watering watering for a day or two (or even a week) when precipitation is in the forecast. 

Other features: A Manual mode allows homeowners to turn on the water whenever they need it. Set up to four individual start times to schedule watering exactly when they want. Water on specific days of the week or every few days.  Melnor, founded in 1946, backs the product with a seven-year limited warranty.

Problem: drywall damage
Solution: Eclipse Rapid Wall Repair Patches

Whether the damage is small from a picture frame nail or anchor or as large as doorknob damage, DAP’s new innovative Eclipse Rapid Wall Repair Patches make completing repairs so easy and fast, anyone can repair drywall damage in minutes.

Developed to solve the most frequent drywall repair frustrations faced by professionals and do-it-yourselfers, Eclipse is a specially formulated all-in-one drywall repair solution that requires no spackling, sanding or additional tools for a completely mess-free repair – simply patch the damage and it’s ready to paint immediately, allowing projects to be finished in minutes, not hours or days.

Problem: ‘Fishmouths’ and the ‘reverse overlap’ problem.
Solution: Benjamin Obdyke’s HydroTape DS

This new product is an acrylic-based double-sided sealing tape for used with mechanically fastened housewrap. Opting to use a double-sided tape for housewrap seams helps eliminate many of the issues and failure points of conventional seam tapes. In standard applications, traditional seam tapes that adhere to the surface of housewrap or to sheathing with integrated weather barriers can create a reverse overlap; in these cases, if the tape wrinkles or lacks sealing pressure, it can impede water drainage and create “fishmouths” that trap moisture.

Benjamin Obdyke’s new HydroTape DS ¾” double-sided tape installs between the housewrap layers, adhering to the undersides of each layer where they overlap. The result is a tape that helps prevent blow-off during installation yet doesn’t interrupt moisture drainage or capture bulk water. The tape’s acrylic adhesive is vapor permeable, ensuring any trapped moisture dries to the exterior. The adhesive also seals around fasteners to reduce air infiltration at penetration points.

Problem: Indoor air quality control
Solution: Overture Automated Indoor Air Quality System by Broan-NuTone

Indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside. For this, the engineers at Broan-NuTone have created Overture, described as the only fully-integrated indoor air quality system that links the home’s ventilation system by using three simple modules: a room sensor, wall control and a smart plug, all three working together.

With the system, a ‘Best Indoor Product” award-winner at IBS, home owners can monitor, measure and manage their indoor air quality. Sophisticated sensor technology provides live detection of air pollutants and a cloud-based system automatically turns on your connected home ventilation system to clear the pollution and provide fresh, clean air to the home.

There’s No external hub or additional equipment are needed to get Overture up and running with the Broan-NuTone ventilation systems in the home.

Problems: Heavy materials; fire, hail and hurricanes
Solution: Westlake Royal Building Products’ Unified Steel Stone Coated Roofing

Energy efficiency and a class-A fire rating are among the benefits of Unified Steel Stone Coated Roofing (formerly known as Boral Steel), which offers a lightweight retrofit roofing solution. The structural strength of steel provides durability, performance and weather resistance. The stone coated roofing line weighs in at an ultra-lightweight 1.5 pounds-per-square-foot.

The line offers five distinct profiles, emulating the look of traditional shingle, clay tile, cedar shake or slate, to enhance the curb appeal and value of any home.

When paired with Above Sheathing Ventilation (ASV), Unified Steel provides enhanced energy efficiency performance, ultimately lowering long-term energy bills.

All Unified Steel products are Class 4 rated for Hail Impact Resistance, offer a Class A Fire Rating and are Hurricane Performance Rated with Miami-Dade County HVHZ Approval – the most stringent hurricane resistance standard in the country.

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