Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

Category: 04 00 00 - MASONRY

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  • There is a growing realization that the buildings we live and work in play an important role in the health and wellbeing of building occupants. Green building rating systems are starting to incorporate health and wellbeing criteria and this course will look specifically at how products and materials can help meet the health and wellbeing requirements across these systems.

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


  • Modern construction has come to understand that a façade, as part of an overall building envelope, is not only a visual statement, but also an important influencer in the protection of a wall’s structural components, the energy efficiency of the building, and the health of its occupants. This course explores a unique surfacing material known as ultracompact surfacing (UCS) and evaluates its mechanical properties, technical characteristics, and aesthetics to illustrate its endless design potential in exterior cladding, façade, and rainscreen applications.


  • Over the past few decades, exterior building spaces and roofs have significantly transformed from utilitarian ballasted roof systems to roof systems with highly programmed, environmentally conscious, people-friendly amenities that promote healthier lifestyles. A variety of products and materials can be utilized in the design and construction of roof gardens and decks. This course will review the construction of basic types of roof systems, as well as the range of hardscaping products that are available to designers.

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


  • Movable pool and spa floor technology enables an entirely flexible, multifunctional living and recreational space to complement any architectural vision. Presented here are types of movable pool floors, pool floor technology, options and amenities, and safety and sustainability performance considerations.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • The green building movement is gaining momentum worldwide, resulting in stricter regulations regarding the energy efficiency of structures. Conventional construction methods can't always meet these demands and more innovative and thermally efficient building products are required. This course focuses specifically on thermal bridging, how it affects the overall efficiency of a building, and how it can be effectively addressed.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

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


  • Continuous insulation (ci) was introduced in the IBC (International Building Code) in 2006 as a new topic primarily in the northern tier climate zones. Over the course of the next two code cycles, continuous insulation has become part of the prescriptive path in all climate zones and for virtually all types of wall assemblies. This course examines different types of insulation materials commonly used as continuous insulation. Attributes that affect material use, installation, and performance within exterior wall assemblies are compared and discussed.


  • High-performance buildings require envelopes with thermal, air, and vapor layers that are typically installed individually and by separate contractors, adding to the complexity of their construction. Integrally-insulated concrete tilt-up panels provide multiple building envelope layers in one element. In this course we’ll look at these insulated concrete walls, the types, their components, their thermal and moisture resistant properties, and where they are used.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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


  • Driven largely by public interest in minimizing the potential environmental impact of building products, architects and builders actively embrace “green” initiatives and are calling for building product transparency. The Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) was developed to address this need. This course examines the EPD and includes discussions on who wants EPDs and why, the EPD development process, the contents of an EPD, and the future of EPDs.

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


  • Ultrathin prestressed precast technology provides a versatile, lightweight panel that offers the strength and aesthetic versatility of concrete at a fraction of the weight. Prestressed precast panels can be used to replace a variety of traditional building materials in a wide range of exterior and interior applications. Reviewed in this course are the benefits, design and cost considerations, and the connection and fastening systems of prestressed precast panels in architectural applications.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Homeowners are looking for alternatives to traditional cladding materials that are affordable and long-lasting, and require little or no upkeep. Advances in technology and manufacturing techniques mean cellular PVC cladding products can meet all of these requirements without sacrificing aesthetics. This course reviews the benefits of cellular PVC as a cladding material and discusses how cellular PVC R&R prefinished shingles can provide the look and feel of wood shingles with an extended level of durability and low maintenance.


  • 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


  • Water leaks and damage are some of the biggest problems encountered with masonry construction and cavity walls. The proper choice and installation of flexible through-wall flashing, however, can ensure that moisture is directed out of the wall cavity and the risk of potential damage is minimized.


  • Water intrusion creates a variety of problems for masonry structures, including freeze-thaw damage, chemical- and pollution-based attacks, efflorescence, calcium carbonate stains, and mold. This course reviews the application and specification considerations related to water repellents and how they can help to prevent these problems.


  • Concrete is often the substrate for both new and existing floors. Transforming the surface into a finished floor is far more sustainable than consuming additional flooring materials, adhesives, and transportation-related energy to install a floor covering. This course discusses the stages and options of the concrete polishing process, recognizes benefits of recent advances in concrete densification chemistry, and provides an overview of the limitations and possibilities for concrete floor finishes.


  • Masonry is an ideal sustainable building construction material as it is extremely durable, recyclable, and reusable. It allows for extraordinary design versatility so it can meet both aesthetic and functional requirements. This course looks at the design elements, components, and construction techniques that characterize sustainable masonry cavity wall building envelopes.

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


  • Porcelain tile containing recycled content provides residential and commercial building projects with a durable, easy-to-maintain finish material for interior or exterior floors, walls, or other surfaces. This course highlights the eco-friendly production practices of porcelain tile and details its contributions to the design and performance of a building.

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


  • Concrete-faced insulated products are composite prefinished panels that are used to construct walls and roofing assemblies to maximize the energy efficiency, durability, and performance of a building envelope. This course discusses the design criteria used in designing energy-efficient buildings using concrete-faced continuous insulation systems for low-slope roofing, walls, and foundations. The functional and physical features of protective membrane roof (PMR) systems, concrete-faced insulated panels for walls and foundations, and concrete structural insulated panels (CSIPs) are evaluated.

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


  • 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 identifies common water-related problems for masonry and concrete, describes protective treatments that increase masonry durability, and explains the process for safely selecting and applying a protective treatment.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • 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 life cycle environmental impact, 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.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Segmental retaining walls (SRWs) can strengthen steep slopes, hold back soil in grade changes, create useable land, and enhance the aesthetics of any landscape. This course looks at the site and application factors that determine whether a segmental retaining wall must be engineered and soil reinforced, and provides technical information about the components and construction of an SRW.


  • Permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) has the ability to create solid, strong surfaces for pedestrians and a range of vehicular uses, and can help maintain a site’s existing natural hydrologic function and reduce the overall impact of development. This course discusses the components of a PICP system and how they work together to manage stormwater in a variety of applications. Also addressed are hydrological and structural factors to consider when designing with PICP, and how PICP contributes to sustainable building goals and projects.

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


  • Extruded polystyrene (XPS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) are both types of rigid foam plastic insulation; their different manufacturing processes produce wide-ranging performance attributes, especially in water absorption and R-value. This course discusses the negative impact of water absorption on R-value and structural integrity; explains why codes and standards are sometimes specific in requiring XPS in applications where prolonged exposure to water occurs; and concludes with a look at best specification practices for accurate bids.


  • 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...


  • The need to evaluate thermal bridging in a building’s design and performance has become more prevalent because of the increasing requirements for more energy-efficient buildings. This course provides an introduction to thermal bridging, energy code requirements, and the use of thermal break solutions designed to improve energy efficiency in the building envelope.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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


  • In today’s high-performance building market, specifying materials that work together as a complete wall system is more critical than ever. Systems can help designers meet new energy codes, reduce costs, and improve building function and sustainability while making the design process faster and simpler. Focusing on the most common exterior wall system, steel stud with masonry veneer, this course details key system components, recent advances in building analysis, code requirements, and a comprehensive systems approach.

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