Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

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

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  • Commercial building interiors see all kinds of wear and tear on a daily basis. Various forms of wall protection can combat this wear and tear to help extend the longevity of a space, maintain a clean look, and cut down on maintenance costs. This course discusses the different wall protection products available, how to identify which wall protection products fit certain applications, and which building codes apply to these products.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Specifying door products that are durable enough to withstand the rigorous demands of high-traffic applications in the healthcare and hospitality industries is crucial to the long-term success of each installation. This course reviews traditional doorway materials and doorway protection options, and provides design solutions that utilize engineered polyethylene terephthalate (PETG) components that extend the life of the door assembly and minimize health and safety issues for the building occupants.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory


  • The colors that surround us every day play an important role in our emotions and behavior when we engage with a specific finish material or environment. This course provides an overview of how the human eye sees color, the effect it can have on our moods, behavior, and physiology, and lastly, how it can be used as a powerful tool to send messages about spaces or products to consumers.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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


  • This course will focus on the changing energy codes and how they affect commercial wall assemblies. The new concept of continuous insulation (CI)—and how it is used throughout the codes—will be discussed. The NFPA 285 fire test and its role in code-compliant wall assemblies will also be discussed for commercial building types I–IV. The thermal performance, physical properties, and compliance attributes of polyisocyanurate insulation will be explained, as well as how it compares with some of the other insulation options available.

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


  • Unfortunately gun violence is a reality and design strategies must be employed to ensure a suitable level of protection. This course addresses bullet-resistant fiberglass composite panels and the need for architectural armoring. The course discusses ballistic material testing and standards, the types of ballistic materials available, and fiberglass composite panel applications and installation considerations.

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


  • Phenolic panels are a versatile building material for both interior wall coverings and exterior cladding, and are ideal wherever both durability and appearance are important. This course explains how the manufacturing process imparts a wide range of performance attributes to phenolic panels, discusses their role in sustainable design, and presents the diverse array of applications that benefit from the strength and beauty of phenolic wall panels.

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


  • Redwood offers warmth, character, durability, and strength in products from sustainably managed and harvested forests. This course provides insights into forestry practices and the environmental benefits of Redwood lumber, and compares Redwood with other common decking materials. Details are presented on how to differentiate and specify grades of Redwood; finishing options and methods are also discussed. The course concludes with examples of applications that showcase the unique beauty and attributes of Redwood.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • 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 case studies are discussed.

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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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.


  • Thermally fused laminate (TFL), formerly known as thermally fused melamine (TFM) or low-pressure laminate (LPL), is a decorative surfacing material used in cabinetry, countertops, shelving, store fixtures, moldings, and furniture in commercial and residential applications. This course explores the history of the surface treatment, its manufacture and sustainability, end-use considerations, compatibility with other decorative surfaces, and innovative design options.

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

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