Plastics in the running for best in building products
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Plastics in the running for best in building products

Aug 14, 2023

The National Association of Home Builders recognizes the latest and greatest new products and services from exhibiting companies at the International Builders' Show.

This year, construction industry experts and media judges looked at 200 entries in eight categories to determine which will receive one of the Best of IBS Awards.

Judges consider the products' innovation, functionality, design and user-friendliness to determine the winners.

Plastics processors are among the 40 finalists in several categories, including best window and door, most innovative building material, best outdoor living product and most innovative construction tool. The finalists include:

• Endura Products Inc. for its FusionFrame-brand composite door frame, which consists of a wood frame with a maintenance-free composite exterior.

The Greensboro, N.C.-based company says FusionFrame doesn't require additional shimming and contains innovative features that make it fast to install a door unit properly. Endura also says a unique design prevents thermal bowing common to other composite products.

Endura also has a multipoint lock product that is a finalist in the window and door category. The product adds two locking points to entry and doors in addition to the deadbolt. The benefits include deflecting impact during attempted break-ins and forming a better seal against the weather by pulling the door further into alignment. Also, the locking system is compatible with most off-the-shelf hardware.

• Arcitell LLC for its Qora-brand Cut LedgeStone TightStack building material for residential and commercial siding. The panels have a rigid foam core, fiberglass-reinforced layers and a surface layer that incorporates real materials for the look and feel of real brick and stone.

The Sugarcreek, Ohio-based company says it uses a proprietary phenolic rigid foam and compounding technology in the manufacturing process. Most Qora cladding panels weigh 2-3 pounds per square foot, which is a fraction of the weight of comparable traditional materials.

Each Qora Stone panel also has a quarter-inch "breather button" to keep water and vapor away from the wall assembly.

• Barrette Outdoor Living for its injection molded decorative screen panels made from polypropylene. The panels come in two sizes and a range of colors and patterns for use as a deck cover or divider wall for outside or inside the house. The Middleburg Heights, Ohio-based company says the PP panels are twice as thick as traditional plastic lattice and have been engineered to withstand extreme weather temperatures and resist impact.

• Evolve Manufacturing LLC for its Evolve Stone building material, made from a proprietary fiberglass-reinforced polymer (FRP) mix.

The Winchester, Va.-based company says Evolve is the first artificial stone in the world installed by face nailing, and this advance puts stonework in the hands of homeowners and siding installers at a time the construction industry is facing a shortage of skilled labor.

Evolve Stone weighs 2 pounds per square foot, which is five times lighter than traditional concrete-based stone veneer.

The composite stone is color-infused throughout, can handle freeze and thaw cycles and is UV-stable.

Evolve stones vary in depth from 3/8 of an inch up to 1 ¼ inches thick and can be installed over OSB or plywood, over a concrete foundation, around a fireplace, as an accent wall or even an arched ceiling.

• Trusscore Inc. for its Trusscore-brand recyclable PVC wall and ceiling board as an alternative to drywall and fiberglass-reinforced plastic panels for basements, garages and other household areas needing a smooth, durable finish that is easy to maintain and can withstand damp or wet conditions.

Trusscore boards install four times faster than drywall thanks to a tongue-and-groove interlocking system and at the end of their service can be reground and recycled into new materials.

In addition, the Palmerston, Ontario, Canada-based company says its PVC wall and ceiling board is strong, long-lasting and has a lower carbon manufacturing footprint than glass or metal.

In July, Trusscore expanded its manufacturing and distribution capability by acquiring Calgary-based Westech Building Products, which added to operations in Palmerston and Dayton, Ohio.

Timberline-brand solar energy shingles are billed as the world's first nailable solar shingle.

• GAF Energy for its Timberline-brand solar energy shingles, which it bills as the world's first nailable solar shingle. The so-called "energy shingles" are less than a quarter-inch thick and integrate with traditional shingles.

GAF Energy officials said the company is uniquely positioned to bring residential solar to the mass market as the sister company of roofing manufacturer GAF, which produces the shingles and products that go on about 1.25 million of the 5 million new roofs installed on U.S. homes every year.

The solar systems will be assembled domestically at GAF Energy's manufacturing and research and development facility in San Jose, Calif.

The product is a finalist in the construction tool category of the awards competition.

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