Architecture, Design and Building Science

This program's collection of continuing education courses provides the architect/student with a catalog of courses on every construction division. Courses include products and their application, safety, the environmental impact of products, and application case studies. Users can search the catalog using CSI division numbers, keywords, manufacturer names, or product descriptions.

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Customizable Acoustical Solutions for Open Plenum Design

Modern open spaces create a unique set of challenges when it comes to acoustics, particularly because many new buildings are designed with open plans and open plenums. Fortunately, there are innovative acoustic systems on the market that are designed to integrate with open plenums that can help to overcome these challenges. This course will discuss customizable acoustical solutions for open plenum design, including baffles, beams, clouds, and acoustical wall panels, which are available in a variety of materials like metal, wood, fiberglass, and felt. The course will explore the importance of acoustical design and how these open plenum ceiling systems can transform a space aesthetically while maximizing acoustics.

Design Building Envelopes That Support Healthy, Efficient Buildings

The building envelope separates the conditioned interior space from the environmental elements of the great outdoors, and this course explores a few solutions to equip the building envelope to defend the interior from nature's onslaughts, manage moisture, improve thermal performance, and admit daylight without glare.

HSW Justification:
Improper use of vapor barriers is one of the leading causes of moisture-related issues in buildings today. Those moisture related issues can include the growth of mold and mildew, which compromises the quality of the indoor environment and can even cause structural damage. Designing a proper air barrier system is crucial to moisture protection and protecting the thermal performance of the original design. This article provides best practices for designing an air barrier system that will function properly. We also discuss some solutions that can improve the functionality of the building envelope’s thermal performance. The course explores a translucent and an opaque solution that improve the thermal performance of the envelope, while offering additional benefits. Translucent wall panels allow diffuse, glare-free daylight into an interior, without compromising thermal efficiency at the opening and precast structural panels offer code-exceeding thermal performance and structural load-bearing capabilities.

Learning Objective 1:
Students will be able to explain why controlling air leakage in the building envelope is crucial to safeguarding the quality of the interior environment and protecting the energy efficiency of the building.

Learning Objective 2:
Students will learn to apply best practices to design an air barrier system that will effectively manage moisture intrusion and avoid moisture-related issues in the building envelope.

Learning Objective 3:
Students will be able to describe how translucent daylight panels allow daylight into the interior, mitigate glare and provide better thermal performance than many other glazing solutions.

Learning Objective 4:
Students will learn to use structural precast concrete panels to reduce the amount of perimeter steel needed on a project, while achieving and exceeding code-compliant thermal performance.

Designing Beautiful High-Performance Building Envelopes

The building envelope has a lot of different jobs to do—from insulating the building so that it can be efficiently heated and cooled to providing air and water barriers that keep harmful moisture at bay, as well as providing the aesthetic face of the project. High performance building envelopes do all of those things extremely well. This article explores some of the latest high-performance solutions that can be used to create those high-performance envelopes.

HSW Justification:
A high-performance building envelope is necessary to create a building that is efficient and healthy. This article takes a look at how different components in the building envelope perform—giving architects the information they need to choose high-performance components that will produce a high-performing envelope.

Learning Objective 1:
Compare different types of continuous insulation in terms of the thermal performance they offer and the way they behave when exposed to water and fire.

Learning Objective 2:
Describe how insulated metal panels (IMPs) can be used on the envelope to improve building performance, create efficient and healthy interiors, and enhance design flexibility.

Learning Objective 3:
Explain how PET bottles can be upcycled into insulation creating a new product that contains recycled material and improves thermal performance of the building envelope.

Learning Objective 4:
Describe the ways that architectural metal wall systems enable architects to push the creative boundaries of their designs.

Meet the Expert

Designing for Wellness

This article explores some of the latest products and solutions improving the air quality, thermal comfort, electric light, and daylight control that can be incorporated into a project. Each improves the wellness of the people in the built environment.


Learning Objective 1: Explain how air circulation improves thermal comfort and alertness.


Learning Objective 2: Describe the ways that increasing the presence of plants and greenery on a project have been shown to clean the air, reduce urban heat island effect, and positively affect the health and wellbeing of people in the built environment.


Learning Objective 3: Summarize how circadian LED lighting technology delivers health benefits—improving overall sleep quality, daytime productivity, and feelings of wellbeing—that modern architectural lighting lacks.


Learning Objective 4: Discuss how using an underfloor air distribution system (UFAD) improves indoor air quality.


Learning Objective 5: Identify the latest advancements in smart window technology that allows these solutions to control glare and solar heat gains, while maintaining views to the outdoors.

Designing with Pre-Crimped Woven Wire Mesh

Designing with Pre-Crimped Woven Wire Mesh is a streaming video course that explores interior and exterior applications and functions for woven metal mesh products in architectural design. The course examines key functions of these materials, details the manufacturing process, and outlines critical specification considerations to ensure beautiful and long lasting installations.

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