Life Cycle Assessment of Concrete Buildings (Print Course)

When looking at the environmental impact of a building, it is important to assess every stage of the environmental life cycle: from material extraction to product manufacturing, to building operations and maintenance, through end-of-life. Concrete offers environmental attributes that help reduce overall environmental life cycle impacts of a building. This course explores how life cycle assessment can be used to measure and lower the environmental impacts of buildings.

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The Evolution of Continuous Insulation (Print Course)

During the past 20 years, the building sector has seen a significant shift around the use of continuous insulation (CI). Evolving from what was once perceived as an advanced greenbuilding, high-efficiency option, CI is now a standard method and materials practice across most climatic regions. This course will discuss what continuous insulation is, the driver behind its rise, performance benefits, codes and standards, and current material solutions.

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Building Resilience: Expanding the Concept of Sustainability with Wood Building Systems (Print Course)

This course will consider traditional wood framing and mass timber systems in the context of resilience, including performance during and after earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters, as well as the relevance of wood’s light carbon footprint and low embodied energy.

It will describe how building codes and standards such as the National Design Specification® for Wood Construction support resilience, and consider how wood structures can meet evolving resilience objectives.

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Innovative Insulation Technologies and their Fitness for Use (Print Course)

Insulation has come a long way from bulky foams, fiberglass and mineral fiber products. Today’s rigid insulation board technologies offer architects products that can optimize energy efficiency, moisture resistance and fire performance – and provide thinner walls to increase leasable space and ROI. Specific rigid insulation board technologies are suitable for foundations, floors, walls, and soffits so architects can select the best insulation type for each part of a project.

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Understanding the Value of Proper HVLS Fan Specifications to a Project (Print Course)

Learn how to specify and install HVLS fans for specific industrial and commercial applications to reduce maintenance costs while maximizing building performance and supporting occupant comfort and well-being. This course will guide you in selecting, customizing, and placing HVLS fan systems and will also address controls, settings, and meeting user needs.

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Insulating Concrete Forms for Commercial Construction (Print Course)

Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs), combining the strength and durability of reinforced concrete with the versatility and energy efficiency of rigid insulation, provide an ideal solution for commercial and institutional buildings. With a lower first cost than wood and steel construction, ICFs improve occupant safety, fire resistance and noise transmission for office, hospital, school and retail buildings, among others. This article will address how the thermal properties of ICFs, combining the high R-value of rigid insulation with the thermal mass of concrete, offer building owners significant energy savings over the long term. The article will also provide guidance on how to minimize the cost of ICF construction to take full advantage of these benefits, resulting in investments that are secure and generate long-term value.

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Green Qualities of Spray Foam Insulation (Print Course)

Spray foam is an alternative to traditional fiberglass insulation. Its unique qualities make it extremely effective, environmentally friendly, and cost-efficient.

This course will provide an overview of how spray foam insulation compares to traditional insulation materials. The course will define spray foams for interior and exterior use, explain how spray foam insulation functions in residential and commercial buildings, and provide detailed information about the advantages of spray foam as a tool for reducing energy consumption and carbon footprints. The course will also discuss the use of recycled, renewable, and green materials in the production and application of spray foam.

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Performance Fabrics in Sustainable Design

Windows, views, and openings in buildings present the classic battle between form and function. The designer naturally wants the building’s occupants to enjoy views and light, but the solar heat gain from these openings can wreak havoc on sustainable goals; however, sophisticated and high-performing solar control fabrics can help reconcile the form and function of light, views, and sustainability.

There are many solar control fabrics on the market; wading through them can be overwhelming. This course aims to help educate the designer about what performance fabrics are, the content of various fabrics, how they work, and the benefits to a sustainable design in meeting and maximizing your goals of occupant health, safety, wellbeing, and sustainability.

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Propane as a Solution to Meeting Code and Above-Code Programs – Using High Efficiency Propane Systems as a Compliance Strategy

Nothing is driving greater change in the home building industry than energy efficiency, but prior to 2015 the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) didn’t address mechanical equipment such as furnaces and water heaters. The 2015 IECC now includes a new compliance path called the Energy Rating Index allowing builders more choices in how to meet the energy code.

This course will take a closer look at how high efficiency propane equipment such as furnaces and water heaters provide flexibility in meeting 2015 IECC standards and help reduce a home’s HERS Index, in addition to helping projects gain points in above-code programs such as LEED and the National Green Building Standard.

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Past as Prologue: An Examination of Natural Ventilation as a Proven Means to Help Meet Architecture 2030 Goals

The objectives of Architecture 2030 require strategies that rethink how we plan, design, and construct buildings in order to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas. One building strategy that has gained favor throughout some parts of the world and is currently growing in the U.S. is the idea of natural ventilation. This paper examines the case for natural ventilation—what it means for the build environment, how natural ventilation principles are applied, and a proven way forward for designers committed to the Architecture 2030 initiative.

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