Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

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

Page: 1 2 3 Show All

  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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...


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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 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...


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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...


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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...


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • Structural laminated decking allows the beauty of the wood structure to be exposed, creating a unique architectural experience for its occupants. Aesthetics, strength, and durability are combined in one engineered product. Structural laminated wood decking is an environmentally sustainable and cost-effective alternative to solid timber and other roof systems. This course discusses the characteristics of laminated wood decking and reviews recommended design, specification, and installation practices.

     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...


  • 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...


  • 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


  • Trim and molding occupy a small amount of space on a home’s exterior, however their aesthetic value outweighs their size. Properly designed exterior moldings and trim need a full understanding of the materials and the design rules and functions for each location. This course takes the reader through the design and installation of exterior moldings, in particular PVC molding, and looks at some common molding mistakes and solutions.


  • 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...


  • 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...

Page: 1 2 3 Show All
Free