Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

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

Displaying 1 - 25 of 59 results.

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  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • Food and wine preservation refers to the process of storing products under ideal conditions in order to maximize longevity. Preserving food and wine maximizes its shelf life and flavor which, in turn, enhances the enjoyment of its consumption. Additionally, proper preservation results in less waste and saves the consumer money. This course reviews the causes of premature food deterioration, the optimal conditions for storing wine and food, and the solutions that are available with a focus on modern refrigeration units.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Redwood timbers are a safe, strong, and sustainable option for exterior and interior building projects where natural wood is desired. This course provides an overview of the properties of redwood timbers including insulation properties, grades, dimensions, fasteners, finishing options, and strength. It concludes with numerous case studies exploring the use of redwood timbers for post and beam construction, decorative elements, deck posts, and outdoor living structures.


  • 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...


  • In applications where wood may be exposed to moisture, insects, or fungal organisms, preservative-treated wood can ensure a project’s durability. This course reviews: the manufacturing process for pressure-treated wood; types of preservative treatments and the required levels of retention as dictated by the end-use application, desired service life, and exposure conditions; American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) Use Category standards; current issues concerning preserved wood in residential and commercial construction; and Best Management Practices (BMPs) for aquatic uses.


  • The growing global population is creating an increased demand for resources. As a result, there is a need to replace fossil-based, nonrenewable building materials with more bio-based materials, such as bamboo. This course describes the properties of bamboo that make it a more sustainable choice, including its fast growth and CO2 saving and storing potential. It also discusses how active bamboo reforestation and the use of durable bamboo products can lead to CO2 reduction across many industries.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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


  • Bamboo, with its superior strength, light weight, ease of use, and ability to be regrown quickly, has been utilized as a construction material in its natural state for many centuries. More recently, it has been combined with other elements to create improved materials such as bamboo fiber composite decking and fencing. This course, illustrated with harsh climate installations from around the world, explains this advancement, the products now available, and how to certify, specify, install, and maintain them.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Traditionally used for high-performance architectural applications, water-based PVDF coatings can now be applied to cellular PVC cladding materials, delivering high performance in a new application. This course presents the benefits of cellular PVC as a cladding material and focuses on water-based PVDF coatings, how they work, and how their performance characteristics contribute to their durability.


  • Siding adds to the attractiveness of a residence while protecting the home from damage by the elements. Options for siding and trim encompass a variety of materials, including engineered wood, natural wood, fiber cement, and vinyl. This course reviews the features, performance characteristics, styles, and installation considerations of engineered wood siding and trim products.

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


  • 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...


  • Vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) offer higher thermal resistance per unit thickness than traditional insulation materials. This means a building envelope can meet the effective R-values for enclosures required by the energy codes without having to increase the thickness of the walls, roof, or floors. This course discusses how VIPs work, why they are effective, and the impact the properties of the materials used to construct a VIP can have on its performance. VIP installations and the latest developments in VIP technology are reviewed to illustrate the advantages of using VIPs as thermal insulation in the design of energy-efficient buildings.


  • Deck structures provide neat and sturdy living spaces that mirror interior conveniences while set in the ultimate, great outdoors. Choosing the right deck board for a specific project requires considering the size of the project, its location, and local climate conditions. This course discusses the performance characteristics and benefits of using multi-layer, cellular PVC decking—a durable decking material that replicates the unique beauty of exotic hardwood.


  • 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...


  • Light-manipulating materials use internal channels to capture, bend, scatter, and redirect light and create visually stunning spaces. Panels and slabs in resin, glass, and terrazzo create an experiential surface for privacy screens or signage, primary or accent lighting, countertops or flooring—anywhere the interplay of light and shadow is desired for beauty and inspiration. This course describes the different types of light-manipulating materials and substrates as well as the design and installation options for a wide range of dynamic, unique applications.

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


  • Through sustainable management, the forests of New England have had a remarkable comeback since the 1830s, with eastern white pine being the most represented softwood in these forests. This light yet strong wood species has been used for generations and today, meets the requirements of a renewable and sustainable building material. This course reviews eastern white pine’s contribution to sustainability, its grading rules, wood products, and many applications.


  • 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...


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • 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 (WPCs) for use in rainscreen applications. It concludes with a detailed description of how WPC cladding should be applied and fastened in rainscreen systems.


  • 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...


  • Vinyl plays a major role in the design and construction of modern buildings, and it contributes to sustainability, wellness and resilience of people and their communities. This course demonstrates the importance of achieving client performance goals using thoughtful, multi-attribute material selection criteria.

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

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