Glass Railing Systems: Critical Code and Design Considerations (Print Course)

This course will provide an overview of various glass railing systems and their application including on balconies, ledges, ramps, and stairs. Product types and components of glass railing systems will be described, as well as how building codes affect the type of glass being used (i.e. monolithic tempered glass or laminated tempered glass).

The course will discuss how different code bodies can affect railing system design and costs. A thorough understanding of performance requirements, product manufacturer criteria, and installation methods will be obtained, including proper railing attachment, and manufacturer warranties and resources. Next, the course will analyze design considerations for cap rails/top rails, handrails, and other specialty components. Finally, participants will understand how to incorporate applicable codes and industry standards into glass railing projects to ensure safety optimization.

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Sustainable Curb Appeal (Print Course)

Whether in politics or in building design, transparency is an increasingly necessary element of modern life. We want to know where products come from before proceeding with future-altering decisions. When it comes to the materials and resources that make up the built environment, it's more important than ever to communicate about what's inside.


This course will talk about material health and product transparency, and what's driving this change. The difference between LEED v3 and LEED v4 related to materials will be analyzed in the context of the U.S. Green Building Code. Finally, the course will help learners understand and recognize the different types of reporting tools and resources that project teams have available, and how these reporting tools and resources are driving innovative market transformation.

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LED Lighting for Exterior Architecture (Print Course)

Landscape lighting is a key feature that can set a building or landscape apart, as it plays with light and dark, creating contrast, shadows, and silhouettes. It provides curb appeal at night, introducing drama and intimate spaces softly washed in light, or well-lit spaces that invite you to sit and stay. This course will show you how to set a scene and create lines of light with exterior LED landscape lighting technologies.

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The Future of Sustainability and Green Design: Health, Daylighting, and Material Selection (Print Course)

This course will examine biophilia and sustainable and green design, focusing on the ways in which these concepts have evolved to incorporate human health and well-being. It will also specifically focus on concepts such as daylighting, demonstrating how the incorporation of natural light in design can contribute to productivity and well-being.

Finally, the course will examine several case studies where different products helped to contribute to sustainable, green design as well as occupant health and well-being.

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Designing Building Spaces that Integrate Building Design and the Outdoors with Oversized Fenestration Products (Print Course)

Finding ways to bring the outdoors inside is a modern building design trend that continues to influence the specification process. Consumers’ desire to blend nature with the built environment incorporates a desire to increase the amount of natural lighting and nature inside the home or commercial space.

Research continues to evolve demonstrating the need for nature to be incorporated in the built environment, not simply as a luxury, but as an investment in health and productivity. Mounting pressure for building and design professionals to not only meet LEED standards and current codes, but exceed them, continues to leverage the need for sustainability, green building manufacturing, and products that address the needs and wants of the consumer.

Up until recently, it can be said that only luxury markets could afford the type of oversized windows and doors that permit the most amount of sunlight due to intricate design, complicated installation, and maintenance of oversized windows and doors. However, new products on the market are making this design and lifestyle trend more accessible and with more choices than ever.

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The Creation of Experiential Building Environments Using Light-manipulating Materials

Individuals are deeply connected to their surroundings. When surroundings have the ability to inspire and encompass creativity, collaboration, innovation this connection can in turn foster health and well-being as well as a sense of contentment.

By utilizing light-manipulating materials in buildings, experiential spaces will not only promote occupant well-being but will also help projects achieve LEED and WELL credits and environmental stewardship.

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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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Increasing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Architecture (Print Course)

The under-representation of many ethnic groups in architecture translates not only to inequities within the profession, but also to missed opportunities in business. Leveraging the benefits of a diverse workforce requires a culture of inclusion and equity, one that values differences among people and ensures a culture of fairness.

This article explores the barriers that people of color face in entering the design profession, the organizations working to mitigate several of these barriers, and internal firm initiatives to create a more equitable work environment.

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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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Designing with Light: Adding Function and Beauty with Extruded Aluminum Channels for Tape

Lighting, perhaps one of the most overlooked elements of the design process, has the ability to affect occupancy mood, productivity, and ability to learn. Building professionals and designers have the ability to use new technology and lighting features to affect mood while enhancing the value and the aesthetic appeal of a space in residential and commercial design.


This course will introduce you to best practices for lighting design and technology for lighting. In addition, the course will demonstrate the functions of new LED technology when incorporated with extruded aluminum tape channels to increase the versatility of a space, as well as improve ambience.

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