The Role of Wood Products in Green Building (Print Course)

This course will help you understand that sustainable design begins with sustainable building materials. Because there are many factors to consider in assessing a building’s sustainability, it can be challenging to fully understand the long-term impacts of choosing one building material over another. However, material choice greatly affects the environmental impact of buildings, both during construction and over the building’s lifecycle.

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A More Transparent Shade of Green: Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) Drive Restrooms to the Lead in Green Design

As both sustainability and efficiency advance in the built environment, architects, specifiers, and buyers are increasingly concerned with purchasing products that are environmentally friendly and can achieve project performance and client welfare goals. Architects and designers are, in essence, visionaries.

This course explores options that architects and designers have when choosing products that accurately support and fuel their passion for possibilities while maintaining the health, safety, and welfare of the clients needs. Definition for PCRs, LCAs, and EPDs are discussed and various case studies are examined.

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Residensity: Urban Land Use and Growth

How is the material construction of individual buildings tied to larger patterns of land use and planning at the urban and regional scales? What will be the impact of carbon sequestering building material production on natural resources? What determines the bearing capacity of cities to accommodate the growth that is expected in coming decades? What are the leading examples of responsible and sustainable growth from around the world?

This content was produced thanks to funding from the AIA California as part of the CarbonPositive Conference, a partnership between Architect Magazine and Architecture 2030.


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Wood Window Walls Achieve Biophilic, Sustainable Design in Contemporary Architecture (Print Course)

Contemporary architecture attempts to maximize daylight, minimize ornamentation, and connect interiors to the outdoors (biophilia). Fenestration plays a great role in achieving this aesthetic. This course will discuss how to fill very large openings with mulled windows, punched-opening window walls, moving walls with large doors, and timber curtain walls. The course will identify window and door styles, design options, and performance measures that must be considered when specifying oversized openings for both residential and commercial projects.

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Building Sustainability With Fiber Cement Cladding

Cladding protects the building envelope and building occupants from the weather, while also defining the aesthetic of the building. A challenge for specifiers is to choose cladding that is environmentally sensitive over their entire lifespans. Such goals not only require a sustainable product but one that also has the flexibility to function in a broad range of climate zones as well as offer expansive design options. This course explores the ways in which fiber cement cladding is able to fulfill these demands for commercial and residential buildings throughout various climate zones.

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The Impact of Wood Use on North American Forests (Print Course)

As green building has evolved beyond its initial emphasis on energy efficiency, greater attention has been given to the choice of structural materials and the degree to which they influence a building’s environmental footprint. Increasingly, wood from sustainably managed forests is viewed as a responsible choice. Drawing from a wide range of research publications, this course will examine the current state of North American forests, modern forest practices, and criteria for sustainability, and consider some of the challenges that could profoundly impact the future of the forest resource.

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Sustainable Solutions from the Most Visited City in the U.S.

As the most-visited city in the United States, Orlando is uniquely positioned to influence environmental stewardship in communities around the world. From meeting the foundational needs of local residents to providing an enchanting tourism destination in a changing climate, we describe how to leverage local characteristics to enhance sustainable efforts.

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Achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals via Architecture and Design (Print Course)

To help cities, urban planners, public institutions, and private entities ride the wave of global population growth and shifting market dynamics, and face the enormous challenges of sustainable growth and technology integration, the United Nations recently set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These goals are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by addressing the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. This course will introduce you to the 17 SDGs and dive deeper in the five SDGs that specifically affect the architecture and design industries.

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Your Zero Net Energy Building May Destroy the Grid

With emerging standards requiring different forms of Zero Net Energy and aggressive owners developing ZNE buildings already it's an important time to look at the potential impacts net metered buildings can have on the historic grid structure and operations. High penetration of renewable energy can destabilize the grid operations and cause havoc for grid operators.

We'll provide a detailed discussion of the different definitions of ZNE and how they impact design and interaction with the grid. We'll outline current issues with high penetration of renewables on Hawaii's grid structure and how they may apply to ZNE building design for larger grid systems. We will provide building strategies that can enhance ZNE building design participation with the grid such as battery storage with renewables, demand response, thermal energy storage, and controls. Finally the team will outline ongoing changes to the grid structures and enhancements needed to prepare the grid for true ZNE buildings on a mass scale.

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Community Propane Systems, An Energy and Technology Solution for Developers, Builders, and Homeowners

Gas appliances like ranges, fireplaces, and furnaces are important amenities that many home buyers want in a new home. However in some residential developments, natural gas access may not be feasible and on-site propane storage may also have challenges. Community Propane Systems offer an innovative method for supplying propane to the all of the homes in a community through a centralized delivery system.

Community Propane Systems give developers an option for offering gas access to building lots; they allow builders to offer gas appliance amenities to buyers; and they give home buyers the opportunity to get the technologies they want in a new home. This course discusses how community propane systems work, the use cases for these systems, the value propositions, and the performance benefits of common propane applications that can be used.

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