ORLANDO—Strong attendance and a full menu of activities both on the show floor and in conference rooms at the Orange County Convention Center marked day one of Coverings 2012. According to management for the annual international super show of tile and stone, in the first day alone attendance already was up 5 percent from its 2010 level when Coverings made its last appearance in Orlando.
“The numbers tell the story, and it’s looking very upbeat that design and installation needs for tile and stone may be on the rise from the slump of the past few years,” says Karen Fendrich, Coverings show director.
Conference sessions were packed and one of the biggest draws of the day was color expert Leatrice Eiseman, who’s been a returnee presenter at Coverings for nearly a decade.
PROJECT: Green Winners
Enjoying the limelight of opening day were the winning entries in the “PROJECT: Green” competition. Three projects were chosen for recognition and they are represented in a special display that commands front-and-center attention in the new Coverings Central social media hub, Booth #3728. All three winners are defining achievements in design and architecture where sustainability was a core mission and tile and stone were integral to that end. The following were saluted:
A newly built 90,000-sq.-ft. distribution and training center in Reno, NV, for Schluter Systems, a supplier of innovative tile and installation systems, was honored with the “Best in Show” Award for Commercial/New Construction. More than 41,000 sq. ft. of tile were installed throughout the facility, used not only on floors and interior walls, but also on the exterior façade. In an atrium, porcelain tile provided the backing for a “living wall” where the plants that thrive on this vertical surface add oxygen and humidity and act as a bio-filter for the air inside the building. Even the warehouse features 8,000 sq. ft. of tiles, innovatively applied to walls over a radiant cooling system. Judges remarked that the project is “a living laboratory, research center and museum for what is possible with ceramic tile and how it can contribute to a healthy, sustainable and lifelong design.”
Taking the Commercial/Remodel “Best in Show” Award was San Francisco International Airport Terminal Two, where Crossville’s Color Blox tiles with a minimum of 20 percent recycled content were extensively incorporated into the design. This renovation of the airport’s circa 1950s terminal earned a LEED Gold rating, the first air terminal in the U.S. to achieve this certification level. Tile was the featured flooring and wall surface in each of 16 public restrooms, four post-security and four pre-security areas in the terminal, and all told more than 36,160 sq. ft. of the material were used.
Named “Best in Show” for Institutional/Remodel was the John C. Kluczynski Federal Building in Chicago. Crossville again was the lead resource for tile featured in all 78 renovated bathrooms in this Mies van der Rohe-designed architectural landmark. The new tiles used in the project incorporated recycled tiles, toilets, sinks, urinals and drinking fountains that were removed from the building as part of the renovation, then subsequently crushed and made into new, custom porcelain tile. An estimated 102,000 pounds of end-of-use porcelain material were diverted from this building and recycled by Crossville for this closed-loop project.
Inspiration and Ideas
Three additional project submissions, though not top winners, are being acknowledged for offering inspiration on sustainability via use of tile or stone. These noteworthies are called out in the PROJECT: Green Ideas Center and include:
Subway Restaurant, Kokomo Town Center, Kokomo, IN, where reclaimed/recycled limestone used in both interior and exterior surfaces, provided a distinctive aesthetic while eliminating need for newly quarried stone.
Matt Kline Associates, Alexandria, VA, a distributor of tile, stone and other surfaces, renovated the family’s own kitchen highly conscious of minimizing demolition waste, reusing it in the project and selecting highly sustainable tile products for surface finishes.
Floor & Décor, Norwood, NJ, a 2011 PROJECT: Green Honorable Mention, this time around was cited for a residential bathroom renovation where the utmost consideration was given to the manufacturers who were sourced as much for their sustainable practices as for their sustainable products.
All the aforementioned projects are on exhibit through the conclusion of Coverings.