Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

Category: 32 00 00 - EXTERIOR IMPROVEMENTS

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  • Aesthetics, durability, and environmental performance are key considerations for architectural metal finishes. This course will help you identify long-lasting and sustainable aluminum extrusion coatings and includes discussions on the aluminum extrusion process; a comparison of powder and liquid coatings; an overview of the chrome and the chrome-free pretreatment processes; and the performance objectives of AAMA testing standards.

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


  • 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.


  • 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...


  • 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...


  • The commercial space design trend toward open plans has had a major impact on interior electrical and digital infrastructure. Offices, hotels, retail spaces, and transit areas all utilize open spaces, each with their own specific issues and requirements. This course provides designers with the information required to provide code-compliant, user-friendly, and convenient power, data/communication, and AV access for a wide variety of spaces and end users, including facility managers, cleaning staff, and visitors.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • 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...


  • 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...


  • 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...


  • 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...


  • Modern construction has come to understand that a façade, as part of an overall building envelope, is not only a visual statement, but also an important influencer in the protection of a wall’s structural components, the energy efficiency of the building, and the health of its occupants. This course explores a unique surfacing material known as ultracompact surfacing (UCS) and evaluates its mechanical properties, technical characteristics, and aesthetics to illustrate its endless design potential in exterior cladding, façade, and rainscreen applications.


  • 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...


  • Over the past few decades, exterior building spaces and roofs have significantly transformed from utilitarian ballasted roof systems to roof systems with highly programmed, environmentally conscious, people-friendly amenities that promote healthier lifestyles. A variety of products and materials can be utilized in the design and construction of roof gardens and decks. This course will review the construction of basic types of roof systems, as well as the range of hardscaping products that are available to designers.

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


  • Siding adds to the attractiveness of a residence while protecting the home from damage by the elements. Options for siding and trim encompass a variety of materials, including engineered wood, natural wood, fiber cement, and vinyl. This course reviews the features, performance characteristics, styles, and installation considerations of engineered wood siding and trim products.

     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.


  • 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 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...


  • 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...


  • 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...


  • 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


  • Permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) has the ability to create solid, strong surfaces for pedestrians and a range of vehicular uses, and can help maintain a site’s existing natural hydrologic function and reduce the overall impact of development. This course discusses the components of a PICP system and how they work together to manage stormwater in a variety of applications. Also addressed are hydrological and structural factors to consider when designing with PICP, and how PICP contributes to sustainable building goals and projects.

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


  • Commercial planters add an inviting tone to a space when filled with bright flowers and exotic plants, and their impact in terms of appeal is substantial. Designers and architects need to have an understanding of the variables to consider when specifying commercial planters for both style and functional requirements, as well as the material options that are available in the marketplace. These topics are covered 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


  • The growing global population is creating an increased demand for resources. As a result, there is a need to replace fossil-based, nonrenewable building materials with more bio-based materials, such as bamboo. This course describes the properties of bamboo that make it a more sustainable choice, including its fast growth and CO2 saving and storing potential. It also discusses how active bamboo reforestation and the use of durable bamboo products can lead to CO2 reduction across many industries.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

     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...


  • 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


  • Segmental retaining walls (SRWs) can strengthen steep slopes, hold back soil in grade changes, create useable land, and enhance the aesthetics of any landscape. This course looks at the site and application factors that determine whether a segmental retaining wall must be engineered and soil reinforced, and provides technical information about the components and construction of an SRW.

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Free