Global meeting place
For many at ISH, the show is not simply an oversized product showcase but an opportunity to explore central economic and ecological issues.
‘ISH is an innovation driver for whole sectors of the economy,’ says Wolfgang Marzin, president and chief executive officer of Messe Frankfurt. ‘Using pioneering building technology, it’s answering the urgent questions of our time – that means sustainability, but also efficiency and convenience.’
He adds that the industry is faced by numerous challenges, including digitalisation, the search for qualified staff and climate change: ‘If we are to continue reaching the goals we have defined, intensive exchange of information between the different trade sectors is an elementary need. It is here that ISH has a key role to play.’
One company answering this call to sustainability for our natural resources is polymer specialist REHAU. The company has tackled the issue of water wastage – be it a dripping tap, unseen leaks or burst pipes – with a control device called RE.GUARD.
Installed directly in the water main, the product relies on precise ultrasonic technology that is optimised to minimise pressure losses, and monitors and alerts residents to any changes. If a leak is discovered, the water main is immediately shut off. The product communicates with a gateway, meaning it can be controlled via an app, while additional water detectors can be incorporated wirelessly and placed near a washing machine or dishwasher, in a further attempt to save water long-term.
Dr Roger Schonborn, building solutions division manager at REHAU says the company is also offering sustainability solutions in energy. ‘[A] big topic is climate change with its extreme summers, which are driving up demand for airconditioning systems. Our answer is energy-efficient underfloor temperature control, to cool work and living spaces without separate airconditioning devices.’
One of the advantages of attending an international trade show on an organised tour, such as AIDT, is the additional program on offer. For ISH 2019, Melanie Gardener took attendees to factory tours of manufacturers Duravit, Kaldewei and Hansgrohe.
‘We actually went to the factories, met the people, went through the showrooms for a [complete experience],’ Darren says. ‘At Kaldewei they are mass producing steel baths and it’s almost like you want to put orchestral music to it because it’s so rhythmic. Seeing their plants, production processes and philosophies [in action] was awesome.’
ISH returns to Europe in March 2021 and Melanie says she ‘definitely’ has plans to go back in the future.