Designing With Nature In Mind

Welcome a new shift in design, where architecture and nature unite. Homes are built into landscapes, rather than overtaking nature, and incorporate elements of the earth into their design, promoting peace, creativity, and inspiration.

Building materials, such as architectural stone veneer, are being used indoors and outdoors to reflect the qualities found in nature, including symmetry, surprise, and well-being.

Not only does architectural stone veneer bring the beauty of nature into residential and commercial spaces, but it’s also a sustainable alternative to other building materials; it can be recycled, lower transportation and labor costs, and earn LEED credits. It is regulated by strict industry standards, providing durability and versatility, all while offering nearly limitless options in color, texture, look, and use.

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Deck Covering: A look at the why's and what's

When building a deck, you have a few primary considerations to maximize its usefulness. This course looks at the following considerations: Waterproofing, Slip resistance, Splinter-proofing, Maintenance, and Aesthetics. We'll take at a look at different types of coverings, their lifespan, and advantages and disadvantages to using it for your deck covering. Finally, this course takes a closer look at installing a vinyl deck membrane, focusing on the details around the seams, drains, posts, and edges.

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Specifying Large Scale Living Green Walls

This course discusses the proven benefits of exposure to nature, the ways living green walls contribute to LEED and other green rating systems. The heart of the course is a thorough examination of the different types of living green walls available, how systems are designed, installed, and maintained, and how they can be tailored to each individual situation.

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Aluminum Railing Systems for Commercial Projects

When designing and building a multifamily structure or other commercial project, outdoor railing is an important consideration. While railing’s key purpose is safety, you must also keep in mind other factors such as aesthetics, cost, and durability. The purpose of this course is to help you make the right choices for your railing project that will result in a long-lasting product that is safe, beautiful, and cost effective.

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Home Hot Spots That Influence the Purchase

This course covers a research study that identifies how dealers, architects, builders and remodelers can increase the salability of their projects, and elevate their reputations among homeowners and homebuyers. This research is combined with turn-key design ideas developed by Visbeen architects. Emerge with a fresh understanding of how today’s homeowners envision various rooms, how they can be made more appealing via design and amenities like fireplaces and outdoor living products.

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Conservatories as Adaptable Environments (Print Course)

Conservatories are more than add-on glass structures for the home or stand-alones for parks and gardens. This CEU addresses the numerous benefits of creating custom conservatory environments which save energy and maximize space and enjoyment for all users.

The course also helps architects and builders understand how to select a vendor and specify a structure based on an array of factors including client needs, climate, and functional requirements.

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Maximizing Indoor & Outdoor Living with Motorized Retractable Screens

Motorized screens not only look great but they provide excellent thermal benefits, great airflow, and the ability to control humidity. This course will provide an overview on motorized retractable screens, discussing the design and installation requirements, the different applications where these screens can be used, as well as looking at the thermal benefits of screen when using solar mesh and clear vinyl options.

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Selecting Materials for Outdoor Applications: Choice of Materials - and Product Suppliers - Matters on Many Levels (Print Course)

Selecting materials and finishes is an integral part of specifying site furniture products. This course reviews typical conditions inherent to outdoor environments, along with the potential impact on materials, products and installed projects. A range of materials commonly used outdoors, including wood, metal, concrete and glass, is examined against a selection framework that compares conventional materials with high-performance options, and considers material durability, performance, aesthetics, and environmental impact. Several site furniture projects are also examined.

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Dry Set Porcelain Pavers for Outdoor Applications

Porcelain pavers are increasingly replacing stone for outdoor applications in Europe, and that trend continues in the United States. This course examines the long history of porcelain products and explains how the raw materials and manufacturing process create porcelain’s legendary strength and durability. We review the testing procedures that scientifically verify porcelain’s qualities, and discuss how technology helps create pavers that are superior in performance to stone or wood, stronger and with a more reliable aesthetic. Finally, we explain the simple installation strategies for pavers used outdoors, particularly on gravel or grass, which do not require a concrete slab.

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A New Era for Synthetic Turf

Today’s refined, stylish synthetic turf appears amazingly indistinguishable from the most luxurious, well-groomed natural lawn, but without mud, pesticides, maintenance, and other drawbacks of dirt-based grass. Advancements in materials, colors, thatch, thickness, and other factors have widened the range of applications for high-quality synthetic turf. This course explains the evolution and benefits of synthetic turf, and vastly expanded applications available to architects, landscape architects, engineers, and other specifiers.

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