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Continuing Education

Sustainable Design Courses

The courses below contain varying levels of sustainable design information.

Click here for information on the AEC Daily Sustainability Rating System.

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  • Machine room-less elevators have proven to be a smart choice for low- to mid-rise commercial and residential buildings, with operating mechanisms that enhance the rider’s experience, improve safety, and minimize downtime, and a gearless function that saves energy. This course examines machine room-less (MRL) elevators and includes discussions on the history of elevators, low-rise and mid-rise applications, industry standard configurations, and the green benefits achieved using machine room-less elevators.

  • Cladding can have a significant effect on the environmental performance and aesthetic appeal of a residential or mixed-use building. When designing a building exterior, in new construction or for a makeover, there are many variables to consider and numerous cladding options to choose from. This course discusses the performance of vinyl siding products, including their design, color retention, ease of installation, and durability, and illustrates how vinyl siding can achieve almost any architectural style, to suit any neighborhood.

  • Rain has been cited as the most important thing to control in wall construction. Rainscreen systems have, for over five decades, proven to be highly effective in this regard. Following an analysis of moisture management issues and rainscreen systems, this course then identifies the unique attributes of wood-plastic composites (WPC) for use in rainscreen applications. It concludes with a detailed description of how WPC cladding should be applied and fastened in rainscreen systems.

  • There are some complex issues involved in achieving ADA-compliant designs in all types of building construction. In terms of bathroom design, it is important to comprehend the ADA standards in order to minimize the risk of injury and to ensure end user comfort and ease of use. This course covers ADA-compliant design requirements for shower compartments and lavatory tops using solid surface materials—from planning and design to installation.

  • Acrylic foam tape is a two-sided, closed-cell acrylic foam, pressure-sensitive adhesive. It is adhesive throughout its entire construction, including the foam core. This course evaluates the physical properties, performance characteristics, and design benefits of using acrylic foam tapes for structural glazing and architectural panel applications.

  • When the asphalt fumes, open flame and kettles that accompany hot applied roofing are not permissible, cold applied roofing is an option. There are a variety of types of cold applied roofing that offer easy portability of materials to the roof, smaller roofing crews, ease of application and a low VOC option. In this course we’ll focus on the adhesive application of modified bitumen membranes using bituminous cold process adhesives, the adhesive types, their components and characteristics, application methods and design and use considerations.

  • A well-designed building is only as durable as the roof that protects it. For a relatively minor investment, roofing cover boards solve many issues that cause damage to a roof during installation and into the warranty period. This course reviews low-slope roof systems and discusses various cover board types and reasons for their use, including benefits, primary features, and challenges.

  • Rolling doors are used in heavy-duty, medium-duty, and light-duty applications for a wide range of commercial, industrial and construction environments. The course provides a review of the features, components, options and applications of various types of commercial rolling door products.

  • For those who desire the look and feel of granite, but are concerned about its drawbacks, engineered quartz may be the solution. Harder and stronger than granite, engineered quartz offers a design aesthetic that is different from other surfacing materials. This course provides an overview of the characteristics, features, and benefits of engineered quartz surfaces, as well as a discussion on the related green certification programs.

  • The importance of the building envelope in improving energy efficiency and building performance has been well established. The many envelope products and systems now available, along with a considerable amount of (mis)information as to their usage, make it difficult for designers to make choices that avoid costly building failures. This course explores in detail proper product selection, performance characteristics, applicable codes, testing procedures, best practices, and tie-in details for air and vapor barriers that will ensure a continuous air seal and a high-performance envelope.

  • Where quartz surfacing can be used is largely a matter of vision. The material itself is versatile and suitable for various applications. This course discusses quartz surfacing in terms of its performance capabilities, sustainable attributes, and endless design possibilities for both residential and commercial construction and design applications.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Commercial aluminum wall, window, and roof systems have undergone improvements in recent decades, making them technologically sufficient to meet contemporary standards of durability. In addition to being familiar with the systems' thermal and other ecological benefits, specifiers need to understand paint chemistry and the difference between powder and liquid coating application methods. It is also important to understand third-party specifications published by AAMA, which cover architectural coatings.

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

  • Insulation is one of the most critical factors in maintaining the life of a building. With benefits such as energy efficiency and code compliance, polyurethane spray foam insulation is the ideal choice for many interior and exterior applications. This course examines both low- and medium-density polyurethane spray foam insulation, its characteristics, design considerations, and life cycle analysis for commercial applications.

  • Flooring installations are only going to perform as well as the quality of surface preparation that they received. Strength/structural soundness, flatness, texture, and moisture are evaluated are addressed at this stage. This course explores surface preparation, including meeting industry standards, and outlines numerous moisture and flatness issues and remediation techniques to ensure a durable, long-life flooring installation for a variety of flooring materials.

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

  • As a result of new technology and innovative bath fixtures, showering can now be a multi-dimensional experience. With the myriad of options available in the marketplace, consumers look to building professionals to help create a shower solution that meets their personal needs. This course provides an overview of standard and custom shower systems, including the evolution of showers, design and installation considerations for custom showers, and green programs that address showerhead requirements and water conservation.

  • Made to withstand the elements over time, learn how Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) membranes are designed to offer exceptional resistance to ultraviolet light, ozone, and weathering. Gain an understanding of why TPO single-ply roofing systems are the fastest-growing commercial roofing product, and have gained broad industry acceptance for their many performance and installation advantages such as heat-welded seams. This course reinforces that not all thermoplastic roofing solutions are alike, and that TPO is the most environmentally friendly thermoplastic available.

  • Ultra-thin prestressed precast technology provides a versatile, lightweight panel that offers the strength and aesthetic versatility of concrete at a fraction of the weight. Reviewed in this course are the benefits, design and cost considerations, and the connection and fastening systems of prestressed precast panels in architectural applications.

  • 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 which can lead 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.

  • 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.

  • The evolution of kitchen design reflects how our lives have changed, and these changes have made a profound impact on the way we use water and our expectations regarding water delivery. This course discusses how kitchen water-delivery technology is changing to: meet and anticipate the evolving needs and expectations of our ever-changing population, provide stylish and innovative solutions that add multi-functionality to faucets, and help consumers find a smarter way to work with water.

  • There are many steps required to ensure a well thought out and complete construction project. This course examines procedures for inspection of permeable interlocking concrete pavement or PICP. 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 job site is discussed.

  • 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 installation.

  • People spend more than 90% of their time indoors; incorporating sunrooms, conservatories, greenhouses and/or other glass structures into homes or workplaces can be an effective way to reap the benefits of daylight. The positive impacts of incorporating more natural light into your lifestyle can be seen through energy savings, increase of productivity, and improvement of overall well-being. This presentation will also review strategies and design options to create unique overhead structures, standing structures, and vertical glazing systems that are energy efficient, comfortable, and functional.

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