Selecting Materials for Outdoor Applications: Choice of Materials - and Product Suppliers - Matters on Many Levels (Print Course)

Selecting materials and finishes is an integral part of specifying site furniture products. This course reviews typical conditions inherent to outdoor environments, along with the potential impact on materials, products and installed projects. A range of materials commonly used outdoors, including wood, metal, concrete and glass, is examined against a selection framework that compares conventional materials with high-performance options, and considers material durability, performance, aesthetics, and environmental impact. Several site furniture projects are also examined.

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A New Era for Synthetic Turf

Today’s refined, stylish synthetic turf appears amazingly indistinguishable from the most luxurious, well-groomed natural lawn, but without mud, pesticides, maintenance, and other drawbacks of dirt-based grass. Advancements in materials, colors, thatch, thickness, and other factors have widened the range of applications for high-quality synthetic turf. This course explains the evolution and benefits of synthetic turf, and vastly expanded applications available to architects, landscape architects, engineers, and other specifiers.

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Dry Set Porcelain Pavers for Outdoor Applications

Porcelain pavers are increasingly replacing stone for outdoor applications in Europe, and that trend continues in the United States. This course examines the long history of porcelain products and explains how the raw materials and manufacturing process create porcelain’s legendary strength and durability. We review the testing procedures that scientifically verify porcelain’s qualities, and discuss how technology helps create pavers that are superior in performance to stone or wood, stronger and with a more reliable aesthetic. Finally, we explain the simple installation strategies for pavers used outdoors, particularly on gravel or grass, which do not require a concrete slab.

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Modular Precast Concrete Fences and Walls

This course introduces styles, characteristics, options, colors, and product features that are available with modular precast concrete (MPC) products. MPC requires no ongoing maintenance, can be constructed faster and costs less than masonry structures, and should be strongly considered for fence, sound wall, barrier projects and retaining solutions. Competitive advantages and differences between MPC and other systems, as well as technical aspects, code concerns and construction logistics will be discussed.

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