Belgard showcases physical displays and VR at HNA

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Photo: Beth HyattPhoto: Beth Hyatt

At this year’s 2017 Hardscapes North America trade show in Louisville, Kentucky, Belgard showcased both physical displays and virtual reality (VR).

Additionally, Belgard featured its Belgard Authorized Contractor program that the company says provides initiatives and supporting tools to help contractors grow their businesses.

Onsite, outdoor design experts from Belgard were able to demonstrate the products and share outdoor trends and tips they’ve found for creating ideal outdoor living spaces.

“Our goal is to engage with contractors about the opportunities Belgard presents through our products, design techniques and best practices to help grow their businesses,” says Billy Patterson, director of National Residential Hardscapes. “We are especially excited to showcase our virtual reality technology, with multiple vignettes to explore via VR goggles. This year’s showing is intended to demonstrate ways to better work with customers, using Belgard Design Studio, our new designs and trend insights, which are key to help our customers get the best options and value for their outdoor living space.”

Photo: Beth HyattPhoto: Beth Hyatt

Concrete, porcelain and permeable pavers

Belgard says that Quarziti 2.0 by Mirage is a stone collection characterized by a shading effect that recreates the authentic diversity of natural elements. The company says that with the variety of modular and single-sized shapes, customers are given absolute freedom to install the material in the design of their choice.

Agilina Paver is one of Belgard’s newest pavers, and the company says it offers a smoother, more contemporary design that has a distinctive natural stone appearance. Belgard says that the Agilina Paver allows a wider array of random design patterns for residential and commercial projects, and the company says it offers multi-sized formats to achieve a random look.

“The whole linear plane style is extremely popular, but our primary sellers are still traditional,” said Joe Raboine, director of Belgard Design Studio.

Eco Dublin Permeable Paver is part of Belgard’s Environmental Collection. The company says it provides a number of eco-friendly benefits, and they have a look of cut stone with contemporary technology.

Retaining walls

The Belair Wall 2.0 is a wall system that Belgard says provides improvised aesthetics and ease of installation. Featuring a new freestanding wall platform, Belgard says the Belair Wall 2.0 saves installation time by reducing cutting for curved walls.

The Tandem Wall, according to Belgard, is an exciting retaining wall system that provides the appearance of natural stone that the company believes will complement any hardscape. To demonstrate the ease of installation, the booth featured the wall in an incomplete stage.

“There are several benefits to this,” said Raboine. “This is made out of paving brick machines, so it’s typically a higher psi of concrete. The main benefit, though, is we can really change out the face styles to create more natural textures.”

Photo: Beth HyattPhoto: Beth Hyatt

Outdoor fireplaces and kitchens

The Elements Collection features pre-built modular hardscapes elements that the company says makes creating an outdoor living space easier and more affordable than ever.

These elements include outdoor kitchen units, brick ovens, fire pits, fireplaces, water features and an assortment of decorative pieces in a variety of styles.

“This gives contractors an easy way to build something that looks beautiful and is a great solution for the contractor,” Patterson said. 

Virtual reality (VR) and Techniseal DriBond

The VR element of Belgard’s booth could be viewed two different ways: by using a mobile smart phone or with an all-in-one viewer.

“We’ve been doing design studio for about five or six years; this is the first year we’re doing virtual,” said Patterson. “We know from past experiences that when a consumer can see their backyard space with a new project in it, there’s going to be an emotional connection. This takes it one step further so they are really immersed in that space.”

Photo: Beth HyattPhoto: Beth Hyatt

The VR element of design allows contractors to send in their ideas and plans, and the designs will then be plugged into the VR system. This, in turn, creates a three-dimensional experience that brings the customers into the space and allows them to see firsthand where everything really will sit in their landscape.

“There’s additional benefits in that the whole experience with the customer is much, much smoother because there’s really no unknowns,” said Raboine. “They’re happier, there’s less change orders and just all around it makes for a much better process.”

Raboine also reports that since introducing the Belgard VR element, the company has seen the time it takes for a contractor to close a sale go from approximately 20 hours to only four or five on average.

Photo: Beth HyattPhoto: Beth Hyatt

For Belgard authorized contractors, the VR element is free.

With the Techniseal DriBond portion of the booth, Belgard wanted to showcase this dry mudset product. With this adhesive, designers are able to take thin tiles and overlay them on existing concrete, such as driveways.

Raboine notes that even if certain areas of the driveway are mildly cracked, they can still be overlayed with Techniseal DriBond.

Slabs, finishing touches and more

Belgard says that its commercial slabs are designed for quick, easy installation covering more square footage with less product and without sacrificing aesthetics.

Belgard says its Lafitt Slabs feature either a smooth, contemporary look or can mimic cut slate and have lasting power. The slabs are available in three shapes and can be used for a variety of design options.

Belgard’s landings step unit is a dry cast step unit with through color that has two unique faces on the rise. Belgard says that these steps, when nested together, create a seamless landing and provide ease of installation and aesthetics.

With its Belgard Authorized Contractor (BAC) Program, Belgard says it continues its commitment to building partnerships with contractors. The program features a variety of supporting tools and resources for contractors, which the company says helps them grow their business and serve their customers.

Photo: Beth HyattPhoto: Beth Hyatt
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