Green Brick Education

Words: Dan KamysSeptember 2009 Education & Certifications

The Brick Industry Association (BIA) announced that 70 percent of its eligible members passed the industry’s first-ever online training program, “Sustainability/Green Building Design and Brick.” With this designation, almost 1,000 members’ employees will be eligible to deliver the association’s accredited presentation, “Brick Revisited: Just How Green Is It?” to architects for Continuing Education Credit in accordance with the American Institute of Architects.

Curriculum Given today’s emphasis on green building design and sustainability, the BIA purposefully designed a program that allows members to benefit from its comprehensive and proprietary knowledge in a format that affords maximum flexibility and ease in obtaining updated information.

The course can be completed in one day of intensive learning, and it is broken into five classes: 1)?? What Is Sustainable or Green Building Design? 2)?? Non-Residential Green Building Rating Systems 3)?? Residential Green Building Rating Systems 4)?? Brick Manufacturing – Sustainable or Green Aspects 5)?? Competitive Materials versus Brick – Green Claims and Facts

Tailoring the course Because the only requirements are a Web browser, a BIA password, and a willingness to learn, the standard comprehensive course has proven optimal for members who want to take the course in their own time at their own paces. For groups who have specific geographies or unique product offerings, the BIA is able to customize the content to address these particular needs and facilitate the course personally onsite.

Green building the forefront The BIA’s efforts in the green building design space go far beyond educating members with the online course. The association has participated in the development of several standards that affect both residential and nonresidential construction. For example, the BIA sat on the Consensus Committee that developed the new ICC-NAHB 2008 National Green Building Standard and participates with the U.S. Green Building Council and the Green Building Initiative, which are the organizations that develop the LEED and Green Globes ratings respectively.

The association has also created many materials on this topic that are available for download for free at, including:

  • June 2009: Technical Note 48, “Sustainability and Brick.” Originally issued in April 2008, this document is in its third edition. It is used by architects, engineers and specifiers frequently, and much of this information is used in the BIA’s “Brick Revisited: Just How Green Is It” presentation - one of the BIA’s most popular AIA/CES presentations given to architects.
  • November 2008: Brick In Architecture insert, “The 2008 Brick In Architecture Awards Issue.” This issue ran in Architectural Record, and the AIA/CES credit technical section in this issue focuses on brick’s status as an “environmentally preferable cladding choice.”
  • October 2007: Brick In Architecture insert, “Brick for Sustainable and Green Building??Design.”??This Brick In Architecture insert, which ran in Architectural Record, includes a technical portion where architects can earn AIA/CES credit on the issue of brick’s role in green building design and sustainability.
  • June 2009: Builder Note 5, “Green Building Design and Sustainability.” This is part of the BIA’s Builder Notes series and also shows how brick plays a role in the prevailing LEED for Homes and NAHB National Green Building Standard.
  • April 2009: Brick In Home Building insert, “The Bottom Line On Brick’s Role in Sustainability and Green Building Design.”?? This issue was distributed to all attendees at the NAHB Green Conference in Dallas in May 2009, and compares and contrasts brick to several other exterior cladding materials.
  • December 2008: Brick In Home Building insert, “Using Brick for Green Building Design and Sustainable Residences.”??This issue appeared in the December 2008 issue of Builder and includes a detailed section on brick’s role in residential construction – including details on LEED for Homes and the NAHB National Green Building Standard.

To quantify and authenticate brick’s green attributes, the association has also developed the BIA Policy on Certifying Brick as an Environmentally Preferable Product. By working with the National Brick Research Center, BIA member manufacturers can obtain a “Certification of Environmental Claims” that validates claims about a product’s use of renewable energy for manufacturing and recycled material content.

For more information, contact Stephen Sears with the Brick Industry Association at 703-674-1536 or
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