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BPU Online Education Courses

Firestone Building Products is pleased to offer the Building Products University (BPU) Online Education program which has been created to provide an introduction to various roof, wall and building envelope topics. There are currently seven courses that can be taken for free that use interactive learning techniques with audio, text, graphics, animation and videos to present important information and concepts.

Course descriptions can be found below.

Roofing Systems: View from the Top

Whether replacing an existing roof, building a new roof from scratch, or some type of roof repair project in between, deciding on critical design factors is the key to a successful roofing system project. Each layer of a roofing assembly requires careful consideration and analysis to assess for impacts to the entire building. Using real-life scenarios and practice activities, this course explores the most common components of a roofing system, the advantages and disadvantages of each system, and how the critical factors aid in the assessment of the most appropriate system to meet the needs of the building and client.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the basic roofing components and how they are integrated into commercial roofing systems.
  2. List the most common types of roof membrane materials and systems used for commercial roofing.
  3. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of each to help customers select roofs that will reduce environmental impact and conserve energy.
  4. Evaluate the critical factors that shape considerations for roofing systems.
  5. Describe common and special considerations that need to be addressed for the installation of a commercial roofing system to ensure buildings are conserving energy.

EPDM Roofing Systems

Gaining a solid understanding of the advantages of EPDM roofing systems demonstrates why this membrane has the longest proven performance record of all single ply membranes. EPDM’s high-performance synthetic rubber compound provides outstanding weathering in climates worldwide. Multiple attachment types and colors are available for an EPDM roofing solution, and environmental benefits of the white EPDM membranes are explored in this course as they provide the lowest carbon footprint of all single-ply membranes.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe EPDM, its physical characteristics, and performance advantages, emphasizing its proven historical performance as a sustainable (green) roofing product.
  2. Explain the three system-attachment types (ballasted, mechanically attached, and fully adhered).
  3. Describe seaming steps and the use of innovative tape technologies.
  4. Explain factors that impact durability and longevity of EPDM systems.
  5. Evaluate key factors to consider for selecting black or white roofs, addressing codes and rating systems that support the use of both.
  6. Select an EPDM roof for any climate.

Thermoplastic Roofing Systems

Made to withstand the elements over time, learn how Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) membranes are designed to offer exceptional resistance to ultraviolet light, ozone, and weathering. Gain an understanding of why TPO single-ply roofing systems are the fastest-growing commercial roofing product, and have gained broad industry acceptance for their many performance and installation advantages such as heat-welded seams. This course reinforces that not all thermoplastic roofing solutions are alike, and that TPO is the most environmentally friendly thermoplastic available.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe TPO, its physical characteristics, and performance advantages, emphasizing its proven historical performance as a green roofing product.
  2. Explain the three system-attachment types (ballasted, mechanically attached, and fully adhered).
  3. Describe seaming steps and accessories.
  4. Differentiate between types of thermoplastics (TPO and PVC).
  5. Evaluate key factors to consider for selecting between TPO and PVC roofing systems.

Asphalt Roofing Systems

Although built-up roofs are the oldest type of low-slope roofing systems, gaining an understanding of the advantages and characteristics of modified bitumen membranes will help you select the asphalt roofing system that improves performance and saves on installation costs over traditional asphalt roofs. Learn how “mod bit” roofs, whether APP or SBS, provide improved durability with stronger reinforcements, resistance to hail and traffic damage, and provide factory-controlled quality manufacturing.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe how asphalt has been used in built-up roofing (BUR) and modified bitumen products, such as APP and SBS, in terms of physical characteristics and performance advantages.
  2. List the advantages and disadvantages of the various attachment types: hot asphalt, heat fusion, and cold process.
  3. Explain the basic details of the seaming techniques used for modified bitumen roofing systems.
  4. Explain handling hard-to-flash details with liquid flashing products.
  5. Describe the environmental attributes of asphalt-based systems.

Metal Roofing Systems

There are several options available for steep slope metal roofs, but how do you choose the best option for your building? This course is designed to answer exactly that question. Learn about the types and finishes of metal, and the systems available to meet your building’s needs. This course will also answer specific questions about oil canning, warranties, and the importance of proper attachment for metal flashings on low slope roofs.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the base metals that are common to steep slope commercial roofing.
  2. List the various types of finishes and compare performance characteristics.
  3. Demonstrate different types of panel fabrication and attachment options for metal roofing panels.
  4. Explain basic design considerations for metal roofing systems.
  5. Explain the importance of properly designed and installed edge metal for low slope commercial roofing systems.

Roofing Insulation and Cover Boards

Arguably, selecting insulation and cover boards is the most important decision when designing a roofing system because of the many benefits these products provide in terms of service life, building safety, and energy efficiency. This course explores the characteristics, advantages, and cautions of the primary insulation and cover boards on the commercial roofing market today, and then considers the installation methodologies that will optimize the building’s energy efficiency.

Learning Objectives

  1. Evaluate three roofing insulation product types by describing the characteristics, advantages, and cautions of each type, and identify any environmental efficiency each provides.
  2. Explain the evolution of cover boards, focusing on the characteristics of the cover board product types most commonly used today, and explain how cover boards combined with insulation increases energy efficiency.
  3. Describe three methods for attaching roofing insulation and cover boards, and explain how they meet design and code requirements.
  4. Demonstrate the importance of proper slope for drainage, and how tapered insulation systems can economically meet design needs for new and existing roofs.
  5. Define R-values for insulation and cover boards, including the use of long-term thermal resistance (LTTR) values for foam insulation products.

Innovative Products and Services for the Rooftop

Green building, also known as sustainable building, is both a structure and a process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life cycle. A critical part of green building includes innovative products and services for the rooftop: solar PV systems, daylighting systems, and vegetative roofing systems. These innovative products and services for the rooftop will increase energy efficiency. They also use environmentally responsible design methods and materials, and improve the work environment for occupants.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe energy-efficient products and services available to building owners, specifiers, and contractors.
  2. Discuss photovoltaic roofing options.
  3. Identify the features and benefits of daylighting solutions.
  4. List the options and advantages of vegetative roofing systems.
  5. Explain the value of roof warranties and the importance of ongoing preventive maintenance.

Path to Energy Savings in the Building Envelope

Sustainable construction and high-performance buildings offer tremendous benefits to building owners, building occupants, and the larger community. Course content goes beyond codes, standards, and sustainability rating systems to explore options and best practices for getting the most out of green construction. This course provides foundational information and application opportunities on topics such as optimizing a building’s energy efficiency; installing innovative, alternative energy solutions; and addressing the larger community challenges of storm water management and the urban heat island effect.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the relationship between standards, codes, and sustainability rating systems, in terms of building design and construction.
  2. Explain the growing importance of energy and sustainability codes, specifically the IECC and IgCC, in the design of buildings, the selection of building materials, and the construction of wall and roofing systems.
  3. List the types of products and services that contribute to a building’s energy efficiency.
  4. Define and describe LEED and RoofPoint.
  5. Discuss three roofing options that promote sustainability and energy efficiency within the building and within the larger community, describing the benefits each provides: photovoltaic solutions, daylighting solutions, and vegetative roofing systems.

Introduction to Architectural Metals

Metal has many benefits in the design of a building. It provides visual beauty, and it is strong, lightweight, and durable. There are options for every budget, look, function, and scale, and it’s a great choice for sustainability. This course explains the four base metal types — steel, aluminum, natural metals, and stainless steel — and the unique attributes each can bring to a building project. It also provides foundational knowledge on the two types of wall panel systems — barrier and rain screen — as well as the four metal wall panel options.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe how metal adds both aesthetic and practical value, and energy efficiency in the building envelope.
  2. List the most common types of metals used for the building envelope, and explain the pros and cons of each.
  3. List the most common finishes available and explain the pros and cons of each.
  4. Explain the differences between the functionality and sustainability of barrier and rain screen wall systems.
  5. List the most common metal wall panel options, and the pros and cons of each.
  6. Differentiate ornamental metal options for multiple design needs.
  7. Relate integrated light management systems to aesthetics, energy efficiency, and functionality.

What’s in a Wall? Components in a Cavity Wall

There are several key elements that must be considered with a cavity wall system. Heat, air, and moisture — both vapor and liquid — have a definite impact on how a cavity wall system should be designed and constructed. Once these elements have been addressed, a cavity wall system will increase energy efficiency, meet the required energy and fire code standards, and will provide cost-savings over the life of the building.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the key concepts for proper design of cavity wall construction to manage the movement of heat, air, and moisture (vapor and liquid).
  2. Introduce the importance of the hygrothermal (dew point) analysis.
  3. Articulate current energy and fire codes that must be complied with in the construction of exterior walls.
  4. Explain the role that continuous insulation can play in meeting design and code requirements for cavity wall applications
  5. Describe the critical design element needs to ensure continuous air and vapor barriers in roof-to-wall transitions.

Metal Wall Panels: Design to Delivery

Successfully installing metal wall panel systems begins in the very start of the design stage. This course will walk through each step — from how a panel goes from a drawing to a reality. Collaboration and teamwork are key from the beginning. Learn how you can contribute to your team of designers, contractors, and manufacturers.

Learning Objectives

  1. Summarize the complex process — from conception to delivery — of metal wall panel systems.
  2. Recognize the roles and responsibilities of the people involved in metal wall panel systems, using Lean principles.
  3. Describe the tasks required in each stage of the process for a successful, timely delivery of metal wall panel systems on new and existing construction projects.
  4. Identify tasks that are critical to meet aggressive construction schedules, along with the services and solutions available to expedite them.

Introduction to EPDM Rubber Pond & Geomembrane Linings

EPDM rubber linings are an ideal solution for many water containment needs. From backyard residential ponds to huge municipal reservoirs, EPDM provides long-term protection against seepage and erosion. This course is designed to expose Contractors and Installers to fundamental concepts in pond lining and geomembranes. Please note that an advanced-level Firestone Lining University is offered via in-person training classes. More information on the Advanced level classes will be made available at the end of this module.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify several residential & commercial lining opportunities.
  2. Understand the features & benefits of PondGard and GeoGard EPDM rubber lining membranes.
  3. Understand excavation and configuration options for ponds and reservoirs.
  4. Understand deployment options for our membranes.
  5. Understand membrane seaming and finishing options.

Information provided to Firestone Building Products Company, LLC (“Firestone”) is meant to enhance the experience and to allow the user to take full advantage of Firestone’s Building Products University programs. The transmission of information to and from this site, and any communication through the web site or through e-mail does not constitute or create a relationship between Firestone and the user. In addition, information sent to Firestone via Building Products University, this web site and/or e-mail is not confidential, and Firestone has the right and an unlimited license to use such information, including, without limitation, as part of its marketing and sales functions. Users of Building Products University should not send confidential information to Firestone via this web site, and once information has been sent and received by Firestone, Firestone is not responsible for its’ safeguarding.

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