Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

Category: 06 00 00 - WOOD, PLASTICS, AND COMPOSITES

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  • Over time, urban parks and other open landscaped areas are being lost to development. One solution to mitigate this issue is to reconsider undeveloped areas such as building roofs to create green amenity spaces. Amenity decks can provide some alleviation of lost green space, while affording developers the potential to monetize underutilized spaces in their buildings and provide an advantage over older buildings to attract tenants.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

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


  • 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.


  • The U.S. has the worst fire fatality rate in the industrialized world, and consideration should be given to the use of intumescent acrylic latex paint for its fire-resistance attributes. This course outlines the evolution of intumescent coatings. The program focuses on intumescent acrylic latex paint coatings and the performance and aesthetic advantages they have over traditional coatings. It includes discussions on codes and standards, applicable substrates, adhesion, and application, curing, and cleanup.


  • Quartz surfacing material is one of the most durable products in the market today. While there are many surfacing options available such as natural stone, acrylic solid surface, ceramic, concrete, and laminate, none offer the flexibility, strength, durability, and endless design possibilities of a quartz surface. This course examines the characteristics, attributes, and manufacturing processes involved with quartz surfaces, explaining how they influence material performance, safety, and durability. A comparison with other surfacing options and the use of quartz surfaces in healthcare applications are also discussed.


  • 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...


  • Phenolic architectural panels are designed to work as cladding with a rainscreen design in a ventilated facade system. This course uses case studies to highlight the testing standards, attributes, and physical properties of phenolic panels (including structural integrity, code compliance, and design flexibility) to illustrate why they are an excellent exterior facade option for new and retrofit construction.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory


  • 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...


  • Leading aluminum extrusion manufacturers have established a variety of methods pertaining to material grade, surface protection, and component solutions to maximize the benefits of aluminum to suit a wide variety of applications. These advancements in technology have led to the development of sustainable wood-patterned aluminum products designed for exterior and interior applications. This course focuses on how these products can be used as a beautiful, high-performance, durable alternative for real wood in a range of applications, including screens, facades, decking, fencing, gates, cladding, and more.

    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.


  • The materials we use have a significant impact on the environment, our communities, and our health. Consequently, material transparency—wherein manufacturers disclose vital sustainability information about their products—is an increasingly necessary element of modern life. This course examines the tools and resources that are available for both manufacturers and the A&D community that effectively communicate transparency information and optimization of building products. Also reviewed are the benefits of the new-generation insulated metal panels (IMPs) designed to achieve a trusted range of health and wellness certifications.

    Prerequisites: None

    Course Level: Introductory


  • 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.


  • 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...


  • 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.


  • In today’s market, designers are always looking for innovative products that are beautiful, versatile, and sustainable. Glass-quartz surfacing encompasses all of these characteristics. This course describes the importance of recycled content surfaces and their environmental significance, including reducing the use of natural resources and improving indoor air quality. Traditional and recycled surfacing materials are compared, the sustainable manufacturing process is explained, and life cycle environmental impact and case study applications are discussed.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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


  • Timber curtain wall systems in commercial applications are a beautiful alternative to standard aluminum storefront systems, offering durable, low-maintenance, aluminum or wood-capped exteriors with the warmth and richness of wood interiors. This course describes the design benefits, components, options, and installation of timber curtain walls. Also discussed is how this resource-responsible system can help satisfy LEED® credit requirements, meet energy-efficiency expectations, and maximize outdoor views while creating indoor spaces that are uniquely modern and comfortable.

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


  • Millennial consumers are committed to making environmentally sustainable purchasing choices. But what makes a product truly sustainable? This course presents data to show that thermally fused laminate (TFL) and other waste wood fiber products are among the most sustainable building materials on the market. Forest management, the properties that make wood climate positive, efficiencies in the panel manufacturing process, and the criteria and processes behind environmental certification are discussed.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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


  • Provides an overview of the history of solid surface as a decorative material with a discussion on product characteristics and attributes, and a comparison of sustainability factors of three hard surface materials and their environmental impact.

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


  • This course provides an overview of the raw materials used in Compact Laminate, as well as its manufacturing process, performance characteristics, and suitable applications. Additionally, the properties that make Compact Laminate a sustainable decorative surfacing solution for commercial and residential applications are reviewed.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Surface design and color impact people in one way or another. Why do some surroundings induce a sense of calm, happiness, or inspiration while others offer nothing but distraction, discomfort, chaos, doom, and gloom? Interior surfaces are the point of contact between users and their environment, as well as an important connection between the visual and physical worlds. This course examines the integral role that surface color and design play in interior spaces and how color and design can improve health, reduce stress, enhance safety, and promote well-being in building occupants. Key requirements in the selection and specification process are also discussed.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Provides an overview of the types, features, and benefits of designing with cellular PVC trim, including a discussion on the installation guidelines and manufacturing processes.


  • Metal composite panels deliver a clean and elegant aesthetic while acting as a rainscreen or barrier wall. These panels can be produced in two different manners, each affecting performance and applicability. This course reviews metal composite panels, their methods of manufacture, performance capabilities, and methods of installation.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Western red cedar's (WRC) aesthetic, economic, and environmental benefits are just some of the reasons why builders and designers are increasingly gravitating to this species of wood. Presented here are modern, historical, and cultural uses of western red cedar, as well as its performance characteristics, grade specification, and finishes. Also discussed are sustainable forest management practices and certification agencies, and how sustainably sourced wood can contribute to LEED® credits.

    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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