Washington D.C. – AIA Convention

The expo floor was pretty huge. I heard there were over 4,ooo booths. I heard a man tried to get from one side to the other, but died of thirst just 10 booths away from the lo-flo showerheads. I heard by the third day, two factions had formed, built castles out of materials samples, and were fighting with nail guns. I heard a man was able to transmute a great sigil of power from all of the free pens, tote bags and coasters, but was silenced by the cloaked triumvirate known only as the “AIA”. I heard I should get on with this if I don’t want to be up until 2:30am again.

That’s part of the expo floor up there. Before the war came, of course.

Those are Interlam Panels, which were popular with people looking for a background for their next facebook portrait.

These are the same glass panels as above. As you can see, there were different colors visible from different angles. They also had a mirror behind them, so when you came to look more closely, your shadow made them shimmer. They have a bunch of other nifty panels, including (I hear tell) holographic panels. I don’t really know what you use them for. Bar fronts, maybe.

If you’re tired of looking out over a shingled porch roof and fancy something a bit greener, LiveRoof may work for you. They come in 2 sizes and can (supposedly) be put on a 40 degree slope. You’ll need a new trim detail about the edges, and probably some more structure to be safe.

As far as fake wood goes, Resysta is fairly impressive. Other composites feel more like plastic than wood, and the “grain” is pretty clearly the result of abrasives. This stuff is rice-based, so the grain and feel are both more authentic. In fact, the brochure touts it as “The Better Wood”. Unless you need it to span more than 16″.

Those who are looking for huge fans will find this site to be very useful. Those who are looking for the facebook fan page for, well, let’s just say I was disappointed.

Ever see these guys live? They’ll blow your mind.

OK, so this picture sucks, but let me tell you what it is first. It’s a frosted glass pane that also works as a whiteboard. You can also use it as a touchscreen, when it is receiving an image from a projector. And, you can flick a switch and it becomes a clear window. You can’t afford it.

There are many giveaways at the convention, but none as good as this one. Sure, you have to take a long-ass survey, but it was worth it.

If I had any need for feminine hygiene products, I’d want to get them from a cheerful robot, crying a single golden tear.

My vote for best booth goes to the Richlite booth. Richlite is a paperstone product. The booth showed the versatility of the product, using it for both structural and finish applications, and there were also guitars and alcohol.

Paperstone is made from resin-impregnated layers of colored paper, fused through heat. The resulting product has structural characteristics that are similar to plywood, but is far more water resistant. You can use it for countertops, rain screens, wall panels, etc. I really like the edge condition here. Although, I hear that the stain resistance is not as good as other materials, so some empirical testing may be in order.

Believe it or not, there was architecture to be seen outside of the convention center as well. I took some pictures of this brick detail featured on several houses in the area around the convention center. This neighborhood may or may not be called Truxton Circle. Anyway, check out the above detail. The chamfered corner steps back out up at the roof line in a cool geometric pattern. Here’s a similar detail on a different house:

I like this detail better for two reasons. I have to assume the brick is structural, not a veneer, due to the age of the houses, otherwise, anything goes. First, in both cases, the structure is integrated into the form of the house.  The chamfered corner allows for the appealing bit of detail at the exterior, and some definition to the space inside. What I like about the second detail, though, is that it “bumps” back out between floors. Where the top detail requires the floor framing to be cut into that chamfered corner, the bottom detail allows the floor to be framed square, which is easier to do. Not to mention that you get double the dose of the corbeling detail, which is just gravy.

So that’s it for the Expo. There was way more there than I could fit into here, but I think I managed to hit some of the highlights. If you were there and I missed something, let me know. Come back for D.C. wrap-up tomorrow, the vacation side of D.C. Spoiler alert: There are monuments.

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