Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

Category: 32 00 00 - EXTERIOR IMPROVEMENTS

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  • Modern security bollards are highly engineered and tested devices that can withstand deliberate ramming by a 15,000 lb vehicle. Bollards are more than decorative boundary markers; they are an essential tool to protect lives and property. This course explains bollard crash testing standards, reviews the pros and cons of available bollard materials, and discusses steel bollard designs for low- and high-impact applications.


  • Synthetic (artificial) grass, specifically designed for use with dogs, is a cost-effective solution that offers a clean, safe, and aesthetically pleasing environment for dogs. Presented here are the health, safety, performance, and cost benefits of installing synthetic grass specifically designed for dogs; its suitable applications; design considerations; installation factors; and maintenance guidelines.


  • Synthetic (artificial) grass or turf has improved steadily since its first installation half a century ago, and it is now a sophisticated surfacing system that can be customized to suit specific purposes. This course reviews that development and then focuses on the specifics of synthetic grass suitable for use on playgrounds. This focus includes a detailed examination of its construction, installation, and maintenance, and a number of sample installations.


  • Commercial planters add interest to both commercial and residential spaces. An understanding of materials and options available when specifying planters is an essential tool for both designers and architects. These topics are addressed in this course along with discussions on the applications of commercial planters and the benefits they offer in the design of indoor and outdoor spaces.

    Prerequisites: None

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Natural fibers have been used for over 2,000 years as a method to strengthen building materials. Cellulose fiber provides an excellent alternative to traditional secondary reinforcement, reducing plastic shrinkage cracks and improving durability, impact resistance, shatter resistance, and freeze/thaw resistance without compromising the appearance or finishability of a concrete surface. This course covers the evolution of fiber, its benefits, and why it is a sustainable material.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • Porcelain tile containing recycled content provides residential and commercial building projects with a durable, easy-to-maintain finish material for interior or exterior floors, walls, or other surfaces. This course highlights the eco-friendly production practices of porcelain tile and details its contributions to the design and performance of a building.

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • Movable pool and spa floor technology enables an entirely flexible, multifunctional living and recreational space to complement any architectural vision. Presented here are types of movable pool floors, pool floor technology, options and amenities, and safety and sustainability performance considerations.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • This course provides an overview of growth trends in package delivery and information necessary to recommend and specify package management solutions for businesses, universities, multifamily residential, and single-family residential homeowners. In addition, this course summarizes the different types of package management equipment, recommended applications, detailed information on current equipment standards, and accessibility considerations used to improve package management and user convenience.

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • Over time, urban parks and other open landscaped areas are being lost to development. One solution to mitigate this issue is to reconsider undeveloped areas such as building roofs to create green amenity spaces. Amenity decks can provide some alleviation of lost green space, while affording developers the potential to monetize underutilized spaces in their buildings and provide an advantage over older buildings to attract tenants.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • Continuous insulation is part of building standards and state and energy codes, due to its ability to reduce thermal bridging and its associated heat loss and energy consumption. This course looks at the use of polyisocyanurate as a continuous insulation in Type V and residential construction, and its use as a multifunctional envelope component—air barrier, weather-resistive barrier and vapor retarder—by reviewing code requirements for the building envelope.

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • There are a multitude of building envelope products used, and a variety of methods taken, for achieving energy and building code requirements. Understanding the different roles a product plays in the envelope simplifies its design. In this course we’ll take a look at: the code requirements for buildings classified as IBC Type I-IV, paths to achieving compliance and the number of roles polyisocyanurate insulation plays in meeting these requirements.

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • Provides an overview of the types, features, and benefits of designing with cellular PVC trim, including a discussion on the installation guidelines and manufacturing processes.


  • Driven largely by public interest in minimizing the potential environmental impact of building products, architects and builders actively embrace “green” initiatives and are calling for building product transparency. The Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) was developed to address this need. This course examines the EPD and includes discussions on who wants EPDs and why, the EPD development process, the contents of an EPD, and the future of EPDs.

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • Lack of secure bicycle parking and storage is one of the top barriers to increased bicycle ridership. However, there is much more to selecting functional and appropriate bike storage than installing a few racks at the building sidewalk. This course examines best practices for bicycle racks and shelters for indoor and outdoor bicycle parking and storage, including typical municipal guidelines and regulations, incentives, guidance on shelters, and rack planning and design.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • Frameless glass railing systems are completely post-free and offer a minimalist aesthetic that maximizes views. This course presents the IBC code requirements for glass railing systems and explores how to specify the appropriate mounting, glass, and handrail components for the substrate, location, and expected use. Case studies of completed projects illustrate the unlimited design possibilities of frameless glass railings.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Selection of a material for a railing or fence project requires considering its long-term performance, maintenance, cost, and aesthetics. Regardless of the railing application (commercial, residential, or industrial), the coating process makes a difference to the life of the project. This course evaluates the different coating technologies available for steel railing and fence systems and discusses the factors to consider when selecting a coating for a steel railing and fence system.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introduction


  • Railings are often one of the most important parts of a deck or stair project because of the safety and security they provide, but they can offer character, style, and beauty as well as functionality. Today's railing systems present many possibilities to create a unique design perfectly suited to the project needs. This course examines high-strength, powder-coated aluminum railings, from code considerations to installation and maintenance. It presents the versatile, mix-and-match capability of finishes, top rail styles, lighting, and infill options that offer long-lasting, easy-to-install solutions for residential and commercial applications, both indoors and out.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Growing and concentrating populations, shifting weather patterns, increasing frequency and ferocity of storm events, disappearing water supplies, and rising costs have made the provision of potable water and the management of other water-related issues increasingly difficult for many communities. This course explores the current state of water usage and water management practices and the emerging issues affecting potable water supply, stormwater, floodwater, and wastewater management that may affect those usage and management practices and inform the creation of alternative, more resilient ones.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • Architects and designers have many options for specifying site furniture products for their projects. Selecting materials and finishes is an integral part of this process, yet making material selections has become more and more complex. The course examines conditions and constraints of outdoor environments; evaluates materials commonly used in outdoor applications; discusses using green building standards and rating systems, and the role of suppliers as resources for material selection; and provides examples of products that adhere to a higher environmental standard.

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • Roofing is one of the most common renovation projects. Retrofit construction provides vast opportunities in terms of improving the energy efficiency of the built environment. This course reviews the code requirements pertaining to commercial reroofing, including a discussion of the impacts of retrofit construction on energy efficiency.

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • A Pattern Map evaluates a pattern on two key elements: structure and nature. This course explains why these two elements affect how we recognize and respond to pattern and examines ways to bridge architecture and nature by using architectural panel systems with patterned openings, and provide a sense of space, privacy, shade, or camouflage with cladding, screens, or railings.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • For the typical homeowner choosing exterior color can be a daunting task; however, there is guidance available to help choose color palettes that complement the exterior of the home. This course presents the FRESH approach: a strategic method used for the selection of colors for the exterior of buildings. The course focuses on both residential and commercial design considerations, and details the steps to follow in the color selection process to achieve a harmonious design.


  • The Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is not just an idea about how to “grade the greenness” of products; it is a well-developed, globally recognized way, to make responsible comparisons and decisions regarding sustainable material design. This course discusses the concept of the EPD as applied to building materials and how to integrate EPDs into design and product selection decisions. Detailed information from different thermal insulation EPDs is used demonstrate how thermal insulation provides a unique and significant “pay-back” in terms of energy and environmental impacts.

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • Leading aluminum extrusion manufacturers have established a variety of methods pertaining to material grade, surface protection, and component solutions to maximize the benefits of aluminum to suit a wide variety of applications. These advancements in technology have led to the development of sustainable wood-patterned aluminum products designed for exterior and interior applications. This course focuses on how these products can be used as a beautiful, high-performance, durable alternative for real wood in a range of applications, including screens, facades, decking, fencing, gates, cladding, and more.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...


  • There is a growing realization that the buildings we live and work in play an important role in the health and wellbeing of building occupants. Green building rating systems are starting to incorporate health and wellbeing criteria and this course will look specifically at how products and materials can help meet the health and wellbeing requirements across these systems.

     This course is part of one or more "Course Collections". Click here to view the details...

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