Selecting materials and finishes is an integral part of specifying site furniture products. This course reviews typical conditions inherent to outdoor environments, along with the potential impact on materials, products and installed projects. A range of materials commonly used outdoors, including wood, metal, concrete and glass, is examined against a selection framework that compares conventional materials with high-performance options, and considers material durability, performance, aesthetics, and environmental impact. Several site furniture projects are also examined.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify conditions and constraints typical of outdoor environments, and understand the potential impact these can have on materials, finishes, and the installed project.
  • Evaluate several types of materials appropriate for outdoor applications based on criteria including durability, performance, aesthetics, and environmental impact.
  • Recognize leading green building standards and rating systems, and understand the importance of a product supplier’s environmental impact management programs and environmental data collection and reporting practices.
  • Cite examples of products that use high-performance materials to balance these diverse challenges while offering tremendous design potential and adhering to a higher environmental standard.