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.

Register

RMI's Innovation Center: First-Year Lessons Learned

The Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) Innovation Center illustrates the potential of achieving net-positive-energy performance in a replicable manner, serving as a demonstration project for the design and construction industry. Its first year of operation has offered many lessons around technological incorporation, financial replicability and incentivizing an integrated design process.


With four decades of leadership and advocacy for hyper-efficient buildings and economies, RMI is the ultimate client and occupant for such an innovative project. First-hand staff video interviews will address design process, system integration, performance and occupant satisfaction. RMI researchers guide attendees through the building with interactive video technology, providing commentary to frame the experience. Observations will be contextualized by members of the architecture and engineering team, translating lessons that can—and should—be applied to the next generation of high-performance buildings.

Register

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.

Register

Redefining Sustainable Design: The New AIA COTE Measures

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) is the oldest U.S. program dedicated to sustainable design. In 1997, COTE introduced its annual Top Ten Awards, “the profession's best known recognition program for sustainable design excellence” (AIA), to celebrate exemplary projects and give the industry guidance on how to integrate green building principles. In 2015, to mark its 25th anniversary, COTE embarked on a landmark research initiative to study the first two decades of Top Ten, published in 2016 as Lessons from the Leading Edge. Part of the research was to revisit the program’s criteria of evaluation, known as the COTE Measures of Sustainable Design. The result of this effort was to overhaul the program with a completely new set of principles and metrics. The 2017 Top Ten Awards are the first year to use new criteria such as economic impact and more robust metrics for health and resilience. In this presentation, three members of the COTE Advisory Group will present the new criteria and engage the audience in a lively discussion about what defines sustainable design.

Register

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.

Register

Clarifying Product Transparencies - Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental and Health Product Declarations (Print Course)

The best route to a sustainable building is knowing what’s in the materials used to build it, but questions remain among manufacturers and buyers about how to evaluate and compare the environmental profiles of similar building products and materials.

Product transparency reports like Environmental Product Declarations, Health Product Declarations and Declare labels help meet this challenge.

This course will discuss how these tools collectively provide information about the environmental performance and impact of products and offer an objective means of comparing similar products.

Register

Enabling Innovation through Offsite Construction (Print Course)

Offsite construction can be an entry point for innovation that simplifies onsite assembly, provides cost savings, and offers superior performance.

The sector has already implemented just-in-time job site production, reduced cycle time and inventory, and optimized vendor-managed processes.

Offsite construction will evolve to increasingly integrated assemblies to further reduce site labor and utilize advanced automation. Significant innovation in offsite construction is finally pushing a large portion of the construction process from the jobsite into manufacturing plants.

This course will cover what that innovation is and why the construction industry is ripe for change.

Register

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.

Register

The Surfaces that Surround Us While We Heal (Print Course)

The mission of healthcare organizations is to provide patient care that is effective, medically relevant, and operationally efficient in a comfortable, convenient environment where the patient-provider relationship is at the center. Surfaces play a key role in creating a positive tone within healthcare built environments, but surface quality is dependent on proper material selection, durability of design, and material performance. Designers must understand how to specify surfaces in healthcare settings that address disinfection, durability, and design challenges to achieve safety, efficiency, and patient comfort.

Register

Specifying Luxury Vinyl Flooring in Environmentally Conscious Design

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is an extremely versatile resilient flooring product that is commonly used both residentially and commercially, specifically in educational, healthcare, and corporate settings where long lasting performance is key. This course will explore the performance benefits, design features, and applications for luxury vinyl tile where durability, low maintenance, versatility, sustainability, and affordability are desired or required.

Register