Continuing Education

15 Minute Briefings

This course collection is comprised of 6 courses containing a total of 1.75 hours of continuing education.

This collection contains a series of 15 minute courses on current challenges in the practice of architecture and design.

  • Policies targeting the reduction of carbon emissions associated with building products require the disclosure of embodied carbon data to inform those policies and verify whether reduction targets or incentive requirements have been met. This course aims to provide a guide to collecting high-quality embodied carbon data.

  • The first course of this series from the Carbon Leadership Forum provides a high-level overview of embodied carbon: how it is defined, its significance in the global climate crisis, and how it is impacted by the construction industry. In addition, the course examines procurement policies as an embodied carbon reduction strategy—in particular, the Buy Clean policies, their uptake in the US, and their key elements.

  • Code-mandated requirements for inspections first appeared in the Uniform Building Code in 1927, and their original intent is still recognizable in our current codes: inspections by a building official are required at specific points in the construction process. In this course, we will examine an alternative to the periodic inspection process, the full-time inspector of record (IOR). We’ll review the historical context and qualifications of the IOR, when a project may benefit from an IOR, and the impact of using an IOR on life safety and property damage.

  • ASCE 7-16, Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures, provides several design alternatives that architects and engineers can use to reduce the potential for either partial or progressive collapse due to extraordinary events, whether natural or man-made. The minimum design load philosophy of the building code is at odds with some extraordinary events. ASCE 7, Section 2.5, “Load Combinations for Extraordinary Events,” which is incorporated into the IBC, covers such extraordinary events, stating: “Where required by the owner or applicable code, strength and stability shall be checked to ensure that structures are capable of withstanding the effects of extraordinary (i.e., low-probability) events, such as fires, explosions, and vehicular impact without disproportionate collapse.” There are several methods for achieving added safety in both expected and extraordinary events. These include performance-based design (for expected events) and methods for design against partial or progressive collapse (for extraordinary events). In this briefing, we’ll explore methods for design against partial or progressive collapse as found in ASCE 7, Section 1.4.6, “Extraordinary Loads and Events.”

  • Businesses and organizations are preparing for employees to return to work, and architects and engineers are involved in many of the physical changes required to make workspaces safe. There are a number of publicly available “return to the office” guidance documents to help identify methods of ensuring the safety of building occupants. The AIA's Re-occupancy Assessment Tool V3.0 is one of these guidance documents. It is a comprehensive guide that uses the framework of the CDC's hierarchy of controls as a method of classifying and organizing different levels of protection within a workspace. It contains 30 pages of checklists itemizing detailed control measures for limiting the spread of the virus within a building. A better understanding of the current science behind transmission may bring a better understanding of the “why” behind these control measures. In this 15-Minute Briefing, we’ll take a look at some of the science behind the measures.

  • Before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, organizations chose remote working to improve productivity, accommodate favored employees, and reduce their real estate costs. When governments ordered mandatory office closures to contain the virus, businesses with little or no experience in remote working were forced online. Until a vaccine is developed, remote working will continue, and firms must look beyond surviving to thriving. This briefing paper presents some key research findings about remote working and productivity. Evidence-based recommendations are made for how these findings could be applied to architecture and design (A&D) firms.