Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

Category: 32 00 00 - EXTERIOR IMPROVEMENTS

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  • When deciding on outdoor cabinetry, understanding the available material options is essential to the selection of a long-lasting, sustainable choice. This course reviews the pros and cons of these options, with a focus on the attributes, sustainability, and performance characteristics of marine-grade high-density polyethylene (HDPE) material, engineered to withstand extreme conditions while maintaining optimal structural integrity.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Since ancient times, concrete mixes and carved natural stone have combined to create substance, beauty, and longevity in our architecture. Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) was created to ensure that the attributes of concrete and stone continue to be enjoyed but with the efficiency in application that is expected in today’s world of design. This course covers the evolution of GFRC, its applications and how it is custom-created, its advantages, and how GFRC compares to other types of architectural concrete.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Gaining a solid understanding of the advantages of EPDM roofing systems demonstrates why this membrane has the longest proven performance record of all single ply membranes. EPDM’s high-performance synthetic rubber compound provides outstanding weathering in climates worldwide. Multiple attachment types and colors are available for an EPDM roofing solution, and environmental benefits of the white EPDM membranes are explored as they provide the lowest carbon footprint of all single-ply membranes.


  • Multiwall polycarbonate is an extremely versatile glazing material with high impact strength, excellent thermal insulation, and long-term light transmission. Compared to glass, it is much lighter and easier to handle, offering considerable savings in transportation, labor, and building costs. This course examines how multiwall polycarbonate systems can improve thermal energy efficiency and increase daylighting within a space, enhancing occupant productivity, health, and well-being.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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


  • Trim and molding occupy a small amount of space on a home’s exterior, however their aesthetic value outweighs their size. Properly designed exterior moldings and trim need a full understanding of the materials and the design rules and functions for each location. This course takes the reader through the design and installation of exterior moldings, in particular PVC molding, and looks at some common molding mistakes and solutions.


  • Architects and designers have many options for specifying site furniture products for their projects, and 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...


  • 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 systems.


  • Bamboo, with its superior strength, light weight, ease of use, and ability to be regrown quickly, has been utilized as a construction material in its natural state for many centuries. More recently, it has been combined with other elements to create improved materials such as bamboo fiber composite decking and fencing. This course, illustrated with harsh climate installations from around the world, explains this advancement, the products now available, and how to certify, specify, install, and maintain them.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Insulated metal panels (IMPs) can be the right choice to deliver the excellent thermal capabilities and performance that architects, designers, and building owners demand. This course provides a review of insulated metal panel systems in terms of their performance characteristics, profiles, and testing/approval requirements, along with the design and installation considerations that are required to facilitate a successful project.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Living walls are a beautiful way of reducing cooling loads, improving indoor air quality, and even growing food. Explore the benefits, system options, and maintenance requirements of vertical planter systems with integrated irrigation.

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


  • Sustainable construction and high-performance buildings offer tremendous benefits to building owners, building occupants, and the larger community. Course content goes beyond codes, standards, and sustainability rating systems to explore options and best practices for getting the most out of green construction. This course provides foundational information and application opportunities on topics such as optimizing a building's energy efficiency; installing innovative, alternative energy solutions; and addressing the larger community challenges of storm water management and the urban heat island effect.

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


  • Contemporary drinking fountains, water coolers, and bottle fillers provide communities with access to safe, clean drinking water. This course recounts the history of the drinking fountain and addresses regulations surrounding drinking water distribution and treatment. It compares the use of bottled water to bottle fillers and provides guidelines for specifying commercial water delivery systems.


  • Although built-up roofs are the oldest type of low-slope roofing systems, gaining an understanding of the advantages and characteristics of modified bitumen membranes will help you select the asphalt roofing system that improves performance and saves on installation costs over traditional asphalt roofs. Learn how “mod bit” roofs, whether APP or SBS, provide improved durability with stronger reinforcements, resistance to hail and traffic damage, and provide factory-controlled quality manufacturing.


  • Redwood offers warmth, character, durability, and strength in products from sustainably managed and harvested forests. This course provides insights into forestry practices and the environmental benefits of Redwood lumber, and compares Redwood with other common decking materials. Details are presented on how to differentiate and specify grades of Redwood; finishing options and methods are also discussed. The course concludes with examples of applications that showcase the unique beauty and attributes of Redwood.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Energy codes are appearing on the federal, state, and local level in an effort to reduce energy consumption, save consumers money, and reduce CO2 emissions. Whether new or existing, energy codes play an important role in the buildings we design, build, and ultimately live, work, and play in. This course examines the lighting requirements and provisions of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 and the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code® and identifies plug and lighting control strategies for energy efficiency.

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


  • When designing a steel mesh fence, there are three steel mesh options to consider: chain link fabric, expanded metal, and welded wire mesh. Although mesh choice may be the primary focus when designing fence, an understanding of the application and material specifications should be key considerations as well. This course provides a review of the material specifications, installation, and standards related to the design of steel mesh fence systems.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Deck structures provide neat and sturdy living spaces that mirror interior conveniences while set in the ultimate, great outdoors. Choosing the right deck board for a specific project requires considering the size of the project, its location, and local climate conditions. This course discusses the performance characteristics and benefits of using multi-layer, cellular PVC decking—a durable decking material that replicates the unique beauty of exotic hardwood.


  • There are several key elements that must be considered with a cavity wall system. Heat, air, and moisture — both vapor and liquid — have a definite impact on how a cavity wall system should be designed and constructed. Once these elements have been addressed, a cavity wall system will increase energy efficiency, meet the required energy and fire code standards, and will provide cost-savings over the life of the building.

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


  • Whether replacing an existing roof, building a new roof from scratch, or some type of roof repair project in between, deciding on critical design factors is the key to a successful roofing system project. Each layer of a roofing assembly requires careful consideration and analysis to assess for impacts to the entire building. Using real-life scenarios and practice activities, this course explores the most common components of a roofing system, the advantages and disadvantages of each system, and how the critical factors aid in the assessment of the most appropriate system to meet the needs of the building and client.


  • Redwood Timbers are a safe, strong, and sustainable option for exterior and interior building projects where natural wood is desired. This course provides an overview of the properties of Redwood Timbers including insulation properties, grades, dimensions, fasteners, finishing options, and strength. It concludes with numerous case studies exploring the use of Redwood Timbers for post and beam construction, decorative elements, deck posts, and outdoor living structures.


  • Bollards are a cost-effective means of protecting people and infrastructure from damage and injury. This course examines rebounding bollards and includes discussions on the various types of bollards, the benefits of using rebounding bollards in various applications, the components of bollards, and design considerations.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Living walls are a beautiful way of reducing cooling loads, improving indoor air quality, and even growing food. Explore the benefits, system options, and maintenance requirements of vertical planter systems with integrated irrigation.

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


  • Low Impact Development (LID) has several advantages over traditional stormwater management approaches. Since impervious pavement is the main source of stormwater runoff, LID strategies recommend permeable paving for hard surfaces. The course discusses LID, its goals and principles, and how they are achieved. It provides an overview of permeable pavements, and more particularly, plastic permeable grid paver systems and how they support LID goals.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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


  • Traditionally used for high-performance architectural applications, water-based PVDF coatings can now be applied to cellular PVC cladding materials, delivering high performance in a new application. This course presents the benefits of cellular PVC as a cladding material and focuses on water-based PVDF coatings, how they work, and how their performance characteristics contribute to their durability.


  • Window frames offer many important benefits for buildings, especially when it comes to energy and environmental performance, and frame material selection is a critical aspect of the design process. This course discusses pultruded fiberglass window systems and compares them with traditional wood, aluminum, and PVC window systems across a wide variety of performance attributes.

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