The Building Science of Floor Systems

All of the same moisture and vapor drive dynamics that occur in wall assemblies can also take place in a wood framed floor assembly, especially over a crawl space. This course will take a closer look at the building science of vapor drive that can lead to moisture issues in wood floor assemblies when proper sequencing of materials to allow drying is not accounted for in design. It will address the use of some of the most common construction and material options in wood-framed flooring assemblies. It will also look at some guidelines and best practices to help reduce the likelihood of developing problems over the life of the building.

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Resilience is More and Less

Building processes are being reinvented to cut time and reduce labor costs. By taking advantage of these modern construction processes and innovative materials you can build resilience into your projects and your pocketbook.

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Fiber Cement Panels as Rain Screens

Moisture intrusion in a wall system can be the cause of building defects, as well as health ailments for the building's occupants, making rainscreens a very important tool in water mitigation. This course will review the cause and effects of moisture intrusion, and more specifically the forces that drive rainwater into a building. We will identify different rainscreen technologies and ASTM testing standards that measure their performance. We will discuss fiber cement panels and how they can be used as a rainscreen to reduce moisture build-up, rotting interior walls and mold growth. By the end of the course you will understand basic design approaches and guidelines for installing fiber cement panels as a rainscreen.

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Why Exceed the Code: Maximizing Energy and Cost Savings in Pipe Insulation

Thermal insulation aids in stabilizing process temperatures; can minimize moisture condensation on below ambient temperature piping surfaces; increases fire protection; and contributes to noise abatement. Personnel protection against burn injury is a major benefit from thermal insulation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that “all exposed steam and hot-water pipes within 7 feet of the floor or working platform or within 15 inches measured horizontally from stairways, ramps, or fixed ladders shall be covered with an insulating material, or guarded in such manner as to prevent contact. In addition, the Insulation Institute provides other succinct reasons for insulating pipes beyond many current state and local code thickness requirements.

ASHRAE 90.1 minimum pipe insulation thicknesses are required for compliance with energy-efficient building design relative to many new buildings, building additions, and retrofit construction. A vapor retarder, which is required in addition to the insulation, will further reduce the likelihood of corrosion due to condensation on cold pipes. Finally, while insulation cannot prevent standing water in pipes from freezing, it can slow the process. This course will enable learners to analyze material types that may ultimately affect the long-term safety and wellness of occupants. By thoroughly examining ASHRAE 90.1, the need for building professionals to exceed the local code requirements will become apparent. Finally, the course will focus on utilizing software to specify pipe insulation, which will influence the project budget, energy-efficiency of a structure, and the long-term safety and wellness of occupants.

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Solving Moisture Issues with Rapid Drying Concrete

This course will discuss moisture in concrete slabs and solutions to end slab moisture issues such as flooring failures, mold, warping or curling, and excessive drying times. One solution to these moisture related problems is utilizing a rapid drying concrete. Rapid Drying Concrete is a ready-mix concrete solution for preventing moisture-related floor covering failures, an industry-wide problem that costs millions of dollars annually in damage, downtime, repair and replacement.

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Keep a Tight Lid on It

Allotting for installation of an HVAC system within the thermal envelope is a key maximize a building’s space and minimize air leakage to the outside. Using spray foam insulation within an unvented attic creates a continuous air barrier and insulation layer that saves energy and money. Spray foam insulation (both open-cell and closed-cell) adds structural strength, sound-dampening qualities, high R-value, and the control of outdoor pollutants for both commercial and residential buildings.

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Detailing Continuity in Building Enclosure Systems

This course will identify the importance of detailing continuity in maintaining the integrity of the four control layers of the building enclosure.

We will then explore some different methods for identifying the areas where continuity can be disrupted and the solutions for maintaining a control layer continuity in these areas.

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Engineering a High-Performance Roofing System for Steep Pitch Roofs (Print Course)

Learners will closely evaluate steep-slope roofs, examining materials and practices that improve roof performance. By the end of the course, they will be able to identify key characteristics of roofing systems that prevent roof deterioration and damage, providing protection to the occupants within the structure. Finally, learners will evaluate best practices in detailing steep slope roof systems to mitigate water, ice, or weather damage to the structure.

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The High-Performance Building Envelope

New energy codes make airtight, highly insulated homes non-negotiable. Building them requires a new level of knowledge.

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Waterproof and Stain Resistant: Benefits of Sustainable Plastic Wall Panels and Ceiling Tiles

Traditional fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) ceiling tiles and wall panels have been used since the 1950’s and 1960’s in building nationwide. Innovations in new plastic ceiling tiles and non-fiberglass reinforced plastic (NRP) wall panels offer an excellent alternative. New plastic ceiling tiles are waterproof, mold-resistant, and can provide numerous sustainable design benefits. At the same time, NRP improves on the benefits of FRP such as mold, bacteria, moisture, chemical and stain resistance. It is also a sustainable product with fewer health hazards.

This course will compare materials used for ceiling tiles and wall panels, as well as describe their importance in mitigating moisture issues and designing sustainable, healthy buildings.

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