Material Health: Solving the Right Problems

This course looks at the critical problems of toxicity of the built environment. This course will help learners understand the economic benefits of greening their business, and also the importance to push manufacturers to make non-toxic ingredient decisions.

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Health Matters. And Green Building Can Help

This course looks at the relationship between the built environment and the health of U.S. citizens. The course covers issues such as health challenges of the 21 century; includes numerous health statistics related to health care expenditures, life expectancy, obesity, lack of exercise, and poor food choices; and proposes principles for building healthy places.

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Designing for the Post-Carbon Economy: It's Zero or Nothing

This course looks at how the study of nature as a designer (biomimicry) can help to transform the built environment. It discusses how to achieve bio-inspired designs to solve some of the building industry’s most difficult challenges, and shows actual design solutions that have been modeled on designs found in nature.

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Green Building Post-Mortem: What Went Wrong?

This course looks at common building failures observed by commissioning agents and envelope specialists, and discusses the importance of building commissioning.

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Introducing LEED v4: Lessons from the LEED v4 Beta Program

This course looks at how the Beta Program was used to help improve LEEDv4 and the user experience. It looks closely at a few projects that were submitted through the Beta Program and compares and contrasts how buildings would be certified in the newest version of LEED, as opposed to the previous version. This course will also cover the new program support and tools to help with submitting your project under LEEDv4.

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An Introduction to ETFE Architecture (PRINT VERSION)

Tensile structures have been used for thousands of years. Their simplicity and efficiency have brought about a recent increased awareness of, and demand for, tensile architecture. Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, or ETFE, is a relatively new product within the tensile membrane industry in the United States, and it is growing in popularity. It is a fluorine based plastic that was developed to be strong across a wide range of temperatures and be highly resistive to corrosion. This course provides a brief background on the following: ETFE architecture; the benefits of ETFE structures over traditional building techniques; identifying the complete design through construction process for creating an ETFE structure; as well as learning how to select the correct ETFE system and the key properties and performance measures of each.

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Multigenerational Restrooms: Better Designs for One and All (Print Version)

Multigenerational design, also known as transgenerational design, is an increasingly important aspect of universal design and a major contemporary trend mirroring the dramatic societal and economic changes of the last decades. In particular, public restrooms illustrate these multigenerational trends because they serve such diverse populations. Designing them successfully is a growing challenge for architects and facility owners.

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Specifying Doors for Indoor/Outdoor Living Spaces

This course will provide the architect with the basic knowledge of how to specify doors to create unique, functional, and aesthetically pleasing indoor/outdoor living spaces. The incorporation of outdoor living spaces into the residential home was once common in warm and moderate climates, but often proved to be a challenge in colder areas with heavy precipitation and plunging temperatures. Today window and door manufacturers have crafted attractive and functional expansive door systems that are opening the outside world to the architect. Modern doors with innovative designs and high performance glazing can be incorporated in traditional and luxury home designs to increase the functional living space, provide healthful eating, entertaining, and work areas, and include a unique and aesthetically pleasing feature to a home.

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Floodproofing Non-Residential Buildings (Print Version)

Almost everyone lives in a potential flood zone. In addition to the hurricanes and catastrophic floods that make national headlines, a damaging flood is happening somewhere in the U.S. every day, even in desert regions, caused by local heavy rainfall, dam failures, land development runoff, drainage problems, inland remnants of tropical storms and many other conditions. Nationwide, flooding is the leading cause of deaths related to severe weather, and it wipes out businesses, too. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors after a flood disaster, because just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Building in floodplains, or Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) designated by FEMA, is strictly regulated by the NFIP, the International Building Code, ASCE national reference standards, and by local community codes, all of which are discussed in this course. Deciding on a non-residential building’s floodproofing strategy will have a direct connection to the project’s cost, to the safety of the building’s occupants and the survivability of the building itself, and to the risk of liability for the designer and builder in case of flood damage.

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Laser Scanning Applications for Architecture (Print Version)

High definition laser scanning is a non-destructive method for recording a 3D digital image of a building. Its unique ability to precisely record flat and uneven surfaces makes it a valuable tool within the AEC industry. One real advantage of 3D laser scan data is its ability to accurately document variations in surface conditions. When properly scanned in the field, the resulting data will capture every nuance of a building’s surface, such as the variations in surface plane of a rusticated stone wall, or the bulges and tilts in a seemingly flat planar wall or floor surface. As modern design leans towards creating buildings with multiple undulating surfaces and non-planar walls, and century-old ornate masonry buildings begin to deteriorate and shift, 3D laser scanning becomes a needed and effective method to gain accurate documentation for both design and construction.

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