Architectural Polymers: Best Practices for Architectural Specifications

Presented by Fernando Pages, this presentation serves as a resource and primer for product specification and complements the book Architectural Design for Traditional Neighborhoods published by the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) in 2019.


This course aims to provide design professionals full control of the design’s aesthetic outcome with polymeric sidings, trim, and ornamentation, respecting the architectural style, target market, and project budget. These specifications will refer to traditional architectural features in the language of art.


This effort aims to put the power of good design details and recommended installation practices within the architectural designer’s easy reach.

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Steel - Timber Hybrid High-Rise Buildings: Trends, Drivers, Challenges

This presentation will examine the recent trend toward steel-timber hybrids – as a subset of the wider trend toward mass timber – in high rise buildings.

It will overview where this is happening, and what the advantages and challenges are, focusing on some of the key case studies employing such systems.

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Opportunities For Wood in Low-Rise Commercial Buildings (Print Course)

This course is intended for building designers who want to learn more about the use of wood framing systems in low-rise commercial projects. The course content will provide practical information that can be applied to projects, the course begins with code-related topics, including cost implications of construction type, opportunities for achieving unlimited area, and implications of multi-tenant occupancies.

It provides an overview of wood wall and roof systems commonly used in commercial buildings, and highlights key design considerations. Examples of wood-frame buildings are highlighted, and a recent cost and environmental comparison of a big box store designed in wood versus steel is summarized. Code references refer to the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) unless otherwise noted.

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Vacuum Insulating Glass (VIG) Benefits and Advantages in a Sustainable World

Learn how vacuum insulating class (VIG) units are different from typical architectural insulating glass units (IGUs) and how VIG technologies can meet a vast range of needs, ranging from energy savings and occupant comfort to acoustic improvement.

This course also examines the energy performance of VIG units compared to traditional product options and reviews specific code requirements that VIG products can meet and exceed.

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The Architecture of Color and Fire

People have been gathering around fire since the beginning of humankind. In the modern age, advances in technology and a focus on forward-thinking design have combined to create design opportunities with a focus on color and fire.

In this expert panel discussion with ARCHITECT's Editor-in-Chief, examine case studies and concepts that show the power of color and fire in architecture; including how color plays a key role in the built environment influencing us physically, emotionally, and mentally.

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Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) in Building Product Manufacturing and the A/E/C Industry

This course will examine Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) through the lens of the A/E/C industry and building product manufacturers. It will review the evolution of ESG from the 1980s when organizations began to regulate and manage pollution, improve labor and safety standards, and improve other negative outcomes of economic growth. The three pillars of ESG will be discussed generally, then from the perspective of the A/E/C industry, and finally through the lens of a window and door manufacturer and their specific ESG agenda. The course will conclude with a case study that achieved Living Building Challenge certification and helped both an architecture firm and window and door manufacturer achieve ESG goals.

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Hard Surface Flooring Options for Hospitality, Multifamily Housing, and Senior Housing Projects

This course will explore three building sectors—hospitality, multifamily housing, and senior housing—and the flooring challenges these projects face, including heavy foot traffic, maintenance, safety, and aesthetics.

Hard surface flooring such as tile, luxury vinyl tile, laminate, and engineered wood can be specified throughout these projects to meet the demands of public spaces such as lobbies and restaurants and private areas such as bedrooms and baths. The course will also examine a case study from each sector.

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Emerging Trends in Commercial Flooring

Most current trends in tile, vinyl and wood flooring are the result of emerging technical advances, offering designers and architects enormous flexibility to create unique looks in non-traditional applications. Tiles that simulate real wood, vinyl flooring with a natural stone appearance, and wood flooring that can be used in wet areas are just some of the latest advancements.

In this course contractors, designers and architects will learn how to apply current trends in tile, vinyl and wood flooring to gain a competitive advantage.

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The Future of Folding Doors: New Innovations Driven by Design

Evolving design trends have driven the emergence of a new range of folding door products that complement modern architecture and improve user experience through performance and ease of operation. This course will review key attributes of these next-generation folding doors, including product styling and sightlines, size capabilities, hardware design and placement, and performance criteria. You will learn how these design improvements open up sightlines, ease operation, and boost the performance of folding doors.

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Culture of Caring

Using creative design solutions and subtle interventions, see how these design professionals are taking on issues such as aging in place and intergenerational living and making a difference for people, place and planet.

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