The Missing Piece

May 1, 2003
Generally in this column, I expound on the philosophy behind Buildings Interiors or point out new developments in commercial interior design with my own whimsical flair. In this issue, though, I was given a serious mission. I was charged to champion the importance of the upcoming Building Shows in Chicago and Baltimore. Walking through the crowded aisles of the recent Buildings Show West in Los Angeles, trumpeting the benefits seemed like an easy assignment. The convention offered so many things for facilities managers. First, there were the seminars, ranging from Maintaining Building Continuity to the State of Finance of Commercial Real Estate to Creating High Performance Workplaces. These seminars allowed facilities professionals to pick the brains of the leading experts in the industry and get the information they need to improve the way they do business.Then there is the exhibit floor, row after row of vendors. Nothing compares to this hands-on approach to examine and fully understand the latest offerings in textiles, furniture, carpet, hardware, and more. Like a kid in a candy store, attendees can quickly and easily sample the most interesting offerings from manufacturers.However, when I returned from the show and dived into this issue’s theme of high-performance buildings, I realized that facilities professionals need to understand how interior elements can improve occupant performance and manufacturers need to understand and meet building owners’ concerns. The Buildings Show is the place to make that crucial connection. I believe the conference’s greatest asset is the ability for facility professionals and suppliers to come together, ask questions, and transform their facilities’ interiors. Forward-thinking building owners are already creating energy-efficient facilities that better serve their business issues and end-users. The interior elements, from ergonomic seating to high-quality lighting to no-VOC paint, can complete the picture. Slowly but surely, the techniques in facilities management, new construction, and modernization are evolving and innovative interior design, paired with sustainable design management and construction, will create the next generation of high-performance buildings. Who could pass up an offer like that?Mark your calendars: June 16-18, 2003, for the Buildings Show at NeoCon World’s Trade Fair, The Merchandise Mart, Chicago (Buildings Show East will be held in Baltimore, November 6-7). I hope to see you there.– Regina Raiford Babcock, Senior Editor ([email protected])

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