LEED Pilot Credit: Integrative Analysis of Building Materials

In the materials selection process, builders seek to balance numerous product performance attributes, including durability, aesthetics and health, safety and environmental impacts. Transparency and life cycle thinking are central components of a robust materials selection process, one that enables builders to choose the most appropriate materials for their project.
The U.S. Green Building Council now offers an innovative LEED pilot credit, Integrative Analysis of Building Materials, to encourage building project teams to evaluate products and materials using available life cycle information to identify those that have positive environmental, health and safety impacts. The credit informs project team decisions by providing access to information shared by building materials manufacturers on their product’s life cycle impacts.

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Welded Wire Reinforcement used in Cast-in-Place Concrete Construction

There are many advantages to using welded wire reinforcement in cast-in-place concrete construction. By using welded wire reinforcement on a project, contractors can save significantly on reinforcement placement time and costs associated with labor force allocation without compromising the designer’s structural intent. By the end of this course, you will understand the value of welded wire reinforcement in cast-in-place concrete construction and how to bring it into the design process effectively. This information will provide you with a keen understanding of the downstream detailing methodology leveraged by the fabricator.

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Integral Hardening Admixture for Wear-Resistant Concrete

Wear resistance is required to provide abrasion and erosion protection in order to prolong the service life of concrete. An integral hardening admixture is critical for a functional, superior and long-lasting structure. This educational unit examines exactly how concrete hardening technologies work, differing features and benefits, so the best abrasion and erosion resistant methods can be specified for each project.

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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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Design Flexibility and Performance with Welded Wire Reinforcement

This course will provide an overview of the history and role of welded wire reinforcement in concrete construction. It will help architects and designers understand the benefits of WWR in creating high-performance buildings and will explore best practices in specifying WWR to realize cost and time savings in construction that ultimately benefit the owner and all project stakeholders.

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A Comparative Analysis of Residential Heating Systems

Builders, contractors, and homeowners today face a myriad of options for home heating systems. Furnaces, heat pumps - both air-source and ground-source, and even hybrid furnace-heat pump combination systems are all options. Sorting out the best choices requires taking a close look at system costs, efficiency levels, energy prices, comfort impacts, the severity of the climate, and any applicable incentives. This course summarizes the key findings from an extensive technical analysis of the energy, economic, and environmental results of using various heating systems in different locations throughout the U.S., and updates the prior study from 2013 with more current energy pricing, system specs, and modeling data.

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Affordable and Low-Maintenance Dark Windows

In the past, darker window frames were limited to painted wood, aluminum, aluminum-clad, or composite material frames due to the higher price point. Affordable, low-maintenance materials such as vinyl were limited to white and tan because of the colors’ low reflectivity and resistance to heat build-up from sun exposure. However, advances in vinyl pigments and new, thermal-resistant paints now provide architects with a wider array of dark colored window material options that are more affordable. This course will explore the basic aesthetics and trends of dark colors and provide a detailed discussion of choosing available dark window styles.

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The Environmental Impacts of Building Materials: Comparing Concrete, Steel and Wood (Print Course)

In addition to performance, budget and aesthetics, design professionals are now being asked to evaluate the environmental burdens of their design choices. Measuring the impacts of buildings, assemblies and products can be complex. Every design decision, from material and product selection to envelope design and construction can have an impact on the environment and the methods used to evaluate those decisions are still not widely understood. This article will address critical issues the design professional should consider as he/she evaluates the environmental impacts of building materials to maximize performance and deliver lasting value.

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High-Performing, Resilient Wood-Framed Roofs

During this course, we will discuss what resiliency means in our built environment. It will continue on to discuss why this topic has risen to its level of importance today. We will also talk about some of the design aspects related to resiliency. Finally, this course covers the performance characteristics we should look for in resilient design.

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Minimizing and Controlling Concrete Cracking Due to Shrinkage

Cracked concrete can lead to safety issues, water leakage, durability problems, shortened service life, poor aesthetics, and costly repairs. Minimizing cracking is a challenge, but fortunately, there are options to minimize and control concrete cracking. Concrete cracks because it fails in tension; and a common cause is shrinkage. This presentation will describe typical influencing factors that lead to concrete shrinkage, plus options and construction practices that can mitigate shrinkage to control cracking. This presentation will provide information that architects, engineers, and specifiers can use to enhance project specifications to help ensure more sustainable, and durable concrete construction.

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