Wood and Indoor Environment - Creating Beneficial Spaces for Living, Working, Well-Being (Print Course)

The objectives of sustainable design are broader than just environmental effects, having come to embrace issues of human health and performance. Many factors influence whether a building has a positive or negative impact on its occupants. This course highlights remarkable buildings where the use of wood as a structural or finish material has made a unique contribution, with a focus on indoor air quality, acoustics, physical health, and a natural, positive human response to wood that has always been intuitive, but is increasingly being proven by research and experience.

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Using Low Voltage Systems for General Lighting

Low voltage distribution systems (LVDS) can offer an efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional high voltage systems, but until recently were relegated to path lighting and decorative accents. With the advancement of LED technologies, LVDS can finally move inside and be utilized as the backbone for a general lighting strategy. LV lighting systems have voltages that are lower than 30 volts DC and use a Class 2 power source, and they are considered much safer during installation, maintenance, and use. Consequently, these systems carry different and more lenient electric safety code requirements.

This course will explain the background context of traditional and low voltage systems, including their common uses and code requirements, and will explore the benefits of combining a LV distribution system with LED lighting for general lighting systems. Also, this learning unit will address installation, insulation, maintenance, and potential cost savings associated with specifying an LVDS for general lighting. Finally, this course will look at how LV systems can be used effectively to address emergency lighting requirements.

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Modern Building Codes: Keeping Pace With The Wood Revolution (Print Course)

There is a quiet revolution taking place within the design community. After a long emphasis on concrete and steel for buildings other than homes, design professionals are using wood to great effect in a growing number of non-residential and multi-family building types—in applications that range from traditional to innovative, even iconic. Some are driven by wood’s cost effectiveness, while others cite its versatility or low carbon footprint, but their collective path has been made possible by building codes that increasingly recognize wood’s structural and performance capabilities, and the continued evolution of wood building systems and techniques.

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Making a Home Greener with Replacement Windows and Patio Doors

The definition of a green or sustainable home has broadened and deepened over the decades. Experience, knowledge, and innovations developed by architects, contractors, and manufacturers have produced a set of criteria which signals that a house is thoughtfully designed and built. During a renovation, features and assets that were not considered when the home was first built can now be included. Those sustainable criteria to consider specifying in a renovation include durability, energy efficiency, comfort, and health. We’ll start out discussing each of them as they apply to windows and patio doors, and clarify the details that make a window efficient.

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Custom Water Feature Installed at St. Rita's Medical Facility

At St. Rita’s Regional Medical Center they incorporated a custom water feature in their healthcare facility that brings a soothing calmness to its visitors.

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A Rainscreen Solution Using Fiber Cement Architectural Wall Panels (Print 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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Mid-Rise Wood Construction: A Cost-Effective and Sustainable Choice For Achieving High-Performance Goals (Print Course)

Cost-effective, code-compliant and sustainable, mid-rise wood construction is gaining the attention of design professionals nationwide, who see it as a way to achieve higher density housing at lower cost—while reducing the carbon footprint of their projects. Yet, many familiar with wood construction for two- to four-story residential structures are not aware that the International Building Code (IBC) allows wood-frame construction for five stories and more in building occupancies that range from business and mercantile to multi-family, military, senior, student and affordable housing.

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Sustainability and Window Materials 101: Choosing the Best Window Material to Achieve Sustainability Goals

Windows play a significant role in the function and comfort of a building, from providing natural light and ventilation, to adding architectural features. Windows also play a large part in the sustainability of a structure.
The most common factors when discussing the sustainability of windows are durability, energy efficiency, and resource efficiency. In this course, we look at the four most common window frame materials – vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, and wood – and discuss the factors that contribute to sustainability for each of them. Finally, we look at the factors that contribute to the sustainability of window manufacturing operations.

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The Impact of Wood Use on North American Forests (Print Course)

As green building has evolved beyond its initial emphasis on energy efficiency, greater attention has been given to the choice of structural materials and the degree to which they influence a building’s environmental footprint. Increasingly, wood from sustainably managed forests is viewed as a responsible choice—for a number of reasons. Wood grows naturally by harnessing energy from the sun, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. It is renewable and a carbon sink, and outperforms other materials in terms of embodied energy, air and water pollution, and other impact indicators.

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Sound-Mitigating Steel: How to detail structural steel systems for optimized acoustics (Print)

Good acoustics is such a major issue among building occupants that a 2014 Associated Press article ranked noise as the No. 1 quality-of-life complaint in New York City. Similarly, an American Society of Interior Designers-commissioned study reported that 70 percent of surveyed office workers believe productivity would increase if office noise decreased. Although steel naturally acts as a conductor for sound, this course will look at how properly designing and detailing a steel framed building can ensure good acoustics.

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