Iowa Interior Designer 10 HSW Package #1



Ten hour course package contains 3 courses that will meet the 2 year requirements for Iowa Interior Designers:

    • (4 hour HSW) Aging in Place – Eliminating Pitfalls #AIABLTI459
    • (3 hour HSW) Lean on Me – Choosing Railings Carefully #AIABLTI457
    • (3 hour HSW) Drier By Design – Designing to Keep Water Out #AIABLTI453

10 HSW Credits 

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Iowa Interior Designer 10 HSW Package

This 10-hour package contains:

Course #1 — (4 hour HSW) Aging in Place – Eliminating Pitfalls #AIABLTI459
Course #2 — (3 hour HSW) Lean on Me – Choosing Railings Carefully #AIABLTI457
Course #3 — (3 hour HSW) Drier By Design – Designing to Keep Water Out #AIABLTI453

Credit(s) earned on completion of this course will be reported to AIA CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members will be available to print upon completion of this course. This course is registered with AIA CES for continuing professional education.

Aging in Place – Eliminating Pitfalls

In millions of homes across our country, and in the homes of people we love, existing residences are slowly but surely becoming prisons for their occupants. This happens as the aging process inevitably removes our ability to successfully navigate stairs and perform daily tasks required to live and survive independent. Societal options exist to move from private residences into congregate living facilities, where oversight and care are offered at various levels for those facing challenges. But few are interested in thus surrendering their independence. We prefer to just age-in-place.

It is possible to remain at home as physical and / or mental deterioration makes doing so more challenging. Given the amount of research that preceded establishing design standards to accommodate the handicapped, new structures can be designed which are far more user friendly to the elderly. Changes to existing homes can also be made in incremental steps as needs arise, just not as efficiently as doing so from scratch.

The knowledge and technology to enable our elders to stay at home are well established. All that is lacking are finances to do so, the time to do so, the will to do so and wide-spread dissemination of knowledge on how to do so.

The last of those issues is addressed in this work.

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • A thorough understanding of physical challenges that make aging-in-place more difficult.
  • An increased awareness of cognitive issues that make aging-in-place more difficult.
  • Resolvable issues faced by the elderly while navigating outside the home.
  • Changes in typical lighting strategies that are beneficial to an aging population.
  • Proper design of exterior amenities to facilitate increased enjoyment of nature by an older population.
  • The impacts of different choices in finishes in reducing dangers faced while aging-in-place.
  • Design choices that make common areas in multi-family housing more user friendly to the aged.
  • Changes in cabinetry needed to accommodate use by the handicapped

Course Outline

The Scope of This Work
Problems to be Expected with Aging
Expect Resistance

  • Don’t Expect Gratitude
  • Graduated Change
    • Phase 1 – Fairly Unaware
    • Phase 2 – Pondering
    • Phase 3 – Implementing
    • Maintenance

Potential Changes Ahead
Outside the Home

  • Public Transportation
  • Pick a Walking Route
  • Outdoor Car Parking
  • Site Lighting
  • Site Furnishings
  • Landscaping
  • Gardens
  • Private Exterior Spaces
  • Exterior Wayfinding
    • Building Exterior
    • Accommodating Pets
    • Outside the Entry

Common Areas in Multi-Family

  • Circulation – Lobby
  • Interior Wayfinding
  • Mail Rooms
  • Administration Offices
  • Common Restrooms
  • Storage Areas
  • Common Dining
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Community Room
    • Fitness Center
    • Smoking Area

Inside an Individual Home

  • In General
  • Flexible Spaces
  • Foyer / Entry
  • Living Room
  • Kitchen / Dining:
    • Kitchen / Dining Cabinets
    • Kitchen / Dining Appliances
    • Kitchen / Dining Plumbing
  • Bathrooms
    • Bathroom Cabinets
    • Bathroom Hardware
    • Bathroom Accessories
    • Bathroom Finishes
    • Bathroom Power
  • Bedrooms
    • Bedroom Closets
    • Bedroom Flooring
  • Laundry Room
  • Garage or Carport
  • Storage Areas
  • Hallways / Corridors
  • Stairs and Ramps
  • Additional Vertical Transportation
  • Finishes in General
  • Flooring
  • Windows
  • Window Coverings
  • Doors:
    • Needed Clearance Varies by Door Type
    • Hands-Free Entry
    • Door Hardware
  • Furnishings
  • Acoustics

Alarms and Alerts

  • Emerging Technologies
  • Other Sensor Based Technologies

HVAC System Concerns
Electrical Concerns

  • General Lighting Concerns
  • Lighting Control Types
  • Outlets

Other Available Resources

  • General Aging-in-Place
  • Specific Topics
  • General Building Resources
  • Accessibility / Universal Design
  • Health During Aging

Additional Thoughts

  • Cost
  • Additional Obstacles
    • What’s Behind This Wall
    • Cabinetry
    • Footprint


Lean on Me – Choosing Railings Carefully

In every major city, premier addresses flaunt high-end high-rise residential towers that make it possible to maximize profit from acquiring high priced land. On these towers, row upon row of sleek railings march toward the heights, declaring at least small pieces of outdoor space as being for private use only.

In conjunction with the design of the whole structure, these railings form a large part of the aesthetic of their projects. They are one of the most visible. All the while, the rails do the job for which they were really designed. That is keeping those behind them alive.

This material briefly examines the materials and methods used to construct barriers against fatal falls. Codes governing the performance of railings will be examined, because safety is the main justification for such regulations. Different ways to meet those guidelines will be discussed. Different looks made possible by technology will be portrayed. Finally, the challenges faced by busy design firms in choosing, detailing, and specifying these integral building components will be examined.

Many new tools for railing design are becoming available to architects, engineers and builders. 3D imaging, 3D modeling, BIM and CAD-CAM programs are changing the perception of what once was possible, especially in the area of renovation projects. New business models are beginning to emerge whereby the development of standard details and standard specifications for railing systems will become practical, for busy architectural firms providing services in multiple locales.

This course in intended to convey that knowledge to such firms.

Learning Objectives

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Goals that must be met to achieve building code compliance in the design of railings
  • Increased awareness of ADA guidelines and other regulations besides building codes, that must be satisfied in the design of railings
  • Proper mounting for different railing configurations, being installed on different types of construction
  • Familiarity with different material, design and finish options for railings and dividers
  • Knowledge of issues faced with railing replacements in historic projects, as well as ways to accommodate needed historic detailing while still addressing safety
  • Cognizance of trends toward standardized railing systems, standard details and master specifications, and how these trends help insure code compliance in the design of railings

Course Outline


Course Objectives

Code Compliance

  • Complying with ADA/Building Codes
  • National and Local Building Code Requirements
  • A Moving Target
  • Additional Sources of Restrictions

Defending Design Choices

In Search Of …

  • In Search of Solid Rationale
  • In Search of Aesthetic Choices
  • In Search of Assistance
  • In Search of Resources
  • In Search of Verifiable Compliance
  • In Search of Engineering Proving Compliance

Certifications for Railings and Dividers

Specifications for Railings

  • Sourcing the Product
  • Sustainability
  • Additional Rationale for Choices

Testing to Insure Compliance

Railing Materials and Styles

Choosing Railing Materials

  • Ferrous Railings
  • Stainless Steel Railings
  • Composite Railings/Capped Polymers
  • Available Composite/Capped Polymer Railing Styles
  • Aluminum Railings
  • Available Aluminum Railing Styles
  • Combined Aluminum & Composite Railings
  • Glass Railings
  • Bronze Railings

Choosing Railing Design

Choosing Railing Finishes

  • Options with Aluminum
  • Options for Stainless Steel
  • Paint Finishes

Market Share

Choosing Privacy Dividers

  • Dividers with Solid Panels
  • Dividers with Openings

Designing and Mounting Railings

  • Mounting at the Base
  • Mounting on the Side
  • Determining Anchor Strength
  • Additional Railing Design Considerations

Product Standardization

  • Advantages of a Standardized Product to a Project
  • Advantages of a Standardized Product to an Architectural Firm

Renovation – Reviving the Beautiful

  • Issues Encountered in Historic Railings Replacements
  • Accommodating Historical Detailing
  • Finding the right fabricator
  • Renovation Case Study

Partners in Projects

  • What to Seek in a Supplier
  • Distribution


Drier By Design – Designing to Keep Water Out


Course Description

With erosion paths cut into solid rock as solid evidence, water in various forms contains immense power to eat away or destroy whatever is in its path. Whether it takes a year, two hundred or ten thousand, without intervention, water can and will destroy our man-made structures. Once a problem develops that opens a pathway for intrusion, one rainy season can render a building unsuitable for human use.

We have the knowledge and tools to combat such destruction of our structures. We implement counterattacks in the design stage, during construction, and afterwards with proactive maintenance, but the battle against water begins in the design phase.

Moisture resistance principles and methods are discussed in a systematic fashion, as in one building system at a time. Fundamentals are first covered, including basic principles of water behavior and the multiple paths it takes while invading buildings. A thorough knowledge of how destruction begins and escalates drives the known design principles and material decisions used to stop such migration. Practical solutions are then discussed in detail.

The discussion is needed. The physical price tag for both our structures and their occupants is too high to allow water free entry into our occupied spaces.

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • A basic understanding of how water moves, migrates, and behaves
  • Typical sources of excess moisture in our built environments
  • Proactive prevention of unwanted moisture through planning and design
  • Methods used during construction to prevent the intrusion of water
  • Post-construction prevention of leakage by building envelope inspection
  • Common points of failure through which water can gain entrance
  • Prevention of water intrusion through control of condensation

Drier By Design–Designing to Keep Water Out


1. Glossary of Terms Regarding Water Intrusion
2. Water Behavior

  • General Water Infiltration
  • Hitting a Moving Target
  • But There are Rules
  • Under Pressure to Admit It
  • Different Problems in Different States

3. Moisture Problems

  • Searching for a Source
  • Mold Growth in Buildings

4. Wet by Design


1. Recommendations for Design
2. Construction Methods Used to Exclude Moisture
3. Tools for Analysis and Design


1. Incoming
2. Site Drainage Issues
3. Entrapped Moisture
4. Reasons Why Envelopes Leak

  • Defining a Building Envelope
  • Methods and Materials Meant to Exclude Water
  • Known Problems with Wall Systems
  • Using Envelope Diagnosis to Find Leaks
  • Pen Test
  • Common Reasons for Envelope Failure


1. Buildings from Wood
2. Thinking Through Building Components

  • Structural Framing Design
  • Foundation Design
  • Foundation Leaks
  • Wall Envelope Design
  • Design of Interior Finishes
  • Glazing System Design
  • 4.2.7 Roof Design

3. Moisture from Plumbing Leaks
4. Moisture from HVAC Systems
5. Moisture from Ventilation Systems
6. Moisture from Condensation

  • Causes of Condensation
  • Cold Weather Condensation
  • Hot Weather Condensation

7. Tightening the Envelope
8. Vapor and Air Retarders
9. Combatting Negative Air Pressure


1. Preventing Leaks by Planning

  • Moisture Control Design Principles
  • Designing Components to Prevent Leaks

2. Controlling Moisture During Construction


  • Credit(s) earned on completion of this course will be reported to AIA CES for AIA members.  Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available to print upon completion of the course. 
  • This course is registered with AIA CES for continuing professional education.  As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA or any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.
  • Course instructors will be available by email at, or telephone (800-727-7104) between 8am and 6pm Eastern Standard Time. They will assist you with questions regarding course content. 
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