Building knowledge and connections

Continuing Education


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  • Strength and conditioning facilities are designed for high-performance athlete training at the professional, international, national, collegiate, and high school levels. These facilities are fundamentally different than commercial fitness centers (which focus on improving general fitness) and must be custom designed for the athletes' sport-specific training programs. This course reviews key design considerations for these facilities, including specialized flooring construction required for athlete safety and preservation of building structure.

  • Engineered stone is a decorative, durable surfacing material used in walls, floors, countertops, seating, stairs, vanities, and showers in commercial and residential applications. This course explores engineered stone, including its unique properties, fabrication, installation, and maintenance.

  • Paints provide a decorative and protective barrier on the surfaces and substrates they are applied to. Paint performance is influenced by the quality of the ingredients, and by specifying the correct product and finish for the application. This program discusses types of paint, components of paint, paint finishes, surface preparation, and a three-coat painting system.

  • 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...

  • The 19th and 20th centuries brought numerous opportunities to revive classic architectural styles and—in the American West—the architecture and colors of the California missions, adobes, and Monterey Colonial homes provided unique and beautiful examples to support the new Mission Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Monterey Revival, Mediterranean Revival, and Pueblo Revival styles. This course explores local design and the architecture and color of historic buildings in the Southwest to show how it’s possible to establish color schemes representative of the American Western culture.

  • 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.

  • Adhesion and long-term integrity of a high-performance floor system can be undermined by any number of factors. Although surface preparation is one of the most critical aspects of floor coating, there are a number of other steps that must be included. In this course we will review the necessary steps for a successful high performance floor coating application including preliminary inspection and surface preparation, selection of appropriate products, and proper coating application tips.

  • 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.

  • (Canadian Version) It is well known that colour in the built environment has an impact on the perception of space and our behaviour in a space. Designers must understand colour to create an ambiance or style and to influence spatial use and perception. In this course, we look at how colour is perceived and processed, its emotional impact, and how it interacts with light, and we provide tips for implementing colour in the built environment.

  • Acquiring ideal clients and developing a productive rapport so you retain them are the keys to growing and maintaining a successful design business. Presented here are digital marketing strategies to help attract potential clients, factors to consider when vetting clients, best practices for effective communication, and methods to employ to minimize conflict.

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  • Finish elements such as the floorcovering system have a great impact on the final aesthetics of a structure. Floorcovering specification sections often do not address the compatibility of the floorcovering system with the type of application and intended service use. This is not done intentionally; rather, it is an innate result of a misunderstanding of sufficient compatibilities of the various types of floorcovering systems with their installed environments. This course discusses published floorcovering system installation standards and specifications that aid in the strengthening of 09 sections to avoid these incompatibilities. In addition, identification and categorization of various floorcovering system failures, immediate and latent, are presented, as well as how to properly prevent these failures from occurring during the design process for a successful floorcovering system installation.

  • Large format floor tiles are elegant and timeless and create spacious and stylish environments with high-end appeal. This course introduces a unique, cutting-edge surfacing material known as ultracompact surfacing (UCS) and explores how it is manufactured, installation considerations, superior performance attributes, design potential, and its environmental impact.

  • Thick 2 cm (20 mm) porcelain tiles that are specifically made for outdoor installations offer a blend of design, versatility, performance, simplicity of installation, and eco-sustainability. Many of the concerns regarding substrate preparation, bond failure, and slip resistance associated with laying thinner tiles outdoors are eliminated. This course discusses the material characteristics and installation of thick outdoor porcelain tiles—a paving system with high technical and visual performance.

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

  • The variety of paint products offered can be overwhelming. And with each variety of paint offering different properties that affect the outcome of a project, understanding what is in a can of paint is key to success. Reviewed in this course are the types of architectural paint, the components of paint, and proper surface preparation, as well as the causes of and solutions to common paint problems ranging from simple to complex.

  • 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.

  • A comprehensive lighting plan is critical to the success of any residential design project. Proper lighting is effective and efficient and contributes to the comfort and functionality of the home. This course explores lighting concepts, sources, and controls. It discusses using layers of light to achieve design goals, and how to incorporate energy efficiency into lighting designs.

  • Learners will receive information about cast stone and how it is made, testing requirements, applications, design recommendations, and how it differs from related materials. Learners will describe appropriate specification, design details of cast stone for architectural applications, and how to determine quality cast stone production.

  • What are the macro trends and ideas directing us into the next decade? This course begins with a review of this topic, followed by discussions on movements in each area of color, and the materials, textures, design themes, and motifs that are at the forefront of today’s design trends.

  • 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 make an experiential surface for privacy screens or signage, primary or accent lighting, and 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, design and installation options, and the contributions of these products to sustainability goals as well as occupant health, well-being, and engagement in a wide range of dynamic, unique applications.

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

  • Aluminum drywall trim is a high-quality, easy-to-install material that can elevate drywall from a simple wall and ceiling treatment to the paramount feature of a sleek, modern design aesthetic. Provided here is a synopsis of the performance attributes and sustainability features of aluminum trim. This includes the types of trim available, installation details, and design potential, as well as the manufacturing, fabrication, finishing, and specification of aluminum trims.

  • Different types of paints are typically classified according to the type of resin they contain or the mechanism by which they dry and cure. This course discusses the classification of paints, advantages and disadvantages of latex versus alkyd coatings, the benefits of a three-coat system, surface preparation and priming techniques, and causes of and solutions for common paint problems.

  • Throughout history, human desire to communicate, tell stories, and to express cultural identity, gives us a glimpse at the need for early use and creation of pigments. Creating color was, and still is, an art. Its history is one of discovery, wealth, power, religion, trade, and science. This course discusses the origins and evolution of color pigments by looking at historical civilizations and time periods.

  • Redwood lumber and timbers from sustainably managed and harvested forests offer warmth, durability, and strength in indoor and outdoor projects. This course covers the performance characteristics, environmental benefits, and applications of Redwood, including several case studies that highlight the beauty and versatility of Redwood products. Details are presented on differentiating the grades of Redwood, specifying the right grade for the project type, and the specification resources that are available.

     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...

  • 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.

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

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