While there are no official numbers, I think it’s safe to say that the 2011 AHR Expo in Las Vegas was a success. Not only was it a success for show organizers, but for sheet metal manufacturers.

I just returned home after attending two days of the three-day show, and the Las Vegas Convention Center was packed with attendees. It was hard to get to some of the booths because of the sheer number of people who wanted to get a look at all of the new products at the show.

And speaking of new products, I met with several manufacturers that were beaming with pride over the products they had on display. Some of the products were so new they were built specifically for the show. From hand tools to large sheet metal machinery, many of the new products were built with efficiency in mind. If the product wasn’t more efficient to install, it was more energy efficient, providing definite cost savings to consumers.

Snips saw several new innovative products during the event. Some of those products will be featured in the pages of Snips, and on our website in video format.

Besides the AHR Expo, ASHRAE also had its winter meeting in Las Vegas. The educational sessions at the ASHRAE conference were just as crowded as the trade show floor at the convention center. ASHRAE members packed rooms to hear about new energy opportunities and the latest on ASHRAE standards. ASHRAE is definitely moving forward with its agenda to make buildings more energy efficient.

If there was one thing I took away from my time in Vegas, it's that the industry is moving forward with green building and sustainability, whether contractors are ready for it or not. The green building train keeps chugging along, and you might want to jump on board before it gets too far down the track.