Performance Fabrics in Sustainable Design

Windows, views, and openings in buildings present the classic battle between form and function. The designer naturally wants the building’s occupants to enjoy views and light, but the solar heat gain from these openings can wreak havoc on sustainable goals; however, sophisticated and high-performing solar control fabrics can help reconcile the form and function of light, views, and sustainability.

There are many solar control fabrics on the market; wading through them can be overwhelming. This course aims to help educate the designer about what performance fabrics are, the content of various fabrics, how they work, and the benefits to a sustainable design in meeting and maximizing your goals of occupant health, safety, wellbeing, and sustainability.

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Patio Doors and Moving Glass Walls: Choosing the Best Option for the Project

This course looks at the latest technologies and offerings in the marketplace of patio doors and sliding glass walls for new and existing homes. Patio doors include sliding doors, as well as in-swing and out-swing doors. Sliding glass walls include stacking, bi-fold, and pocket operational styles.

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Involving Caregivers in the Design Process

When homeowners need modifications of their living space following an accident or diagnosis of a degenerative disease process, one of the smartest things they can do is involve an occupational therapist (OT) into the remodeling design process.

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Aging in Place vs. the Housing Stock

Most people over age 50 desire to remain in their homes as they age, but the homes they live in may preclude that from happening. Learn more about accessibility needs.

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Pretty is as Pretty Does - and Universal Design Does it Really Well

Universally designed products do their good works quietly: You won’t even notice how well they function—what you will notice is simple, beautiful and smart design.

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Beauty and The Beast: Good looks and accessibility can play together to create spaces that are as handsome as they are functional.

When designing commercial projects, it is easier than ever to create, at all price points, accessible spaces that look as good as they perform. While accessibility rules on both state and federal levels, with their stringent dimensional requirements governing maneuverability and reach, come into play in commercial multifamily projects, those rules don’t have to be a hindrance in creating beautiful bathrooms.

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A Rainscreen Solution Using Fiber Cement Architectural Wall Panels (on-line version)

Moisture intrusion in a wall system can cause numerous building defects as well as health ailments for building occupants. This course will review the cause and effects of moisture intrusion and will discuss how fiber cement panels can be used as a rainscreen to mitigate this moisture. We will identify different rainscreen technologies and ASTM and AAMA testing standards that measure their performance. By the end of the course you will understand basic design approaches and guidelines for installing fiber cement panels as a rainscreen.

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Western Red Cedar: A Proven Material Offers Sustainable Warmth for Contemporary Architecture (Print Course)

From an upscale sports stadium, to a global chain of trendy stores, to luxury custom homes, the specification of Western Red Cedar as a statement-making feature has seen a steady increase. The reasons are many, including the warmth this proven, natural product brings to modern architecture, its recognized sustainable forestry practices, its proven performance over centuries, as well as its surprising affordability for large projects. This course explores the reasons that Western Red Cedar is increasingly a major design factor in significant architectural projects.

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Robust Walls with Continuous Foam Plastic Insulation (Print Course)

This article demonstrates that foam plastic insulation (polyiso board and spray polyurethane foam) can be used in code-approvable wall assemblies that work in cold, warm, marine and humid climates. Architects will be able to create alternatives to vapor permeable wall assemblies that address three main concerns: NFPA 285 flame spread tests, mitigating moisture retention within walls, and delivering higher insulating performance with greater levels of comfort.

As buildings use less and less energy to heat and cool by owner demand, HVAC systems offer increasingly less assistance in drying out walls. The HVAC systems are no longer designed to take on additional loads caused by moisture in walls that needs to be removed. However, energy bills may increase beyond expectations to address wall moisture issues with no discernable benefit to the occupants if moisture in walls is not addressed.

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Accessibility from the First Step - Designing Automatic Pedestrian Entryways to Exceed ADA Standards (Print Course)

This course will cover the evolution of doorway systems and how new design solutions allows project teams to improve the functionality, accessibility, and safety of today’s building entrances.

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