Building Information Modeling

The use of building information modeling (BIM) is becoming more of an industry standard when specifying and designing projects. Traditional drafting methods and tools were two-dimensional designs either done by hand or using simple design software. While these methods historically were sufficient for most architects, today a greater demand for faster and more accurate blueprints has prompted a change in the design industry.

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A Comparative Analysis of Residential Siding Products

This course will provide a survey of the most common residential siding options, including an in-depth exploration of treated engineered wood siding. This learning unit will identify the pros and cons of each residential siding option, and will also explore the environmental impacts of each throughout its life cycle. Finally, this course will explore ways in which treated engineered wood siding can contribute to earning points or meeting standards of leading green building certification programs.

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Prefabricated Ornamental Railings (PDF)

This course will discuss the overall advantages of choosing a custom-fabricated railing system built off-site compared to off-the-shelf products or locally fabricated railings. In addition to looking at the practical considerations of how different fabrication choices affect project time and budget, this course also identifies some ways to address health, safety, and building occupant welfare.

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High Performance Waterproofing Solutions for Shotcrete Foundations

This course will discuss the use of shotcrete for structural applications, specifically in below-grade foundation walls. While the use of shotcrete is proven to accelerate construction schedules up to 25%, experience has shown that there are risks associated with this method of concrete placement versus traditional cast-in-place walls. These risks include an increased incidence of voids within the wall, poorly consolidated concrete behind and around rebar installations and damage to traditional waterproofing systems associated with the shotcrete application itself. Each of these factors contribute to a challenging waterproofing project - one that can be completed successfully with a properly designed waterproofing system. During this session, we will cover the benefits and risks associated with shotcrete, how pre-applied waterproofing membrane systems should be designed for critical applications and the challenges that traditional waterproofing membranes face when used with shotcrete construction.

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Aluminum Clad Windows and Traditional Wood Frame Windows

This course will provide the architect with an overview of different window materials and options available today, as well as an explanation of some of the main criteria used to evaluate windows.

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How Windows are Designed, Tested, and Rated for Comfort and Energy Efficiency

This course will provide a thorough introduction to the relationship between windows and energy efficiency and the importance of installing appropriate windows with high performance technologies.

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Air Barrier Applications Utilizing Insulated Metal Panels (Online Course)

This course provides guidance for architects and builders on design and installation considerations relating to the use of Insulated Metal Panels and their suitability as the air barrier assembly of a building envelope. Topics covered include an introduction to air barriers and insulated metal panels, as well as an overview of code and regulatory requirements when designing for energy code compliance and common design and installation practices and techniques.

With the aid of this lesson, architects and builders will be armed with increased knowledge regarding enclosures and their component parts, the various options available, the relative advantages of insulated metal panels, particularly under certain circumstances, and key specifics and guidelines for specifying metal panels for code conformance.

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Using the 7 Principles of Universal Design for Specifying Windows and Glass Doors (On-Line course)

This course examines the difference between universal design and accessibility required by law, and lists the types of people of varied abilities who benefit from universal design, particularly as it applies to homes. We then take a look at the 7 Principles of Universal Design, as developed by the North Carolina State University’s College of Design, and explore examples of each, from windows set low enough to offer views to a person in a wheelchair, to sliding doors that open with a touch to accommodate those with arthritis or other challenges. Finally, we look at the business side of universal design and discussing the principles with clients.

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Moisture Control and More with Spray Foam Insulation

In the design of building enclosures an emerging alternative is the use of spray foam insulation as exterior continuous insulation featuring the ability to resist heat, water, vapor and air movement in an uninterrupted, continuous performance installation. A significant outcome is the control of moisture mechanisms in buildings.

How spray foam insulation’s water resistive, air barrier and insulation characteristics help to control moisture is examined in detail. That it is a proven option that offers such performance in addition to allowing for design freedom and flexible installation is also discussed.

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Radiant Barrier Sheathing

Radiant barriers that come attached to structural sheathing provide an effective way to reduce energy loss through the roof assembly. This course will provide an overview of radiant barrier sheathing. It will explain the scientific principles behind heat transfer, and then explore the various applications and best installation practices for radiant barrier sheathing. Case studies will quantify the energy-saving benefits of using radiant barrier sheathing. Finally, this learning unit will explain how radiant barrier sheathing can contribute to green building and energy efficiency programs.

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