Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

Category: 07 00 00 - THERMAL AND MOISTURE PROTECTION

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  • 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.


  • Continuous insulation is part of building standards and state and energy codes, due to its ability to reduce thermal bridging and its associated heat loss and energy consumption. This course looks at the use of polyisocyanurate as a continuous insulation in Type V and residential construction, and its use as a multifunctional envelope component—air barrier, weather-resistive barrier and vapor retarder—by reviewing code requirements for the building envelope.

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


  • Commercial aluminum wall, window, and roof systems have undergone improvements in recent decades, making them technologically sufficient to meet contemporary standards of durability. In addition to being familiar with the systems' thermal and other ecological benefits, specifiers need to understand paint chemistry and the difference between powder and liquid coating application methods. It is also important to understand third-party specifications published by AAMA, which cover architectural coatings.

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


  • Although NFPA 285 has been part of the building code since 2000, there are still misunderstandings as to how materials and assemblies meet its requirements. This course reviews the types of continuous insulation (CI) options and discusses the advantages and challenges of several CI assemblies that pass NFPA 285.


  • Currently, there are no national or state codes relating to snow retention for roofing applications. Consequently, it is very important for building professionals to take extra care when designing a snow retention system for installations in snowy environments. This course provides a review of the problems and solutions associated with roofing in cold climates, including a discussion on the proper engineering of snow retention devices.


  • Although known for being a strong and versatile building material, there are a number of factors that affect the sustainability of concrete, and a variety of measures that can be taken to increase its durability and extend its service life. This course discusses the environmental impact of concrete and some of the main causes of concrete deterioration, and examines how crystalline waterproofing technology can be employed to increase the durability and sustainability of concrete.

     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...


  • To fully assess the benefits of spray foam and its importance to today’s building industry requires taking a closer look at one of the main goals of architects and building engineers—to create sustainable structures that allow maximum design creativity. With an ability to contour into any space or shape and adhere to any surface, spray foam allows such creativity. This course examines the performance properties of spray foam products and discusses advanced design concepts using spray foam.

     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


  • This course explains and illustrates how high-performance, fully composite insulated sandwich wall panels can be detailed to achieve continuous insulation. It explores the pros, cons, and attributes of wythe connectors such as carbon fiber trusses as well as panel insulation options, manufacturing and testing procedures, and installation methods. It concludes by providing a comprehensive set of sample installations to illustrate the broad range of building types and appearances that can be created with insulated sandwich wall systems.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory


  • 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 Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is not just an idea about how to “grade the greenness” of products; it is a well-developed, globally recognized way, to make responsible comparisons and decisions regarding sustainable material design. This course discusses the concept of the EPD as applied to building materials and how to integrate EPDs into design and product selection decisions. Detailed information from different thermal insulation EPDs is used demonstrate how thermal insulation provides a unique and significant “pay-back” in terms of energy and environmental impacts.

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


  • Insulation is one of the most critical factors in maintaining the life of a building. With benefits such as energy efficiency and code compliance, polyurethane spray foam insulation is the ideal choice for many interior and exterior applications. This course examines both low- and medium-density polyurethane spray foam insulation, its characteristics, design considerations, and life cycle analysis for commercial applications.


  • There are a multitude of building envelope products used, and a variety of methods taken, for achieving energy and building code requirements. Understanding the different roles a product plays in the envelope simplifies its design. In this course we’ll take a look at: the code requirements for buildings classified as IBC Type I-IV, paths to achieving compliance and the number of roles polyisocyanurate insulation plays in meeting these requirements.

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


  • Window frames offer many important benefits for buildings, especially when it comes to energy and environmental performance, and frame material selection is a critical aspect of the design process. This course discusses pultruded fiberglass window systems and compares them with traditional wood, aluminum, and PVC window systems across a wide variety of performance attributes.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Roofing is one of the most common renovation projects. Retrofit construction provides vast opportunities in terms of improving the energy efficiency of the built environment. This course reviews the code requirements pertaining to commercial reroofing, including a discussion of the impacts of retrofit construction on energy efficiency.

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


  • Synthetic roofing materials have been available in the market for more than a decade, providing a cost-effective, viable alternative to traditional slate and shake roofing systems. This course provides an overview of the features and benefits of slate and shake synthetic roofing products, including a discussion on the testing methods used to rate specific performance characteristics.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory


  • Lightweight, impact resistant, and easily molded, polycarbonate's durability and versatility allow it to turn innovative, imaginative architectural designs into a cost-effective reality. This course outlines polycarbonate's effectiveness in bringing natural light into enclosed spaces, its role in improving the mental well-being of building occupants, its advantages over other panel/sheet materials, and its aesthetic virtues.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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


  • This course focuses 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—is discussed. The NFPA 285 fire test and its role in code-compliant wall assemblies is also discussed for commercial building types I–IV. The thermal performance, physical properties, and compliance attributes of polyisocyanurate insulation are 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...


  • Ponding water on a low-sloped roof can greatly reduce the performance and lifespan of the roof membrane. Tapered roof insulation systems reduce or eliminate ponding water when a roof deck does not provide adequate slope. This course describes the benefits of tapered polyisocyanurate insulation and discusses the profiles, panel repeats, and design options available. Also addressed are cricket installation guidelines, tapered roof system average R-values, and specification tips.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory


  • Properly designed ventilation is a key component of a heathy roof environment and exterior building envelope. A balanced intake and exhaust system will ensure the attic space is not retaining excess moisture that could result in damage to the roof decking material, excess mold and mildew growth, ice dams causing shingle damage, algae growth, and water or mold stains on the interior ceiling and walls. Additionally, proper ventilation in the exterior building envelope can help prevent premature deterioration of the siding and roof covering materials. This course explains the fundamentals of attic and envelope ventilation and highlights the importance of a balanced system, identifies the many venting options available, and discusses various ventilation case studies.


  • Insulation can help increase overall energy efficiency, minimize the spread of fire, manage risks associated with moisture and mold, and improve occupant comfort. Choosing the right insulation and putting it in the right location is becoming one of the most important decisions in design, construction, and retrofit. Reviewed in this course are the features, benefits, and design and installation considerations related to mineral wool continuous insulation.

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


  • 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.


  • 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.

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Free