Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

HSW. Health, Safety and Welfare

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  • Accommodating an aging population in multistory homes means finding ways to simplify access to all levels. As residential elevators continue to decrease in cost, they are being considered as the most effective solution to offer safety, comfort, and convenience to the homeowner. This course reviews all considerations needed for the installation of a residential elevator including preplanning, locating, power and structural requirements, and code considerations.

  • The plumbing system is an integral part of a healthy home and is required by code to keep the occupants safe. Homeowners are making their kitchens and bathrooms even more hardworking by selecting fixtures and faucets that anticipate their needs and help them to use water efficiently. This course discusses how fixture and faucet function, operation, performance, and placement affect water delivery in the kitchen and bathroom.

  • The magnitude and negative impacts of solid waste have become increasingly apparent, especially in regard to plastics and their presence in the oceans. As a result, there have been many approaches to rethinking what constitutes waste and how it can be avoided or used/managed in a more sustainable manner. This course explores these emerging approaches to waste management planning and illustrates them with current examples of solid waste management plans and initiatives from various countries around the globe. In the first part of this course, we’ll dig into the impact of our growing waste problem and some methods for rethinking this waste. In the second, we’ll provide guidance for the design of a sustainable community waste management plan.

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

  • More than ever before, homeowners are interested in creating the type of outdoor living space that will enhance their enjoyment—and the energy efficiency—of their homes. This course discusses how retractable screens offer sustainable design solutions for homeowners, architects, and builders. Subjects including screen components, insect and UV protection, and how retractable screens contribute to a home’s increased energy efficiency are discussed, and various case studies focusing on sustainability are examined.

    Prerequisites: None

    Course Level: Introductory

  • Roof glazing products can positively affect building occupants by illuminating the interior of a space, providing views to the outside, and allowing for natural ventilation. There are many factors to be considered during the product selection process to ensure performance goals are realized. Presented in this course are roof window and skylight design and performance criteria, relevant building codes and standards, and types of roof windows and skylights and their features.

  • Currently, there are no national or state codes relating to snow retention for roofing applications. Consequently, it is very important for building professionals to take extra care when designing a snow retention system for installations in snowy environments. This course provides a review of the problems and solutions associated with roofing in cold climates, including a discussion on the proper engineering of snow retention devices.

  • 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.

  • With the advent of “cool” single-ply roofs featuring heat-reflective exterior surfaces and the use of mechanical attachment, new questions have emerged concerning the internal forces at play within the roofing system, especially in regard to vapor movement and the potential for moisture condensation within the roof. This course reviews the fundamentals of vapor movement in roofing systems, current roof condensation research, and the tools available to assess roof condensation. It also provides the building design professional with strategies to deal effectively with moisture movement within the roofing system.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

  • A rooftop solar photovoltaic system offers myriad benefits to both building owners and the environment; to maximize the benefits, however, it is important to be aware of the potential causes and effects of problems with rooftop installations. This course presents the issues to consider to prevent damaging the roof, voiding the roofing warranty, and incurring additional costs. Solar system mounting options are explored in terms of how they can help eliminate concerns around rooftop installations.

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

  • Choosing the correct roofing materials is a critical first step for builders, architects, and designers as they construct a new building, and for facility managers who work with these professionals to remodel existing buildings. This program examines SBS modified bitumen roofing and underlayment systems and includes discussions on the properties of SBS modified bitumen membrane, applications, testing, codes and standards, and underlayments, and provides a comparison with other commercial roofing materials.

  • This course provides an overview of integral blind assemblies and discusses their benefits over conventional blinds, components and framing options, performance characteristics and testing standards, and common applications.

  • Today’s building professionals and owners share enthusiasm for building envelope performance. Building envelopes separate the building interior from the exterior environment. As such, they are exposed to a variety of environmental loads, including wind pressure, solar radiation, and rain. This course provides an overview of the major thermodynamic considerations for the proper construction of the building envelope with a focus on insulated metal panels (IMPs) that provide all four control layers (air, water, vapor, and thermal) in a single-component system.

  • Pass-through windows are a common and convenient method of conducting transactions in a variety of settings, some of which may present concerns for the security of the employees behind the windows. This course addresses the protection options available for security pass-through windows. Proper specification of pass-through windows as well as convenience and performance features are also discussed.

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

  • The concept of stabilized earth structures has been around for centuries. Historically, grass mats, straw, and branches have been used to stabilize soil. Now, soil reinforcement utilizes technologically advanced geosynthetic materials to secure earth in retaining walls, bridge abutments, and many other applications. This course reviews the basic concepts about segmental retaining wall systems, focusing on geogrid reinforcement applications, site conditions, and the construction sequence. Key success factors are also discussed.

  • 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...

  • White roofs made of vinyl can reflect three-quarters or more of the sun’s rays and emit 70% or more of the solar radiation absorbed by the building envelope. Despite protecting and keeping buildings cool in all climates around the world for decades, misconceptions about the energy impact of cool roofs still exist. This course uses the fundamental science behind cool roofs to address alleged issues concerning the performance of cool roof products.

     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

  • Structural fire protection guards essential structural components from the devastating effects of fire. This course discusses some of the types of passive fire protection methods that are available. Examined in depth are the composition, manufacture, finishes, and design and installation considerations of prefabricated fireproof structural columns designed for exposed exterior and interior load-bearing applications.

  • Single-ply membranes, along with their installation methodologies, have evolved to best meet the roofing needs of today’s low-sloped commercial buildings. This course reviews the most prevalent membranes and describes the advantages and disadvantages of EPDM, PVC, and TPO. An overview of attachment methods is presented as well as a discussion of single-ply system strength, cool roof benefits, and condensation issues from a building science perspective.

  • Various control strategies are used to prevent rain from penetrating a building envelope and entering a building assembly. This course compares exterior wall metal cladding systems and takes an in-depth look at the design options, testing, specifications, environmental implications, and the detailing of single-skin metal panel systems as used in a pressure-equalized rainscreen (PER) application.

  • Single-skin metal siding can be used for a wide range of projects, from commercial buildings to educational, healthcare, residential, agricultural, and even high-end architectural designs. These siding panels can also contribute to green designs and certification programs. This course explores the different types of single-skin metal siding, specification details, and performance and design considerations.

  • Choosing a sink and countertop for kitchen and bathroom installations can be overwhelming with the array of choices in today's marketplace. To facilitate the selection process, this course provides an overview of the different sink/countertop materials, sink configurations, and installation methods that are utilized in both residential and commercial applications with a focus on seamless integration design.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

  • The distinctive look and beauty of natural slate roofing cannot be denied, but it does have its shortcomings. This course explores the history of slate roofs and various slate roofing alternatives and includes discussions on the appearance, performance, and costs of various types of roofs that replicate natural slate, with a focus on composite slate tile roofing, its durability, specification, and installation.

  • Sliding doors systems not only save room but also offer users expanded flexibility in how a space functions, providing more or less privacy, circulation, or intimacy with a simple movement. Smooth-working and reliable sliding door hardware ensures that users of all abilities can operate the doors and that the system will perform as intended over its lifetime. This course presents the types of sliding door systems and outlines their suitability for applications ranging from residential to commercial, healthcare, hospitality, and more. A review of system components, specialty systems, and case studies provides guidance on how to choose and install the right system to best meet user needs.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

  • The spread of smoke in mid- and high-rise building fires is recognized as a major threat to the safety of the building occupants and responding fire personnel and the effectiveness of firefighting operations. This course explains how smoke migrates in a multistory building fire and discusses how building codes have evolved to address this danger and why they mandate smoke containment in specific areas of a structure. Product applications and assemblies designed to meet building code requirements and limit vertical smoke migration via elevator hoistways and lobbies are examined.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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

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