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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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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Propane as a Solution to Meeting Code and Above-Code Programs – Using High Efficiency Propane Systems as a Compliance Strategy

Nothing is driving greater change in the home building industry than energy efficiency, but prior to 2015 the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) didn't address mechanical equipment such as furnaces and water heaters. The 2015 IECC now includes a new compliance path called the Energy Rating Index allowing builders more choices in how to meet the energy code.

In addition, builders can determine how to use propane to their maximum advantage under the ERI pathway by determining their homes’ Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index. The HERS Index predicts the energy performance of a home versus a "typical new home" benchmarked at a score of 100.

This course will take a closer look at how high efficiency propane equipment such as furnaces and water heaters provide flexibility in meeting 2015 IECC standards and help reduce a home’s HERS Index, in addition to helping projects gain points in above-code programs such as LEED and the National Green Building Standard.

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Past as Prologue: An Examination of Natural Ventilation as a Proven Means to Help Meet Architecture 2030 Goals

The objectives of Architecture 2030 require strategies that rethink how we plan, design, and construct buildings in order to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas. One building strategy that has gained favor throughout some parts of the world and is currently growing in the U.S. is the idea of natural ventilation. This paper examines the case for natural ventilation—what it means for the build environment, how natural ventilation principles are applied, and a proven way forward for designers committed to the Architecture 2030 initiative.

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Natural Ventilation and Passive Smoke Control Systems: Video

Blending nature with the sophistication of modern architecture, natural ventilation is both cost and energy-efficient. Natural ventilation systems harness wind and heat to create a comfortable and healthy internal environment with optimal temperature and humidity levels and good IAQ.

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Beyond the Energy Code: Worth It?

Updates to building codes plus consumer demand for energy-efficient homes presents an opportunity to position your homes above the rest. Get the most bang for your buck. In this webinar, learn what areas are worth it to focus on when you go above and beyond the energy codes.

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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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Moisture Durability Opportunities in Green Standards / Codes

Many green standards lack sufficient measures to ensure long-term durability of wall assemblies. Unfortunately, some energy efficient designs, while code compliant may adversely impact durability. The importance of increase moisture management capabilities, such as effective drainage, will be demonstrated using tools and simulations to assist in designing energy-efficient and durable walls.

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Product Rules

In the spirit of Michael Pollan’s book, “Food Rules”, Product Rules will provide 12 basic rules for selecting better, healthier, more environmentally responsible and LEED MR and EQ credit compliant products and materials.

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Understanding Tax Benefits of 179D for Design Firms (Print Course)

This article will describe the historical relevance of Section 179D and how this tax incentive can positively impact the individual business models for architects, engineers, contractors, energy service company (ESCO), or any building professional who provides the technical specifications for a new or retrofitted property where energy efficiency is specifically addressed. Also this learning unit will outline the process required to take advantage of the Section 179D deduction and provide suggestions for successfully completing the process. Finally, this article will discuss some of the recent updates of the extension of Section 179D along with the recent ASHRAE changes for 2016 projects.

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