Where in the World is School Construction News?

SAN ANTONIO — School Construction News attends various trade shows throughout the country in order to deliver news straight to those involved in the industry. At these events we are able to meet up with colleagues and introduce ourselves to new faces in the crowd. These past two weeks we have been on the road — from Texas to California — and wanted to give our readers a glimpse of our travels.

Our first stop was the Council for Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), in San Antonio, Texas. The trade show floor was filled with impressive displays, including the highly anticipated and talked about “classrooms of the future.” The four classrooms of the future featured innovative technology and equipment that those at the show could see and experience first hand. Students from neighboring districts were also invited to demonstrate how the technology could be implemented in the classroom by participating in guided lessons. The classrooms featured everything from smartboards, flexible furniture, video conferencing systems, and more. School Construction News will be giving a more in-depth look at the classrooms in the November/December issue of the magazine.

We were also introduced to many new products including Shaw Contract Group’s LokDots, which help to install carpet tiles even in high moisture or occupied space. Wanda Dunaway, director of education and government markets for Shaw, demonstrated the fast, easy and efficient delivery of LokDots for us at CEFPI. Steelcase Education Solutions also gave us a tour of their new innovative furniture that was on display in a classroom of the future model as well.

After meeting with clients and new friends at CEFPI, we flew to Pasadena, Calif., where we attended the Green California Schools Summit. While the weather was warm, the show floor was full of “cool” technology to save schools money on electricity bills, including our tradeshow neighbor, Jeanne Knobbe with IGSHPA, showing us how geothermal systems are utilized in school environments.

The Green California Schools Summit featured breakout sessions throughout the two-day show, including meetings specifically for K-12 and for college/universities. School Construction News attended several sessions and received valuable information on school construction trends, projects, challenges and triumphs. Many of the sessions focused on schools going beyond the necessary energy-efficient requirements put in place by some institutions. Instead of pursuing the minimum energy-efficient requirements, many schools are raising the bar and pursuing net-zero energy.

Some of the projects discussed in the sessions will be featured in School Construction News’ first issue in 2013 that focuses on green schools.

After absorbing all the knowledge from CEFPI and the Green California Schools Summit, we are back in the office until November — when we head down the street to tour the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in San Francisco.