IBS 2020 – Key Takeaways


The Alliance team recently met with one of our Transformation Partners, IBACOS, to discuss our impressions and key takeaways from #IBS2020. After a few Star Trek and Jetson references we got down to business… 




The ships are pointed in the right direction but no one knows how long, how fast, or what obstacles to expect on the way…

  • The general feeling from the floor was much more optimistic than in previous years – there shouldn’t be a sharp drop in the economy and if there is, it is very unlikely that it will be driven by housing
  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) were all the rage – with some using them as an entry point for a broader play in the off-site construction space 
  • Build to Rent – Our sense? If you’re not in it, you’re moving towards it! 
  • Although we didn’t find climate change to be a centralized theme, we saw evidence of decarbonization, discussions around sustainability, and big growth in integrated health + wellness systems, with Panasonic’s Cosmos Healthy Home System and Delos’ DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence among the hot technologies featured in Woodside and BUILDER’s Chōwa Concept Home for example 


  • We were happy to see a strong presence of “Next Gen” housing leaders – 84 Lumber‘s trades workforce development initiative, the NAHB young professionals, and networks like Builders of Insta who organized a meet up for those of us trying to shine a better light on the industry and Hammr who is empowering the “badass professionals of construction” to build their reputation & connect 
  • One of our Transformation Partners, GE Appliances had five products nominated for KBIS Best in Show, including a smart wall oven which we’ve dubbed the InstaPot of ovens – 30 cooking options, a built in camera, intelligent settings by food type, a linked thermometer, auto adjustments and other features that make cooking fool proof  
  • The variety of training programs that have emerged to combat the labor shortage
  • The number of smaller technology companies creating solutions for specialized jobs: hyper focused, single use applications – like the apps you can’t live without on your phone
  • A growing focus on acquisitions to drive off-site construction  – props to Builders FirstSource acquiring Raney Construction and PulteGroup acquiring ICG. We sense this is just the tip of the iceberg!  

Ultimately, we’re excited to see the expanding footprint of companies that will help accelerate innovation in housing! 

What’s the coolest thing you saw, did or heard at IBS? We’d love to hear from you.