Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

HSW. Health, Safety and Welfare

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  • Indoor air quality (IAQ) can dramatically influence the health and comfort of building occupants. It is critical to understand and control common pollutants in order to reduce the risk of health concerns related to indoor environments. This course examines the pollutants common to building interiors and their potential to cause adverse health effects. Discussions include VOC content and emissions, the value of an IAQ management plan, and the importance of specifying low-emitting materials.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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

  • In the last couple of decades, houses have become progressively more airtight due to energy efficiency and cost concerns. While air infiltration and exfiltration rates have been significantly reduced, the need for an efficient ventilation system has become extremely important. This course evaluates different types of mechanical ventilation systems and discusses why heat recovery ventilation (HRV) and energy recovery ventilation (ERV) systems are characterized by a high level of energy efficiency and as an effective means for improving indoor air quality.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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

  • Heated towel racks not only warm and dry damp towels, but also add a sense of comfort and luxury. This course explores heated towel racks and includes discussions on: the functions, benefits, and applications of heated towel racks; centrally heated, electric, and hydronic heating systems; materials and finishes; installation and care; and, design and accessory options.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

  • Insulating concrete form (ICF) products use a cost-effective and robust structural material option (reinforced concrete) to turn a building envelope into a high performing thermal, moisture, and air enclosure, with disaster resistance and built-in compliance with energy code requirements. As a result of their performance, building owners can complete a whole structure with ICFs and reinforced concrete, including intermediate suspended floors, roof tops, and multi-story designs. This course examines the advancements in ICF technology and discusses the potential contribution held by ICFs to support improved sustainability and resilience.

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

  • Adhesion and long-term integrity of a high-performance floor system can be undermined by any number of factors. Although surface preparation is one of the most critical aspects of floor coating, there are a number of other steps that must be included. In this course we will review the necessary steps for a successful high performance floor coating application including preliminary inspection and surface preparation, selection of appropriate products and proper coating application tips.

  • A high-performance building must address four major environmental loads: water, air, vapor, and thermal. The location of the required control layers is critical to effective envelope design. This course explores perfect/universal wall design and the use of single-component insulated metal panels (IMPs) to provide all four control layers. Presented here are discussions on the building envelope, rainscreens, perfect wall design, and IMPs, and more specifically, how to incorporate IMPs into engineered façade systems.

    Prerequisites: None

    Course Level: Introductory

  • This course explains and illustrates how high-performance, fully composite insulated sandwich wall panels can be detailed to achieve continuous insulation. It explores the pros, cons, and attributes of wythe connectors such as carbon fiber trusses as well as panel insulation options, manufacturing and testing procedures, and installation methods. It concludes by providing a comprehensive set of sample installations to illustrate the broad range of building types and appearances that can be created with insulated sandwich wall systems.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

  • Today, architects and designers need to give special consideration to building acoustics when developing plans for new and newly renovated construction projects. Excessive noise in any environment is considered a serious problem that can negatively impact occupant comfort, leading to learning difficulties, sleep deprivation, delayed recovery from illness, and lack of privacy. Sound basics are discussed in this course, and STC, IIC, and sound attenuation (reduction) techniques are explained. Various case studies are examined to develop further understanding of the performance of common sound abatement assemblies that are essential for occupant well-being and comfort.

  • Surface design and color impact people in one way or another. Why do some surroundings induce a sense of calm, happiness, or inspiration while others offer nothing but distraction, discomfort, chaos, doom, and gloom? Interior surfaces are the point of contact between users and their environment, as well as an important connection between the visual and physical worlds. This course examines the integral role that surface color and design play in interior spaces and how color and design can improve health, reduce stress, enhance safety, and promote well-being in building occupants. Key requirements in the selection and specification process are also discussed.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

  • The building envelope must withstand the effects of long-term exposure to the elements. This course explores rainscreen wall design and the control of hygrothermal loads. The traditional multicomponent backup wall assembly is compared with the single-component, insulated metal composite backup wall system, outlining key differences in design and construction and their overall effect on installation and performance.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

  • The expectation for better products, better systems, and better buildings has created demand for reliable disclosure methods for the health and environmental impacts of building materials. This course will explore the product transparency movement in terms of environmental product declarations, in particular the product environmental profile (PEP). An overview of how a PEP is created, the basic terms used in a PEP, and a part-by-part review of a sample PEP are presented.

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

  • Provides an overview of the operation of hybrid heat pump systems and hybrid heat pump geothermal systems, including their energy savings, low electrical consumption, and efficient use of reclaimed heat.

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

  • Interlocking concrete pavements are appropriate for any application that requires paving, and durable, creative interlock begins with clear and technically accurate specifications. This presentation moves through every section of ICPI Tech Spec 9: Guide Specification for the Construction of Interlocking Concrete Pavement to show how quality assurance is achieved through specifications.

  • Interlocking concrete pavers (ICP) have the ability to spread applied loads via the interlock between each unit. This means that the surface does not respond structurally as single pavers but as a composite paved surface. This structural characteristic of ICP allows the design method for these pavements to be based on flexible pavement design. In this course, we examine the ASCE and ICPI structural design methods for ICP and review examples using different soil strengths/stiffnesses and traffic uses. Finally, we survey the design and construction support material and software available from the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute.

  • There are many steps required to ensure a well thought out and complete construction project. This course examines procedures for inspection of interlocking concrete pavement, or ICP. It addresses preconstruction meeting details, requirements for submittals, and site inspection points from project start to completion. Various testing methods and inspection criteria are presented as well, and the importance of having an ICPI-trained contractor on the jobsite is discussed.

  • The use of sustainable materials and products during building design will become the standard within the construction industry, and environmental product declarations (EPDs) and Health Product Declarations (HPDs) help architects and owners make informed decisions for their projects. Insulated metal panels— a prime example of a sustainable product—are one of the most cost-effective solutions to reduce energy and greenhouse gases.

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

  • Daylighting is the controlled admission of natural light into a building. It takes into consideration both direct and diffuse sunlight, and reduces use of electric light, thereby decreasing energy costs. By controlling daylight, solar heat gain can be minimized, lowering the demand on HVAC systems. This course evaluates a variety of daylighting strategies for commercial applications and includes discussions about the relevance of daylight factor calculations and the impact fabric characteristics have on a shading solution.

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

  • 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

  • With the relatively recent development of new products and procedures for polishing concrete, concrete floors have added aesthetic appeal to their list of impressive performance characteristics. This course will discuss improving and prolonging the performance of finished concrete floors by exploring the many benefits of concrete flooring, summarizing the procedure for creating concrete floors, explaining maintenance methods and spill removal, and explaining how a floor protection plan will aid in the prolonged service life of the floor.

  • Although known for being a strong and versatile building material, there are a number of factors that affect the sustainability of concrete, and a variety of measures that can be taken to increase its durability and extend its service life, thus protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the users. This course discusses the environmental impact of concrete and some of the main causes of concrete deterioration, and examines how crystalline waterproofing technology can be employed to increase the durability and sustainability of concrete.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

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

  • The U.S. has the worst fire fatality rate in the industrialized world, and consideration should be given to the use of intumescent acrylic latex paint for its fire-resistance attributes. This course outlines the evolution of intumescent coatings. The program focuses on intumescent acrylic latex paint coatings and the performance and aesthetic advantages they have over traditional coatings. It includes discussions on codes and standards, applicable substrates, adhesion, and application, curing, and cleanup.

  • With the increasing prominence of glass in new buildings and retrofit projects, the use of window film can raise the style, performance, and safety of today’s building projects. This course examines the use of various types of window film, (decorative, solar control, and safety/security) and their role in improving occupant comfort and safety, lowering energy costs, and enhancing privacy.

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

  • Exterior wall systems are the dividing line between the exterior and the interior and must address several fundamental performance goals of the building envelope. This course reviews traditional rainscreen design and examines why, with its single-component construction, an insulated composite backup wall system is a vast improvement over traditional multicomponent building technology.

  • The construction of residential and commercial buildings that use less energy to operate and are long lived is a key part of sustainable design. Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) provide the necessary U-factor, airtightness, resiliency, and durability for all building types. Insulated concrete forms in residential and commercial construction projects offer excellent thermal performance and reduced energy consumption and operating costs, while maintaining a very comfortable and healthy interior environment. This course examines the ICF wall, including materials and components, and discusses design considerations and construction.

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

  • It is an expectation that today’s buildings have to be more than just aesthetically pleasing: they have to provide measurable, environmental benefits. This course outlines how insulated concrete forms (ICFs) help meet sustainable design objectives and examines the advantages that ICFs and ICF technology have over conventional construction materials for building envelopes in all building types.

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

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