CONSTRUCT 2017 Offers Education and Networking for AEC Professionals

Industry professionals filled the Rhode Island Convention Center to take part in three days of education, networking and the tradeshow floor at CONSTRUCT 2017CSI also hosted its 61st Annual Convention in conjunction with the event.  The annual tradeshow and education program drew a total attendance of nearly 2,000 AEC professionals. 
Participants came from all segments of the building industry. Some included both commercial and residential architects, specifiers, building engineers, contractors, project managers, product representatives/manufacturers, building owners/managers and other related industry professionals. Glenn DeSimone, president of PRIME DESIGN SYSTEMS INC., stated that CONSTRUCT 2017 was tailored to his professional needs.
“It was a pleasure to host the professionals who attended from around the country,” says Douglas Lugo, show director of CONSTRUCT. “Thank you to our attendees, official partners, exhibitors, sponsors, affiliates and to all participants, for making 2017 an enjoyable event for the industry.”
In attendance were representatives from 11 architecture firms, including Gensler; Perkins+Will; Jacobs; HOK; HDR; Perkins Eastman; CannonDesign; SmithGroupJJR; PageSoutherlandPage; Flad Architects; RSP Architects LTD.
First-time registrants made up 60 percent of all attendees, indicating that CONSTRUCT continues to attract new members of the AEC team.  Meridyth Cutler, an Associate at MG2 exclaims, “I enjoyed my first CONSTRUCT!”
“As a senior architect but new to CSI and construction, I love how focused CONSTRUCT is for the specifying community,” says Jill Goedken, architect/specifier for SPECcetera. “Nice venues, relevant workshops with several CEU opportunities and networking.”
“CONSTRUCT gives me a range of knowledge about the industry and product offerings,” says Cameron Carris of Ketchum Walton. “Come to CONSTRUCT 2018 because you can learn about manufacturers, developments, the products and the offerings that they have.”
“As an architect, I’m hungry for CEUs.  Working in a university-setting, I like to see new products, systems and ways of doing things. Go to CONSTRUCT 2018 to see the new products and check out the CEU opportunities,” says Kenny Tyler, director of Engineering & Planning Services at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Exhibit Hall

The tradeshow floor was comprised of hundreds of booths. Some of these included ARCAT; Behr Process Corp.; Benjamin Moore Paints; ClarkDietrich Building Systems; Dow Chemical Co.; DuPont; Firestone Building Products; Hilti; Louisiana Pacific Corp. and Sherwin-Williams.  These companies showcased their services and ideas for the built environment on the show floor. Included in these offerings were building envelope, building systems, roofing, codes and standards, finishes, thermal/moisture protection, windows/skylights, coatings, insulation, curtain wall, doors, flooring, concrete, caulks/sealants, glass, paint, exterior products, masonry, hardware and much more.
Twenty percent of exhibiting companies were first-time exhibitors, including D&P Custom Lights and Wiring Systems; Green Link; Innovative Access Solutions; National Comfort Products; Northern Facades and School Guard Glass, just to name a few.
Attendee, Kathy Proctor, an architect for Little River Studio, says, “There is nothing better than wandering through the trade show floor and meeting former colleagues or students that you only see once a year.”
“CONSTRUCT was an opportunity to meet with people interested in seeing new products, and markets, by expanding the knowledge of their field,” says Matt Jacobsohn of School Guard Glass. “The camaraderie among folks from all over the country showed that everyone had one goal, to learn.”
“This year I was a speaker and my company had a booth at the expo,” says Richard Filloramo of International Masonry Institute.  “Show management is organized, offered customer service and exceeded my expectations. The attendees they bring to the event are qualified industry professionals.  I recommend attending or exhibiting at future CONSTRUCT events!”

Educational Offerings

In addition to the show floor activity, the education program featured over 40 sessions addressing a variety of industry topics from delegated design to moisture mitigation, sustainability to emerging technologies.
Divided into nine educational tracks, the program featured offerings for architects/designers, specifiers, building owners/managers, contractors, engineers, interior designers, manufacturer reps/product reps, project managers and students/young professionals.  In addition, each session provided Continuing Education Credits from AIA, BOMI, GBCI, and/or ICC. 
Kenny Tyler, director of Engineering & Planning Services at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga exclaims, “The technical tour of the John J. Sbrega Health & Science Building is what brought me to CONSTRUCT 2017.” 
“I primarily came to CONSTRUCT for the education and to network with other industry professionals and learn about what I can do to further my career,” explains Lauren Conners Anderson of the Conners Sales Group Inc.  “CONSTRUCT is an industry conference for young professionals, in my opinion.  It marries all the different project team participants.  You get the opportunity at CONSTRUCT to meet with mentors who have experience in the industry that you may not otherwise meet in your day-to-day work life.  I would recommend CONSTRUCT to YPs for the mentorship, the networking and the ability to learn in a casual environment.” 

Show Floor Highlights and Special Events

On the show floor attendees found products and ideas, while taking advantage of the additional education opportunities and product demonstrations in the Learning Pavilion and the Learning Lounges.
Free education was available at the Learning Pavilion and in the Learning Lounges in which AIA and/or ICC credits could be earned.  The Learning Pavilion was revamped to include a 30-minute presentation and a 15-minute product demonstration. Behr, Hohmann & Barnard Inc., Sherwin-Williams, School Guard Glass and Tamlyn held sessions once a day over the course of the two open exhibit days.  In addition, Benjamin Moore and LP Building Products hosted learning lounges, which featured three one-hour sessions per day during the expo.
The highlights of the general session included an appearance by Laura Briggs, dean of architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and a few of her students, as she described upcoming RISD projects.  CONSTRUCT selected RISD as the beneficiary of their charitable donations for 2017 and donated $2,000 to the CSI Foundation in a joint effort to support RISD (Rhode Island School of Design). This contribution became part of a larger donation made to RISD by CSI.
The keynote was presented by architect, Thomas Mayne, of Morphosis.  He inspired participants with a look inside the process he and his team employs to take his clients’ vision to reality. 
On closing day, the Game Changer session was presented by Paul Doherty with the Digit Group.  He discussed the challenges of integrating our buildings and infrastructure into the urban fabric of smart city initiatives and innovations. 
There were a variety of events in which participants could network and socialize, including the Newcomer Reception, the daily Happy Hours that took place on the show floor and both the CSI Welcome Reception and CSI Night Out that was open to both members and nonmembers.
“Networking and connecting with my peers at CONSTRUCT this year was great” states Rosa Cheney, owner of Rosa D Cheney AIA, PLLC.  “I left feeling rejuvenated about the work I do.”

Save the Date for 2018

CONSTRUCT 2018 will be held Oct. 3-5, at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach, Calif. Hotel reservations can be made online and online attendee registration will open in late May.

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