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Reykjavik’s City Hall, by Alvar Aalto, was recently waterproofed by German company Kemper.

Running concurrently with Construct Canada at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, DesignTrends kicks off with a panel discussion on a timely and complex issue: water. Following massive floods in New Orleans, Winnipeg, Calgary and New York, the role of architects and urban planners in mitigating the effects of climate change has gained new prominence. (Read our interview with Marion Weiss, who discusses designing for disaster.) Featuring such speakers as George Stockton, president of Moriyama & Teshima, and Kongjian Yu, a professor and dean of the College of Architecture at Peking University, the panel will examine regional infrastructural strategies, as well as small-scale interventions that consider the water use and energy performance of individual buildings.

Of more nuts-and-bolts interest to architects and interior designers, the show includes a roundtable on how to manage competing demands when designing for mixed-used, institutional or public spaces, as well as a slew of Ontario Architecture Association-accredited seminars on such topics as geothermal heating, LEED, kitchen and bathroom trends, and workplace design.

But the main attraction is the show floor, where products and systems by over 1,050 companies – from lighting and wood finishes to building automation, roofing and waste management – will be on display. Here, we highlight six durable products, from resilient flooring to weatherproof coatings, that will be presented at DesignTrends.

1 Edge by LSI Floors
The aesthetic warmth of wood planking is being replicated in ceramics, carpeting and – now – this vinyl tile collection by LSI Floors that withstands heavy duty traffic in public spaces. Plus, it’s made with recycled materials and is fully recyclable.

2 F3 drywall access panel by FF Systems
Installed flush with a bathroom wall’s stylish tiles, this access panel employs a welded aluminum frame inlayed with drywall to make service hatches virtually invisible.

3 Hybrid wood cladding by GemThane Siding
Ontario’s GemThane Siding offers a selection of FSC-certified Eastern White Pine cladding coated with polymers, rather than latex, for increased longevity.

4 Kemperol 2K-PUR by Kemper System
A resin-reinforced waterproofing membrane, Kemperol 2K-PUR – recently used on Reykjavik’s City Hall, which is on a lake (shown) – is applied with cold liquid; therefore, it doesn’t require the torches and kettles often used in installation, which can be fire hazards. Kemper, a German company that has repaired leaks at the Empire State Building and Buckingham Palace, ensures its sealed roof decks, roof gardens, plazas and balconies withstand ice, wind and sun.

5 & 6 Longboard Premium Soffit & Siding by Mayne Coatings; Taper-Loc Dry Glaze by C.R. Laurence
On the left, Longboard siding, which earns a project LEED points while protecting them against insects, combines the look of wood with the resiliency of powder coated aluminum. The tempered glass railing system by C.R. Laurence, on the right, is the only one of its kind approved by the International Code Council (which evaluates products for public safety) and reduces installation time by 50 per cent.

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