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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Custom Water Feature Installed at St. Rita's Medical Facility

At St. Rita’s Regional Medical Center they incorporated a custom water feature in their healthcare facility that brings a soothing calmness to its visitors.

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Compliance without Compromise

The Rise of Next Generation Water Features in Hospitals.

Blu-Guard sets the standard on safety offering encapsulated water feature solutions that eliminate pathogenic concerns. They are FGI compliant and virtually maintenance free.

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Daylighting Inside and Out: Unconventional Ways to Bring More Natural Light Into and Throughout a Building

Exposure to natural light is beneficial for building occupants on many levels. We all know it intuitively and we feel better in interior spaces with natural light. Plus, studies conclusively demonstrate measurable benefits for health, moods, learning, and productivity.
The time-honored method for allowing natural light into a building is, of course, through windows. However, there are many more strategies for bringing natural light into and throughout a building. This course explores the sometimes-overlooked strategies for the flow of natural light into and throughout a building, including light tubes in closets, French doors in interiors, natural-light-flooded stairwells, sliding glass walls, and more.

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The Japanese Godsend Every Designer Should Consider

To understand the U.S. of 2025, look to Japan today. Their demographic trend, an aging population, puts them ahead of the U.S. Today U.S. planners face the growing demands of Millions of aging baby boomers. For architects, interior designers, contractors, and owners, it’s easy to see how this change will influence project work. Aging in place? Universal design? Assisted living? Design imperatives that represent a new world of project opportunity for you.

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Propane Tankless Water Heating in Commercial Building Applications, Efficiency and Performance Benefits

Water heating is a major energy end-use in commercial buildings and is very significant in certain commercial building types. Many commercial building owners and operators have a critical need for water heating systems which are reliable, able to meet varying levels of demand, energy efficient, and able to fit within a building’s space constraints in order to maintain their business operations. Propane tankless water heaters are a flexible, energy-efficient technology which provides these attributes in many commercial applications.

This course will explore how commercial buildings use energy and the potential application of propane tankless systems to provide a solution for water heating needs.

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Understanding Wood – How Next-Generation Designers and Artists Impact the Global Forest Ecosystem (Print Course)

Social responsibility should be at the forefront of every designer’s practice, as their designs impact raw material use, land development, and the health, safety, and welfare of building occupants.

This course will discuss one natural resource that is facing a significant threat from exploitation and development: the global forest ecosystem.

We will discuss how building product manufacturers can offer material alternatives that do not further dwindle the world’s endangered wood species. We will also dive deep into a collaborative project between an engineered surfaces company, Interlochen Arts Academy, and visiting artists to return a pine plantation forest to its native state while studying ecology, creating art, and educating a future generation of artists.

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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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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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