This learning unit will provide a general overview of how indoor air quality (IAQ) is defined and quantified today, and how poor IAQ can impact the health and safety of occupants. Also, this course will identify common contributors to poor IAQ and specifically look at how Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs) play an important part in understanding IAQ. As part of a strategy to improve IAQ, students will be introduced to modern flooring systems that focus on reduced TVOCs and certification programs available to better evaluate and choose healthy and durable flooring products.
Over the last 20 years, study after study has empirically proven something that many professionals in the design community have known, or at the very least have surmised, for awhile. The design of the built environment can have a real and tangible impact on the people within. Schools can be designed to enhance student performance. Office spaces can be designed to improve employee productivity and satisfaction. Hospitals can be designed to promote healing and minimize medical errors. One of the newest applications where the impact of design is still being realized is in long-term care facilities designed specifically to accommodate people living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, often called memory care facilities.
Finishing borders, also referred to as wall base, are the architect’s solution for concealing the gap between the wall and the floor in the built environment. This building component provides the finishing touch to a space as well as general protection from the open exposure between the drywall and the floorboards. In the past, designers have chosen the right wall base for a project based on the color, style, material and cost. Now, as the design community and building owners become more invested in the idea of green building and sustainable design, designers want the ability to evaluate wall base solutions on the basis of the product’s overall sustainability as well.
Sustainability is now an industry. From consumer goods to business supplies and building products, green and environmentally-friendly features are being touted in an ever-expanding product portfolio. Widespread buyer interest has fueled this meteoric market growth and encouraged product manufacturers to invest in researching and developing products with a sustainable feature set.
Selecting colors that match can be a challenge to design professionals, who will learn in this course, the language of color and a scientific numeric system for color control. Interactive exercises demonstrate the subjectivity of visual color selection and the factors that influence color. When specifying color the design professional will learn the importance of stringent color tolerances on raw materials, color checks at various stages of the manufacturing process as well as uniform numeric standards. By learning the science of color, and the importance of manufacturer controls, the design professional can eliminate costly project errors and meet design objectives.
This course explains how the concept of the "Triple Bottom Line" − which addresses the environmental, economic and human impacts of product specifications - can be applied to selecting high performance, sustainable flooring. The course describes key criteria that can be used to compare flooring products and to select products that minimize environmental impacts, maximize economic benefits and, at the same time, create people-friendly spaces that increase health and productivity. The course ends with a review of the key sustainability advantages of a variety of resilient flooring applications.
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