Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education

Category: 09 00 00 - FINISHES

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  • Insulation is one of the most critical factors in any high-performance building project. This course provides a discussion on both open-cell and closed-cell spray polyurethane foam (SPF). Basic characteristics, installation practices, insulation performance characteristics, and how SPF contributes to an overall systems approach to energy efficiency and occupant comfort, including how it can contribute to LEED® credits, are addressed in detail.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • The construction of buildings that use less energy to operate and are long lived is a key part of sustainable design. Insulated concrete forms are one solution that provide the necessary U values, air tightness and durability. In this course, we will delve into the ICF wall, types and components and look at design considerations and construction.

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


  • Sound abatement products are not just a building owner and occupant preference; minimum sound abatement ratings are required by many local building codes for multistory residential, commercial, and multipurpose buildings. Following an introduction to the basics of sound, this course presents a summary of the most common sound control methods, with a focus on the options available for floor underlayment.


  • Over time a color pattern has developed through the historic events, society, arts, and technology that shape each decade. A correlation can be drawn between the happenings and the prevalent colors for every decade through periods of rest and periods of upheaval. This course illustrates how the use of color can express our individuality and culture, and how the past can inspire us with fresh ideas for using color in the present. Highlighting the prevalent colors of more than ten decades, this course also looks at the societal, political, technological and cultural influences which impacted and defined the personality of each decade.


  • Living walls not only add beauty to a space, but also can help to reduce energy consumption, minimize environmental impacts, and create healthier interior and exterior environments. This course compares the design and construction of different types of living walls and provides an overview of the factors to consider to ensure a healthy, thriving living wall is installed and maintained.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • Buildings need protection from cyber as well as physical threats. Building shielding offers several architectural solutions that contribute to the security of both building occupants and wireless systems. These solutions also help reduce unwanted solar heat and glare while providing protection from the elements and people seeking to cause harm. This course presents the security and performance benefits of shielding technology that can improve wireless performance, energy efficiency, and occupant comfort, satisfaction, and safety.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

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


  • There is no blanket approach to warranties for metal panel roofing. It is a misconception that the standard warranty holds the manufacturer responsible for defects in installation. This course discusses three types of warranties typically seen in metal roof design specifications, and to show how warranties work, what is covered, and what is excluded, some of the key issues associated with the installation of metal panel roofing are presented.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • There are many important considerations and issues related to outdoor tile and stone surfacing installations. This course provides an overview of the causes of their frequent failures, a detailed description of a system which addresses those issues and avoids the failures, and case studies of successful system installations in various contexts.


  • Given that humans instinctively react to color, it is no wonder that color plays an integral part of the overall design aesthetic. Presented here is an overview of color theory, including the color wheel and color properties and harmonies. The course discusses how lighting influences color and provides some guidelines for selecting the appropriate paint colors for a project.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory


  • 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.


  • Falls are responsible for more open wounds, fractures, and brain injuries than any other cause of injury. Photoluminescent (PL) exit path markers have proven to provide safe and quick egress in all light conditions for occupants and fail-safe guidance to first responders entering unfamiliar surroundings in the event of an emergency. This course discusses the benefits of PL safety products and the codes and testing standards related to PL way-finding systems.

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


  • Critical to the longevity of any tile installation is the use of the appropriate membrane. This course delves into the types of membranes used to waterproof ceramic and stone tile installations and compares them in terms of performance and durability, ease of installation, control of variables, and function.

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


  • The surface coating is the first line of defense in prepainted metal, and one of the most important elements to consider as part of a metal purchase. Selecting the right coating, finish, and paint system can affect product lifespan, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. This course discusses the composition of prepainted metal, its application, and performance, and examines the building and environmental factors that may influence the type of paint system specified.

    Prerequisites: None

    Course Level: Introductory


  • 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


  • The triple bottom line approach to sustainability requires thinking of the world as an interconnected system of economic, environmental, and social well-being. Choices can be made to select home furnishings made from durable, recycled, recyclable, rapidly renewable, and/or reclaimed materials from companies who work to improve the lives and livelihoods of others. This course looks at recycled copper, sustainably made concrete, FSC®-certified bamboo, and reclaimed wood used in bath fixtures and furniture handmade by skilled artisans.

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


  • At first glance, a living wall biofilter appears as a vertical, hydroponic green wall of plants. However, it is an active filtration system that is an integrated part of the air-handling system for a building. This course explains how living wall biofilters improve indoor air quality, enhance building performance, and create healthier, more pleasant indoor environments.

    Prerequisites: No

    Course Level: Introductory

     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.


  • 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.


  • Concrete is a popular, versatile, and durable construction material, and it has the potential to be very beautiful as well. Graphically imaged precast concrete is a creative, inspiring technology that can be used by architects and designers to create visually impactful building façades and other concrete surfaces. Discussed are the fabrication process, design possibilities, and budgeting considerations. Global case studies present a range of applications of both stock and unique designs.


  • 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.


  • Indiana limestone is featured in many iconic buildings across North America. Limestone composite panels offer the same beauty and durability as solid stone in a lightweight product that gains flexural strength and impact resistance from its aluminum honeycomb core. This course presents an overview of limestone composite panels from fabrication to installation, and explores the benefits, testing, and applications of this cost-saving and versatile cladding option.


  • Knowing how color is commonly used in commercial design projects is a helpful approach to selecting color for a new or renovation building project. Considering how much time we spend in commercial spaces such as restaurants, healthcare facilities, workplace environments, schools, and hospitality accommodations, it makes sense to create spaces that are appealing as well as functional. This course examines paint in terms of product performance, discusses how humans instinctively react to color, and provides some guidelines for selecting paint colors for commercial design projects.


  • The architectural uses for perforated metal span a wide variety of interior and exterior applications for residential, industrial, and commercial projects. Reviewed in this course are the applications and the specification considerations of standard and custom perforated metal, along with a discussion on how it is used to sculpt light, control sound, and compose views.

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