The Evolution of Fire Life Safety in Building Codes

This presentation will cover techniques for mitigating fire damage and reducing fire spread while describing how an understanding of code intent can be used to argue equivalent fire performance when wood solutions lie outside typical code-approved applications. Over the last 80 years, prescriptive height and area limitations have remained relatively unchanged in North American building codes while technological advances and fire service capabilities have improved considerably. Through an examination of historical code development and identification of the risk factors on which codes are based, we can set the stage for a re-examination of public perception with regard to combustible construction.

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Maximizing Space, Sustainability, Value and Aesthetics with Manufactured Storage Systems

People are suffering from “stuffocation” - having too much stuff. This course explores relationships between appropriate and ample storage, and improved interior design and quality of life for building occupants. You’ll also explore the many features and benefits of manufactured storage systems over custom built-in-place alternatives. Topics include commonly used materials for manufactured storage systems, various types of storage systems, and storage applications for residential and non-residential applications.

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Kitchen Planning for the Generations

Appliance technologies and the kitchen's place in the home have changed drastically over the past twenty years. Modern kitchens have grown in size and are now the heart of the home for entertaining, dining and working. Many times there are several people cooking at the same time. Given these scenarios, it is important to consider the entire range of users, from young children to the elderly. In this course we will discuss how kitchen planning can serve the needs of three generations, from Generation Y (aka Millennials) to the Baby Boomers. We will focus on how these groups differ in their vision of how a kitchen should function, style preferences, appliance requests, acceptance or integration of technology into the space, and universal design.

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Off-Site Wood Construction: What, Why, How and the Future.

Due to skilled labor shortages, compressed schedules, and the potential for greater quality control, off-site wood construction has become increasingly popular. This presentation will cover the unique design and construction techniques associated with pre-fabricated and off-site panelized wood systems. An introduction to the different levels of off-site construction and review of associated products and services will be followed by a demonstration of cost and schedule benefits based on real-world projects. A step-by-step process will be presented for designers new to off-site construction, with information on how to find and utilize partners and resources, the integrated design process, and differences compared to traditional on-site methods. Trends and future projections for the use of off-site construction, as well as its advantages, will also be reviewed.

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Suspended Wood Ceilings: Design to Delivery

(Please note: The Study Guide is a White Paper entitled "Alvar Aalto, the father of modern wood ceilings", which is intended to be a part of the course. Please download it upon enrolling.) A comprehensive discussion of the key factors that inform and influence the specification of a suspended wood ceiling. This course covers the benefits of suspended wood ceilings; materials including wood options such as veneers, solid wood or reclaimed wood; sustainability attributes; and performance characteristics.

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Three Innovations Changing the Face and Function of Fabric Architecture

This fascinating course explores three new and innovative architectural products, each made from precision woven architectural fabric: a new exterior fabric membrane that allows for entirely new forms and functionalities in permanent static or kinetic fabric constructions; a new modular ceiling system made from photometrically and acoustically optimized precision fabric; and a new composite facade material made from a combination of glass, fabric and metal. Design and application, and the functional and sustainable benefits provided by each innovation are explored through real-world projects.

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