Specifying Automatic Pedestrian Entryways that Support Universal Design and Exceed ADA Standards (Print Course)

Architects and designers continue to adopt and share strategies to boost universal design for doorways and entrances. Rather than aiming for minimum compliance, which is enforced by codes and ADA, these savvy building professionals are thinking about universal design and user preferences, and differentiating their buildings by leveraging appropriate technologies.

The keys to success include: *Choosing and designing appropriate entries, openings and doors for people with varied abilities. *Applying those door systems to meet and exceed all ADA requirements for entries in buildings of certain sizes. *All while complying with published building codes and standards.

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Maximizing the Design Benefits of Podium Construction (Print Course)

By the end of this course, learners will demonstrate a deeper understanding of podium structures and approaches to their design and construction. In addition, the course will examine 2018 IBC code provisions applicable to multi-story podiums. Additionally, the benefits of using timber in podium construction will be analyzed along with case studies that demonstrate the ways in which this construction typology is suited to urban infill applications.

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Benefits of Mineral Wool as Continuous Insulation (Print Course)

Insulation can help to increase overall energy efficiency, improve occupant comfort, manage risks of mold and mildew, and even minimize the spread of fire. When designing exterior wall assemblies, the type and placement of insulation is critical. To address thermal performance, wall systems almost always feature insulation – once predominantly in the form of batts friction fit between framing members. However, batts alone have been demonstrated not to provide enough thermal resistivity for the wall.

Continuous insulation in conjunction with batt insulation in the stud cavity is now a building code requirement across the country to optimize thermal performance. Mineral wool continuous insulation is an inorganic, noncombustible solution to building energy efficient wall assemblies that protect occupants from exterior temperatures, moisture, noise, and even fire.

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Design and Construction of Taller Wood Buildings (Print Course)

The properties of wood buildings, such as sustainability and a low carbon footprint; structural, thermal, acoustic, and seismic performance; and fire and life safety, are contributing to an evolution of building taller with mass timber. New materials and design strategies are enabling a centuries-old practice to address modern building concerns and technologies. Code, too, is evolving to recognize the attributes of building with wood, and the 2021 International Building Code contains new provisions for building taller wood structures. This course delves deeper into this evolution, exploring why and how to design taller wood buildings.

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Sustainable Curb Appeal (Print Course)

Whether in politics or in building design, transparency is an increasingly necessary element of modern life. We want to know where products come from before proceeding with future-altering decisions. When it comes to the materials and resources that make up the built environment, it's more important than ever to communicate about what's inside.


This course will talk about material health and product transparency, and what's driving this change. The difference between LEED v3 and LEED v4 related to materials will be analyzed in the context of the U.S. Green Building Code. Finally, the course will help learners understand and recognize the different types of reporting tools and resources that project teams have available, and how these reporting tools and resources are driving innovative market transformation.

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The Future of Sustainability and Green Design: Health, Daylighting, and Material Selection (Print Course)

This course will examine biophilia and sustainable and green design, focusing on the ways in which these concepts have evolved to incorporate human health and well-being. It will also specifically focus on concepts such as daylighting, demonstrating how the incorporation of natural light in design can contribute to productivity and well-being.

Finally, the course will examine several case studies where different products helped to contribute to sustainable, green design as well as occupant health and well-being.

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Designing Building Spaces that Integrate Building Design and the Outdoors with Oversized Fenestration Products (Print Course)

Finding ways to bring the outdoors inside is a modern building design trend that continues to influence the specification process. Consumers’ desire to blend nature with the built environment incorporates a desire to increase the amount of natural lighting and nature inside the home or commercial space.

Research continues to evolve demonstrating the need for nature to be incorporated in the built environment, not simply as a luxury, but as an investment in health and productivity. Mounting pressure for building and design professionals to not only meet LEED standards and current codes, but exceed them, continues to leverage the need for sustainability, green building manufacturing, and products that address the needs and wants of the consumer.

Up until recently, it can be said that only luxury markets could afford the type of oversized windows and doors that permit the most amount of sunlight due to intricate design, complicated installation, and maintenance of oversized windows and doors. However, new products on the market are making this design and lifestyle trend more accessible and with more choices than ever.

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Designing Restrooms for Sustainable Operation (Print Course)

Designing restrooms for sustainable operation requires unique strategies beyond those typically associated with green building. This course does not discuss the details of LEED certification or environmentally responsible materials and related documentation. Instead, the focus of this course will be to educate architects and designers on operational approaches that encourage sustainable restroom project design.

Thoughtful product specification considers energy costs, battery usage, waste, and usage of consumables that in turn allow the architect or designer the opportunity to educate the client on the benefits and incentives that sustainable design creates for both building owners and occupants. While architects and building designers who specify sustainable design products must take into consideration the economical investment necessary from the client, specifying for sustainable operation allows a restroom to operate both sustainably and cost-effectively while retaining the architect’s aesthetic vision.

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Increasing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Architecture (Print Course)

The under-representation of many ethnic groups in architecture translates not only to inequities within the profession, but also to missed opportunities in business. Leveraging the benefits of a diverse workforce requires a culture of inclusion and equity, one that values differences among people and ensures a culture of fairness.

This article explores the barriers that people of color face in entering the design profession, the organizations working to mitigate several of these barriers, and internal firm initiatives to create a more equitable work environment.

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NFPA 285: A Focus on Assemblies (Print Course)

In this course, learners will be able to better understand NFPA compliance – from determining what needs tested to the testing procedures themselves. Other codes and tests related to fire safety will be reviewed as well. Different types of cladding and insulation will be examined in terms of materials, components, and fire safety. Finally, two fire case studies will be presented so that learners can evaluate the performance of those buildings.

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