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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RMI's Innovation Center: First-Year Lessons Learned

The Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) Innovation Center illustrates the potential of achieving net-positive-energy performance in a replicable manner, serving as a demonstration project for the design and construction industry. Its first year of operation has offered many lessons around technological incorporation, financial replicability and incentivizing an integrated design process.


With four decades of leadership and advocacy for hyper-efficient buildings and economies, RMI is the ultimate client and occupant for such an innovative project. First-hand staff video interviews will address design process, system integration, performance and occupant satisfaction. RMI researchers guide attendees through the building with interactive video technology, providing commentary to frame the experience. Observations will be contextualized by members of the architecture and engineering team, translating lessons that can—and should—be applied to the next generation of high-performance buildings.

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Understanding Wood – How Next-Generation Designers and Artists Impact the Global Forest Ecosystem (Print Course)

Social responsibility should be at the forefront of every designer’s practice, as their designs impact raw material use, land development, and the health, safety, and welfare of building occupants.

This course will discuss one natural resource that is facing a significant threat from exploitation and development: the global forest ecosystem.

We will discuss how building product manufacturers can offer material alternatives that do not further dwindle the world’s endangered wood species. We will also dive deep into a collaborative project between an engineered surfaces company, Interlochen Arts Academy, and visiting artists to return a pine plantation forest to its native state while studying ecology, creating art, and educating a future generation of artists.

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Redefining Sustainable Design: The New AIA COTE Measures

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) is the oldest U.S. program dedicated to sustainable design. In 1997, COTE introduced its annual Top Ten Awards, “the profession's best known recognition program for sustainable design excellence” (AIA), to celebrate exemplary projects and give the industry guidance on how to integrate green building principles. In 2015, to mark its 25th anniversary, COTE embarked on a landmark research initiative to study the first two decades of Top Ten, published in 2016 as Lessons from the Leading Edge. Part of the research was to revisit the program’s criteria of evaluation, known as the COTE Measures of Sustainable Design. The result of this effort was to overhaul the program with a completely new set of principles and metrics. The 2017 Top Ten Awards are the first year to use new criteria such as economic impact and more robust metrics for health and resilience. In this presentation, three members of the COTE Advisory Group will present the new criteria and engage the audience in a lively discussion about what defines sustainable design.

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Propane Tankless Water Heating in Commercial Building Applications, Efficiency and Performance Benefits

Water heating is a major energy end-use in commercial buildings and is very significant in certain commercial building types. Many commercial building owners and operators have a critical need for water heating systems which are reliable, able to meet varying levels of demand, energy efficient, and able to fit within a building’s space constraints in order to maintain their business operations. Propane tankless water heaters are a flexible, energy-efficient technology which provides these attributes in many commercial applications.

This course will explore how commercial buildings use energy and the potential application of propane tankless systems to provide a solution for water heating needs.

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Clarifying Product Transparencies - Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental and Health Product Declarations (Print Course)

The best route to a sustainable building is knowing what’s in the materials used to build it, but questions remain among manufacturers and buyers about how to evaluate and compare the environmental profiles of similar building products and materials.

Product transparency reports like Environmental Product Declarations, Health Product Declarations and Declare labels help meet this challenge.

This course will discuss how these tools collectively provide information about the environmental performance and impact of products and offer an objective means of comparing similar products.

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Enabling Innovation through Offsite Construction (Print Course)

Offsite construction can be an entry point for innovation that simplifies onsite assembly, provides cost savings, and offers superior performance.

The sector has already implemented just-in-time job site production, reduced cycle time and inventory, and optimized vendor-managed processes.

Offsite construction will evolve to increasingly integrated assemblies to further reduce site labor and utilize advanced automation. Significant innovation in offsite construction is finally pushing a large portion of the construction process from the jobsite into manufacturing plants.

This course will cover what that innovation is and why the construction industry is ripe for change.

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Light for Satisfaction!

This course dives into lighting as a key factor of wellness. Two current building industry trends - Human Health + Wellness and Transparency – are compelling designers to gain a better understanding of daylighting, the impact of light on our circadian rhythms, and related tools available to designers. The course will explore a few of the building standards that take a deeper dive into lighting as it connects to the human being, as well as technology and strategies that allow designers to better mimic the 24-hour circadian clock within the built environment.

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SPECIFYING HIGH PERFORMING VENTILATION FOR LUXURY KITCHENS

Ventilation is a vitally important factor in the design, construction and operation of luxury kitchens. Without adequate ventilation and an ample supply of clean makeup air, no kitchen will operate efficiently or safely for the occupants.

This course will discuss the different types of ventilation systems available and how to incorporate ventilation without sacrificing design and style. In addition, the course will address importance of ventilation for the space and occupant health.

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The Surfaces that Surround Us While We Heal (Print Course)

The mission of healthcare organizations is to provide patient care that is effective, medically relevant, and operationally efficient in a comfortable, convenient environment where the patient-provider relationship is at the center. Surfaces play a key role in creating a positive tone within healthcare built environments, but surface quality is dependent on proper material selection, durability of design, and material performance. Designers must understand how to specify surfaces in healthcare settings that address disinfection, durability, and design challenges to achieve safety, efficiency, and patient comfort.

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