BAU’s a Wow
Today was my first time ever attending the BAU (which means “Build” in German) show, which is being held at the Munich Fairgrounds this week. I’d been told for years, and by a number of people, that “you really should visit BAU.” Well, after just one day here, I understand why.
Why? Because while glasstec—held every other year in Dusseldorf—focuses on all types of glass manufacturing and processes, BAU is where you see the glass in action in all sorts of products. And because it also showcases a variety of glass-related products, including steel and facades, BAU is where you get to see everything, from building facades to high-end residential windows, come together. In trade show math, glasstec is pure mathematics, while BAU is applied.
Exhibitors at BAU display in 16 halls that are divided by building product. Steel and façade systems take up two halls, and glass has one. Stone, brick, parking systems and other materials have their own areas. My favorite hall, so far, was devoted to what we in the States would call ornamental and miscellaneous metal. It was an early adapter’s dream with quite a bit of innovation coming in railings, grilles and hardware.
Research and development always takes longer than application, so while it’s easier to see new applications at BAU, you’ll see more truly new glass at glasstec. But it’s also neat to see the wares of many European fabricators, as well, along with innovative ways to move it.
If one company dominates BAU, it is the German company Schuco. The behemoth dominates almost one hall on its own and displayed an incredible collection of innovative products that have yet to touch our shores. But they will, and more on that later.
The Munich Messe is relatively new, bright and very clean, and the signage is easy to follow after only an hour or two. I have already run into a number of North American compatriots, all of whom have told me that BAU is their “no-miss show.” So shame on me for taking so long to get here. BAU is a wow.