Interested in learning more about sustainable design trends, standards, or rating systems? Check out our offering below! Presentations range from how to make an extremely durable surface out of paper to understanding how interior acoustics affect our health. All presentations are AIA-approved, with some of them also qualifying for GBCI and IDCEC hours. With LEED Accredited Professionals (AP) and a WELL AP on staff, we strive to be at the forefront of education in the sustainable building industry.

Contact your local rep or [email protected] to schedule an AIA lunch and learn or product presentation.

CaraGreen is an AIA CES Registered Provider.

Product Specific Presentations

A 15-, 30-, or 45-minute presentation on Lapitec, the next generation of surfacing.

Lapitec® is a unique product defined as sintered stone, made of 100% minerals with no resins or petroleum derivatives. Lapitec® provides the most suitable and diverse solutions for construction and furnishing, with the dimensions required by designers. Being a “full bodied” material, it is easy to work and can be utilized in countless applications: from internal and external cladding to pavements, from indoor or outdoor kitchen countertops to ventilated façades. It is non-porous, making it stain-resistant, mold-resistant, and bacteria-resistant. Lapitec®’s resistance to these factors means it is also easily cleaned, featuring an integral technology called Bio-Care which breaks down pollutants in the air and supplements the natural work of trees. Lapitec® is a product that is long lasting and completely weather-proof. Every slab is acid-resistant, alkali-resistant, resistant to deep abrasions, heat-resistant, and frost-resistant, and is unaffected by UV rays. It is also resistant to graffiti. One of the most durable building materials, Lapitec® is perfect for any application.

A 15-, 30-, or 45-minute presentation on Durat solid surface.

Durat is a unique solid surface material that can be used to create seamless surfaces for any custom project including countertops, desks, tables, integrated sinks, bathtubs, shower trays and stools. Durat is made from 30-50% recycled hard plastics. Easy maintenance and hard-wearing properties make it an ideal material for various kinds of interiors including bathrooms and public spaces.

Durat is 100% recyclable.

A 15-, 30-, or 45-minute presentation on elementAl surfaces.

elementAl surfaces take us back to basics. As recycling becomes an issue, we need to find a way to launch new materials that repurpose our recycled materials. ElementAl surfaces take plastic and metal from the post-consumer waste stream and meld them together into a stunning, easily machined surface that not only performs well, but offers a seamless solution to an industry problem. elementAl surfaces tell the story of the need for a more sustainble economy, in our offices and in our homes. Architects and Designers have a simple solution to a complex problem: it’s elementAl.

A 15-, 30-, or 45-minute presentation on PaperStone.

PaperStone® is committed to innovative green products that contribute to a wholistic lifestyle that is smart, elegant, and responsible. Made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. PaperStone® has no added urea formaldehyde resins and has been thoroughly tested and certified as VOC-free.

A 15-, 30-, or 45-minute presentation on Kirei.

Design something simple…or spectacular! Use EchoPanel® flat panels adhered to walls and ceilings for clean looks and sound absorption up to .85 NRC, or custom cut and print EchoPanel® to create sculptural elements that hide acoustic control in plain sight.

Made from up to 60% recycled PET plastic, EchoPanel® helps reduce landfill waste and can help projects qualify for LEED credit.

A 15-, 30-, or 45-minute presentation on Koskisen.

KoskiDecor Eco Transparent is made of Finnish birch plywood. Both sides are coated with colored translucent. The translucent coating emphasizes the wood’s natural grain and is protected by an overlaid transparent durable film.

KoskiDecor Eco Transparent is an ideal material for the furniture and millwork. Thanks to the hardwearing and crack resistant clear melamine surface, its features provide smooth and superior surfaces, ready for interior use.

A 15-, 30-, or 45-minute presentation on reSawn charred and reclaimed wood.

reSAWN TIMBER co. provides new and reclaimed wood products for architectural specifications for flooring, interior wall cladding, ceilings, exterior siding, furniture and custom millwork.

A 15- or 30-minute presentation on TorZo.

Torzo Surfaces manufactures sustainable surfaces that are ideal for high wear residential and commercial applications. TorZo uses rapidly renewable, recycled, and raw materials to produce their sustainable sheet products.

AIA CE Courses

Length: 60 minutes with Q&A
AIA Credit: 1 LU | HSW

Description: Trends in surfacing are constantly shifting over time, but there are a few more reasons why. Quartz fatigue is setting in- its colors and patterns are endlessly mimicked, it is starting to look tacky in an effort to expand, and it is becoming a commodity. On top of that, tariffs and taxes are rising the prices of foreign-made quartz. A new group of surfacing materials are coming into play: sintered stone, next generation of solid surface, and composite surfaces. This is influencing other shifts, such as the affinity for nature (biophilic design), nature-inspired design (biomimicry) and sustainability (using waste as a resource).

  • Understand the role of surfacing (using a case study: the kitchen)
  • Determine key players in the surfacing market and upcoming trends
  • Understand market and demographic changes and other limitations affecting surfacing trends
  • Discover new options for surfacing

Length: 60 minutes with Q&A
AIA Credit: 1 LU | HSW | GBCI 0920014132

This one-hour course breaks down the Materials and Resources Credits in LEED v4.1. We will discuss the newest changes and what you should be paying attention to when it comes to specifying building materials according to LEEDs latest standard. As green building evolves to include more than just energy efficiency and recycling, material manufacturers are asked to up their standards as well. Transparency and optimization are key to understanding what products will help projects achieve points under the Materials and Resources credit category. CaraGreen offers this course in hopes of simplifying the specification process for LEED projects for architects and designers, as well as to help building product manufacturers understand what documentation their products need to qualify.

Learning objectives:

  • Define the LEED Building Standard and how has it evolved
  • Understand Materials and Resources Credits overhaul in LEED v4.1
  • Optimize material selection for LEED Credits and reduced environmental impact
  • Understand the impact of material selection when designing sustainable spaces
Biomimicry in the Built in Environment

Length: 60 minutes with Q&A
AIA Credit: 1 LU | HSW

Description: The way we solve problems, the way we create, has had lasting consequences on our environment. Pollution, waste, struggling to find the right solution. How can we design better? Nature has solved problems and perfected the solution over 4 billion years, since the Earth’s creation. Adapting and evolving to fit current needs has created designs beyond our imagination. This course delves into how to utilize these designs for our needs, as shapes, as functions, and even as whole systems. This is the future of design.

  • Understand what biomimicry is
  • Learn why biomimicry is imperative in sustainable design
  • Learn how to utilize biomimicry
  • Define the different types of biomimicry
Waste as a Resource

Length: 60 minutes with Q&A
AIA Credit: 1 LU | HSW

Description: Green, sustainable, healthy. These words are being thrown around the building industry, becoming mundane and common place. What more can we do? First, we need to look at what we have done. We have created without consequence, designed without regard for our waste. Our world is increasingly becoming a landfill. Now what? We need to Create Better. By thinking of our waste as a resource, using our buildings to restore the environment, and by optimizing our designs to minimize our impact, we can restore the beauty of the natural world while continuing to prosper. This presentation details how to accomplish this and join the movement to Create Better.

  • Understand why we need to Create Better
  • Discover how waste can be a resource
  • Understand how the built environment can give back
  • Learn how to optimize designs to minimize environmental and health implications

Length: 60 minutes with Q&A
AIA Credit: 1 LU | HSW
GBCI course number: 0920012244

Learn about the latest trend in interior design: Biophilic Design, which is the incorporation of natural elements using design techniques to improve the environment, employee well-being and productivity. This presentation is more than just theory, it offers case studies and data that back up this type of design and shows how retail, commercial, school, health and hospital buildings and employees can benefit substantially by incorporating the principles of biophilic design. From water features, daylighting, acoustic treatments, sounds and natural imagery to analogs of nature and elevated visual planes, the techniques and materials to invoke them are available for the next generation of design.

  • What is Biophilic Design?
  • How does Biophilic Design impact the interior environment?
  • Understand how businesses can benefit from incorporating this type of design
  • Learn how to differentiate your firm from others by using biophilic design
    Consider what types of products are available for biophilic design
Acoustics + Health

Length: 60 minutes with Q&A
AIA Credit: 1 LU | HSW

How many times have you been eating dinner at a restaurant and can’t hear your friend over the commotion? Or been focusing in an office that is too quiet, where you can hear every little sound, even the typing of Susan in the next cubicle over? Acoustics play an integral role in our comfort, which ultimately affects our health. This course will focus on the basics of sound and acoustics as well as how those impact our health and productivity.

  • Understand the basics of sound
  • Learn the properties of sound and acoustic performance
  • Learn how sound interacts within buildings and how that affects occupant health
  • Consider applications for better sound quality and control
The Benefits of Cork in the Built Environment

Length: 60 Minutes with Q&A
AIA Credit: 1 LU | HSW 

This course will explore how cork is used throughout history beginning with the Glacial period right through modern-day times. We will look at the many different uses of cork as wine stoppers, thermal and acoustic insulators and as flooring material. We will explore how cork is harvested and the specific technique that is involved in this age-old trade. We will review the manufacturing process of cork flooring and what 3rd party environmental certifications are available for flooring.

  • Learn about the history and origins of cork
  • Create awareness on the ethical harvesting practices of cork and understand the sustainable features of Cork
  • Understand the features and benefits of cork flooring as a material
  • Learn about the types of cork flooring and the installation process
Fitwel - the New Healthy Design Standard

Length: 60 minutes with Q&A
AIA Credit: 1 LU | HSW

Fitwel Certification brings human and environmental health to the forefront of building design. Unlike other building standards that put systems before people, Fitwel considers all the building materials used in the space and their impact on the occupants of that space. Whether certifying a single project or a portfolio of buildings, the Fitwel certification integrates best practices to keep your space healthy. No, this isn’t just another stringent building standard that requires endless paperwork, but a solution to our obvious need to rethink our spaces and is an investment in the users of the space.

  • Learn the benefits of Fitwel Certifications in both residential and commercial spaces
  • Understand the requirements for certification for different project types
  • Consider building materials and their role in Fitwel certification
  • Develop a knowledge of which building materials can have a positive impact and how
Circularity in Building Materials

Length: 60 minutes with Q&A
AIA Credit: 1 LU | HSW

In the simplest of terms, a circular economy is an economic framework that is restorative and regenerative by nature. Also referred to as a closed-loop system, circular economies seek to cut out the single-use, waste-creating aspects of our current economic system and instead replace them with practices that not only reduce waste but also find ways to keep products and materials in use while regenerating natural systems. So instead of a system that depletes our resources and jeopardizes the health of the planet, circular economy systems work to create a system in which the things we buy are created out of resources we already have, and, once we are finished with them, can be put back into the system of commerce (rather than a landfill).

  • Understand the concept of circularity as it applies to buildings and building materials
  • Learn the role of product manufacturers in circularity
  • Understand take-back programs and how they work
  • Learn how to design for circularity
Downloadable Resources

A quick cheat sheet on Biophilic Design- what it is, how to implement it, some relevant images

A quick cheat sheet on Circularity in the built environment. Understand the concept of circularity as it applies to buildings and building materials. Learn the role of product manufacturers in circularity. Understand take-back programs and how they work. Learn how to design for circularity.

A sheet detailing LEEDv4.1 updates on materials and resources- applicable credits, ways to choose better materials, and the importance of materials.

A sheet detailing what biomimicry is. Understand why biomimicry is imperative in sustainable design. Learn how to utilize biomimicry, and define different types of biomimicry.

Our Commitment to the Green Community

As the green building community evolves and grows, we want to do our part. We believe that being involved in any community deepens your connection to it. So we put that into practice in our green building community. We participate in professional organizations and accreditation bodies, including:

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

The USGBC works with members to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

The AIA plays an active role in the continuing education of its members to maximize their professional skills through effective learning partnerships with firms, continuing education providers, and all AIA components. CaraGreen also plays an active role as an AIA CES Registered Provider. This means that we can come to your firm and provide educational content to architects and interior designers that will result in continuing education credits. Contact [email protected] to schedule an AIA lunch and learn.

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