Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

Category: 09 00 00 - FINISHES

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  • Floor finishes are one of the last items to be installed prior to substantial completion. Indoor environmental quality concerns related to adhesives make most project 09 flooring specifications require moisture testing before flooring can be installed on concrete slabs. When those moisture tests fail the project faces burdensome time delays and unexpected costs. This course explores concrete moisture and applied flooring, as well as several misconceptions regarding moisture testing. It provides guidance on eliminating concrete moisture problems while protecting the owner, design team, and building occupants from project delivery delays, cost overruns, future failed flooring, poor environmental conditions, and litigation.


  • Good acoustic and aesthetic environments are important to the health, safety, comfort, satisfaction, productivity, and general well-being of all building users. This course outlines the benefits of and methodologies for simultaneously creating both with wall and ceiling acoustic treatments. The highly illustrated course includes detailed descriptions of the many acoustic wall and ceiling treatment options available, as well as sample installations.

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


  • There is an extremely wide array of coated or composite fabrics available on the market, each type formulated for specific uses and with different levels of performance and quality. To assist in the decision-making process, standards have been developed to show product performance, facilitate quality control, and assure designers that the product they are specifying is suitable for normal commercial use. This course briefly outlines the history, properties, and uses of coated fabrics, the intent and content of one coated fabric standard, and the testing protocols that support it.

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


  • Concrete is often the substrate for both new and existing floors. Transforming the surface into a finished floor is far more sustainable than consuming additional flooring materials, adhesives, and transportation-related energy to install a floor covering. This course discusses the stages and options of the concrete polishing process, recognizes benefits of recent advances in concrete densification chemistry, and provides an overview of the limitations and possibilities for concrete floor finishes.


  • 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...


  • 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.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

     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...


  • Curved elements, such as walls, ceilings, columns, soffits, light covers, clouds, and arches have often been used to add interest to architectural designs. This course outlines conventional methods of framing curves in wood and steel, as well as new methods of framing using flexible track systems. Discussions include options for wall coverings and trims for curved surfaces.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • With a radiant heat system, the temperature profile associated with a forced-air system is switched around, and the entire floor becomes the radiator. The heat radiates from the floor, warming all of the objects in the room, and everything in the room gains a warm, comfortable feel to it. This course evaluates self-regulating polymer technology and the performance benefits of using PTC (positive temperature coefficient) heaters for energy-efficient floor warming, primary heating, snow melting, and roof deicing.

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


  • 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...


  • Floor coating systems are designed to protect surfaces in many different service environments. A coating's ability to increase durability, mitigate abrasion, and utilize antislip properties to improve occupant safety is critical in today's building climate. This course reviews coating system basics, including surface preparation and proper installation techniques. Selection criteria for floor coating systems in various applications are also discussed.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • 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...


  • 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...


  • Natural fibers have been used for over 2,000 years as a method to strengthen building materials. Cellulose fiber provides an excellent alternative to traditional secondary reinforcement, reducing plastic shrinkage cracks and improving durability, impact resistance, shatter resistance, and freeze/thaw resistance without compromising the appearance or finishability of a concrete surface. This course covers the evolution of fiber, its benefits, and why it is a sustainable material.

    Prerequisites:No

    Course Level:Introductory

     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


  • 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...


  • Movable pool and spa floor technology enables an entirely flexible, multifunctional living and recreational space to complement any architectural vision. Presented here are types of movable pool floors, pool floor technology, options and amenities, and safety and sustainability performance considerations.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Beneficial acoustic environments are especially important in healthcare facilities as inappropriate acoustics can be damaging to patients and stressful and tiring to staff. Because a beneficial acoustic environment plays an important role in supporting health, safety, and well-being for all occupants, acoustic issues are now a key component of healthcare design guidelines. This course explores the impacts of acoustics on healthcare, outlines the relevant acoustic standards and guidelines, and describes the methods by which designers can address the issues and improve healthcare facility conditions for patients, families, and healthcare workers.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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


  • From fashion to function, the shower space of the bathroom is a focal point, offering a place of quiet respite for rejuvenation. Shower spaces should be built to last, using durable materials combined with sound installation practices in order to reduce life cycle and replacement costs. This course outlines the criteria used in designing water management systems for shower pans and walls and includes discussions on traditional and modern methods of waterproofing shower floors and walls, new methods of construction, and the innovative design options that are available for curbless shower pans.


  • Today, architects and designers need to give special consideration to building acoustics when developing plans for new and newly renovated construction projects. Excessive noise in any environment is considered a serious problem that can negatively impact occupant comfort, leading to learning difficulties, sleep deprivation, delayed recovery from illness, and lack of privacy. Sound basics are discussed in this course, and STC, IIC, and sound attenuation (reduction) techniques are explained. Various case studies are examined to develop further understanding of the performance of common sound abatement assemblies that are essential for occupant well-being and comfort.


  • While architects and designers have many choices for specifying dynamic architectural surfaces in their projects, the result of using photography in such applications has historically presented challenges. This course explores typical digital images used in glass installations, gigapixel photography, guidelines for glass transparency, and the impacts of luminosity and reflectivity. Finally, it looks at potential applications for gigapixel images in large- or small-scale architectural surfaces.


  • This course provides a basic introduction to the International, Mid-Century Modern, and Ranch styles of architecture and design (and their offshoots) found in commercial and residential forms in the western United States. These styles helped shape the look of California, especially in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, from the 1920s through 1970s.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Sustainable design and green practices have raised consumer awareness about the potential dangers lurking in buildings and homes from products such as paints and coatings. Environmental sustainability has influenced architects and interior designers to approach their projects in ways that boost health, lower consumption of nonrenewable resources, and minimize waste. This course looks at the evolution of sustainable design, ways to measure the environmental impact of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), how paints and coatings can contribute toward satisfying LEED® credits, and how these products may play a role in designing for well-being.

    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 barrier free shower design and installation. Following a brief review of the reasons, benefits, and legal requirements for barrier free showers it summarizes the features and attributes of shower assemblies, relevant industry standards, waterproofing membranes and drains, best practices, installation methodology, installation tips and techniques, and walk/roll in showers. It includes a review of the design considerations and advice for the creation of perfectly performing showers which follow the latest design trends.


  • Bathrooms can be dangerous places for people with and without physical limitations. The prevalence of bathroom falls amongst persons of all age groups and levels of ability has driven the trend of accessible shower design. Presented here is an overview of how curbless shower pans are designed for durability and safety, and to meet the needs of accessible design. Included are discussions on traditional and modern shower pan design and installation methods and their associated drawbacks and benefits. Industry resources and standards are outlined.

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