I recently spent a day attending a mishmash of seminars in order to fill up on Continuing Education Units. So here's what I learned.
Continuing Education is just like regular education - effort-in equals benefits-out. If we are counting on continuing education to provide the public with better architects, let's hope architects are already good enough. If the states truly think that continuing education is a necessity, then they should get off their duffs and provide it. The system in place is just a busy-work joke.
Ok, rant over. The presentations were on Automatic Entrances, Limestone, Air Barriers, FRT Wood, and Bioclimatic Facades.
Pedestrian oriented automatic entrances come in two types - swinging and sliding and each of these come in either full energy or low energy. And then there are ICU doors, which are the same as the others except inside hospitals (because no one else uses them?). So you ’get’ the difference between swinging and sliding doors. The sliders take up lots more space, but would generally be preferred except for that limitation. The swinging variety need many more safety features so you don't get hit by the door or it closes on your fingers. If you can tolerate the slow speed of the low energy variety. The low energy doors are too weak to hurt anyone. The nuances make it a good idea to involve a manufacturer's rep in the design/specification process. (A theme, generally.)
We took a quiz before the seminar to learn how little we knew about limestone.
Here are the correct answers:
Air and vapor barriers contribute to a building's durability, reduce energy consumption, and improve indoor air quality. Barriers are either permeable (AIR) or impermeable (VAPOR). Choosing the correct type and the correct placement in the wall section are critical. The "Perm A View" system provided by Grace can assist in getting this right. There are also other versions of similar software called WUFI and THERM.
Making an air barrier continuous is critical because the penetration of moisture or air through gaps is usually 100 times the amount getting through the air barrier sheet. The only real ASTM test that matters is ASTM 2357, which tests the whole air barrier assembly - sheets, joints, terminations, penetrations, flashings, etc. A tight description of what you want is the only way to get it right. Referencing manufacturer's guidelines leaves it up to non-experts in the field to determine what to do. For fluid applied air barriers specify DRY thickness. Fluid applied installations have only one drawback - thickness control. The other types of air barriers are self-adhered and mechanically fastened.
Fire-Retardant Treated Wood
There are a surprising number of places that you can use FRT wood in non-combustible construction.
Steel studs have 3.5 times more embodied energy than wood studs.
The average 2,200 SF house has 30 metric tons of carbon sequestered in the wood components.
You know, "Eat more Chikin".
Bioclimatic facades use interior and/or exterior shades with computerized controls driven by a sun sensor on the roof of the building. You can maintain views, control glare, maximize natural daylighting, and minimize heat gain. Durability of exterior shades is surprisingly good, contrary to what I thought. You can get a 20 year warranty on the system and five years on the motors. The systems are also much cheaper today than in the past because of the elimination of the control wiring - replaced by wireless controls. This looks like its worth exploring further (presented by Somfy Systems ). I wonder if Lutron and Levitron have similar systems...
So there are your five credit hours. I skipped the session on how fiberglass windows are green because I have to watch my blood pressure.