Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

HSW. Health, Safety and Welfare

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  • Understanding a product’s life cycle impact is central to the selection of materials for any green building. High pressure decorative laminate (HPDL) manufacturers have initiatives in place to reduce waste, energy, and virgin materials in its production. This course introduces HPDL, its performance characteristics, fabrication techniques, and manufacturing processes and the processes and ingredients that make it a sustainable decorative surfacing solution for commercial and residential applications.

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

  • The triple bottom line approach to sustainability requires thinking of the world as an interconnected system of economic, environmental, and social well-being. Choices can be made to select home furnishings made from durable, recycled, recyclable, rapidly renewable, and/or reclaimed materials from companies who work to improve the lives and livelihoods of others. This course looks at recycled copper, sustainably made concrete, FSC®-certified bamboo, and reclaimed wood used in bath fixtures and furniture handmade by skilled artisans.

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

  • Can commercial overhead doors contribute to the sustainability goals of buildings requiring garage, drive-through, fire, dock, and service products? To meet these goals, commercial sectional and rolling doors should be engineered to provide energy efficiency and personnel protection, and to mitigate fire and wind damage. This course examines the sustainable attributes of commercial overhead doors and explores their design potential in LEED® compliant projects.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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

  • Our planet has a constant amount of water and a rapidly increasing population, meaning water must be used efficiently. This course takes a look at water and stormwater management at the site, neighborhood and watershed levels and various methods of conservation and water quality management. We’ll look at the basics of our natural water cycle and how it is impacted by population. Finally, we’ll review some examples of water and stormwater management plans.

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

  • 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

  • Concrete is a very versatile and fundamental building material; however, because it is porous and wicks water through its matrix, concrete has water-related design challenges. This program examines the sustainable benefits of integral concrete waterproofing, and analyzes traditional waterproofing methods as compared to integral methods in terms of performance, durability, risk, cost, and construction timeline.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

  • 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.

  • Ponding water on a low-sloped roof can greatly reduce the performance and lifespan of the roof membrane. Tapered roof insulation systems reduce or eliminate ponding water when a roof deck does not provide adequate slope. This course describes the benefits of tapered polyisocyanurate insulation and discusses the profiles, panel repeats, and design options available. Also addressed are cricket installation guidelines, tapered roof system average R-values, and specification tips.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

  • For generations, designers have turned to the beauty and functionality offered by terrazzo. In recent years, new technologies and materials mean terrazzo can respond to the needs of the most modern buildings. This course covers the evolution of terrazzo, terrazzo flooring systems, and the environmental advantages of terrazzo and how they apply to sustainable initiatives for indoor air quality, recycling, and resource efficiency.

  • Textile air dispersion systems have come a long way from the days of cotton diffusers and duct socks. Today's systems are custom engineered and constructed from advanced polyester fabrics that offer features and capabilities not possible with other air distribution systems. This course examines the similarities and differences between metal and fabric systems and highlights the design, performance, efficiency, and sustainability characteristics unique to textile air dispersion. As well, the wide-ranging application possibilities for textile systems are explored.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

  • 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...

  • Ventilation grilles influence HVAC system performance but can pose aesthetic challenges for designers. Custom grilles made with modern fabrication techniques employ a variety of materials and finishes to create solutions that enhance and fully integrate with architectural interiors. This course discusses the basic mechanics of effective air distribution in buildings, performance characteristics of grilles, grille types, and custom design options.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

  • A comprehensive lighting plan is critical to the success of any residential design project. Proper lighting is effective and efficient and contributes to the comfort and functionality of the home. This course explores lighting concepts, sources, and controls. It discusses using layers of light to achieve design goals, and how to incorporate energy efficiency into lighting designs.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

  • 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.

  • There are a number of building elements that maintain a separation between indoors and out. These elements should be able to work together to provide a comfortable and energy-efficient building. This course reviews building envelope systems, with a focus on selecting performance-based products for below-grade, above-grade, and roofing applications, and a discussion on best practices for design and installation.

  • Insulated metal panels (IMPs) fulfill several functions of the building envelope and numerous aspects should be considered in their design from a structural, energy efficiency, and fire safety standpoint. Reviewed in this course are the specification considerations, design opportunities, and the standards and policies pertaining to IMP systems. Also discussed are the many performance benefits and green advantages IMPs offer over traditional building envelope materials.

  • Synthetic roofing materials have been available in the market for more than a decade, providing a cost-effective, viable alternative to traditional slate and shake roofing systems. This course provides an overview of the features and benefits of slate and shake synthetic roofing products, including a discussion on the testing methods used to rate specific performance characteristics.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

  • As architects push the boundaries of design, the need for a material that offers the greatest amount of flexibility is required. From the vast number of aesthetic options, superior durability, cost efficiencies, and ease of installation in all weather conditions, single-component metal panel systems offer such flexibility.

  • Fireplaces remain one of the main focal points of a home. No longer used only for heating or cooking, and coupled with advances in technology and fuel options, fireplaces have evolved into an architectural component of the designed living space. Modern gas fireplaces offer an environmentally friendly heating solution with high efficiency ratings and contemporary designs that don’t sacrifice form for function. This course offers an overview of contemporary fireplace styles, options, venting, and installation, with a focus on cool wall technology and how it allows electronics and other design elements to be safely mounted over a fireplace.

  • 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 healthcare industry is undergoing a paradigm shift, from sick-care to health-care. This course reviews the forces that are fundamentally changing the patient care strategy, including a summary of how those changes are being reflected in the demands placed on the built environments where that care is being delivered. The course concludes with a reflection on how the surfaces specified in the healthcare built environment can help or hinder the overall organizational effort to deliver the care providers desire and patients deserve.

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

  • Building science experts have acknowledged the need for both drainage and ventilation in exterior wall systems in order to eliminate moisture issues and extend the life of buildings. This presentation reviews the concepts of rainscreen technology and the solutions for rainscreen compliance with a focus on engineered rainscreen drainage and ventilation mats used in direct applied and ventilated wall designs.

  • The availability of parking and the time it takes to park a vehicle are major challenges when designing a new development. Parking garages typically require big volumes and are not efficient with land use. Automated parking can practically reduce parking space, while providing the same (sometimes more) number of parking stalls as a conventional garage. It also improves the user experience, providing a valet parking experience, just without the valet.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

  • Ensuring hands are dry is crucial for maintaining hygiene levels, but when a hand dryer is too slow, many people give up trying to get their hands completely dry and exit the bathroom with wet hands. This course discusses hand-drying concepts and the advantages of hand dryers with air knife technology. It also reviews the impact the choice of hand-drying equipment has on public health, occupant comfort, facility operations, and our environment.

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

  • The inherent properties of concrete masonry, including strength, durability, and fire safety, have been well documented, though a perception of high cost persists. However, due to significant changes to codes and standards that have increased the flexibility of concrete masonry systems, these systems offer cost-effective solutions. This course reviews changes to ASTM C90 and the masonry design standard and includes a discussion on the benefits and opportunities these new requirements bring.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Basic

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