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Keynote Address, Opening of Trade Show Mark Day Two of the 2024 IIBEC International Convention and Trade Show

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March 10, 2024

A keynote address from futurist Nikki Greenberg and the opening of the trade show were among the second-day highlights of the 2024 IIBEC International Convention and Trade Show, with education sessions and region meetings rounding out the day’s events.

During the morning general session, “Our Fragile World: Resilient Building Systems and Infrastructure Preparedness against Natural Disasters,” former Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Pete Gaynor divided his topic into four areas:

  • The importance of and problem with building codes
  • The importance of mitigation
  • The importance of insurance
  • Resources to explore

Gaynor relayed that his experience showed that when he used the words “building code” with owners, they would “see dollar signs.” But he added that the use of modern building codes is “one of the best ways to mitigate against natural disasters.”

To that end, Gaynor cited studies that showed adoption of the latest building codes saved $11 per $1 invested. On the subject of mitigation, Gaynor cited a study that showed that for every $1 invested, $6 is saved. On insurance, Gaynor stressed that resilience provides value, including the ability of homeowners to obtain insurance.

Two subsequent blocks of morning education sessions covered a breadth of topics: “A Deep Dive into Hail-Caused Dents,” “Conundrums in Stucco Codes and Standards,” “Mass Wall Construction and Repairs,” “A (not-so) Perfect Storm—Wind, OSB, and Low-Slope Roof Systems,” “Reviving the Concrete Giants: The Role of Structures as Building Enclosures,” and “Unmasking the Layers: A Journey through a Masonry Reclad Litigation Case Study.”

After the Foundations’ board met to set its agenda for the coming year, new Foundation Board Chair David Hawn received donation checks from several IIBEC chapters. Later that morning, region meetings included news from region directors about the latest IIBEC developments that affect regions and chapters.

The Opening Ceremony began with welcome remarks from IIBEC President Amy Peevey, who recapped the organization’s highlights from the past 12 months; comments from Second Vice President Chris Dawkins about the Foundations’ student sponsorships and a preview of the trade show and other upcoming convention events; and and an address from IIBEC Executive Vice President and CEO Brian Pallasch, who recognized past RCI/IIBEC presidents; IIBEC fellow; IIBEC chapter and committee participants; and IIBEC credential holders.

After a performance of native hoop dancing, futurist Nikki Greenberg delivered the keynote address, “Robotics, Moondust, and More.” Greenberg began by asking attendees to hold up the number of fingers that showed how many electronic devices they had. “Seems the humans are outnumbered by the machines,” she said. But rather than spin that as a negative, Greenberg insisted that “we’re living in the most exciting time in history,” underscored by the advent of artificial intelligence (AI). She encouraged everyone in audience to think of themselves as futurists, and she noted future trends that building enclosure professionals will need to tackle: talent, tech, place, and new technologies that will affect the building enclosure industry. Those who don’t understand future technologies risk irrelevancy, Greenberg insisted.

In conclusion, Greenberg stressed six takeaways for her audience:

  • We are at the 6th disruptive wave—akin to where we were in 1990.
  • We have a multigenerational workforce.
  • Generative AI is fast.
  • Robots are helpful.
  • Alternative income is our friend.
  • The outside/exterior of our buildings counts—whether it’s ugly or unique.

Peevey then returned to the stage to close the Opening Ceremony, sending attendees to the first day of the trade show that includes 127 manufacturers and service providers to the building enclosure industry. Saturday’s trade show schedule also included product demos from Sika, Polyglass, and Carlisle Syntec.

The trade show will conclude at noon on Sunday. Other Sunday highlights will include the Awards Luncheon, more education sessions, and product demos from Elevate Roofing Systems, Westlake Royal Roofing Solutions, and Dörken.