Building knowledge and connections

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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  • Cement board is a lightweight, rigid substrate that provides an exceptionally hard, durable surface that is able to withstand prolonged exposure to moisture. This course addresses cement backer board, its features and benefits, and versatile interior and exterior applications, including Cement Board Stucco Systems (CBSS) and Cement Board Masonry Veneer (CBMV). The program reviews CBSS and CBMV components and performance benefits.

  • 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 systems.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Sinterization is a specialized manufacturing process that uses extreme heat and pressure to create a unique product called ultracompact surfacing material. This cutting-edge material can be used in ways that natural stone, solid surface, or quartz material cannot. This course examines the advantages of ultracompact surfaces in terms of strength, durability, chemical resistance, absorption, abrasion resistance, and ASTM testing. Design flexibility with ultracompact surfaces in terms of color, texture, and format is also discussed and possible interior/exterior application options are considered.

  • Destination-dispatch technology has improved how buildings control elevators and optimized passenger mobility to achieve maximum energy efficiency. By grouping passengers with similar destinations, a significant number of benefits to the building owner and occupants are realized. This course discusses the key planning considerations for elevator projects and takes a look at the advantages of destination-dispatch elevators and how they provide solutions to the many challenges building owners and users face.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Provides an overview of current lighting trends, energy management requirements, and current legislation affecting lighting design considerations for healthcare facilities.

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

  • Metal composite panels deliver a clean and elegant aesthetic while acting as a rain screen or barrier wall. These panels can be produced in two different manners which affect their performance and applicability. This course will review metal composite panels, their methods of manufacture, performance capabilities and methods of installation.

  • Falls are responsible for more open wounds, fractures, and brain injuries than any other cause of injury. Photoluminescent (PL) exit path markers have proven to provide safe and quick egress in all light conditions for occupants and fail-safe guidance to first responders entering unfamiliar surroundings in the event of an emergency. This course discusses the benefits of PL safety products and the codes and testing standards related to PL way-finding systems.

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

  • The term “post-frame building system” refers to a building erected with structural frames of wood posts as columns and trusses or rafters for roof framing. Post-frame buildings are engineered for site and building requirements and through proper design and quality materials, they can be constructed to be as strong as a steel-frame building. This course covers the attributes, construction methods, materials, of post-frame building systems and their applications for low-rise commercial buildings.

  • As some of the earliest building materials, masonry and concrete have been used for their durability and strength. However, masonry architecture, both historical and contemporary, has been left vulnerable to water—the single most damaging element to masonry in our environment. This course will identify common water-related problems for masonry and concrete, describe protective treatments and their benefits, and explain the process for selecting and applying a protective treatment.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Roofing is a big investment and that’s why durability is so important: it translates directly into lower total cost of ownership. Given the number of low-slope commercial roofs found in today’s cities, it is key that architects/designers have an understanding of the forces that affect the durability of a roof assembly. This presentation looks at the value rigid cover boards deliver to a commercial roof assembly, how they perform in adverse conditions, and how different types of cover boards compare to each other.

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