Architectural Record Academies of Digital Learning

Become an expert on a specific area of interest through our Academies of Digital Learning. These academies allow you to focus on specific areas of design interest while earning some or all of your annual CE requirements. Upon successful completion of each academy, you will receive continuing education credits and a digital badge that demonstrates your mastery and achievement. Proudly display your digital badge on your LinkedIn profile, blog or email signature and showcase your expertise.

Want more information on our Academies of Digital Learning or digital badges? View our FAQ page.

Communities today are facing unpredictable challenges with increasing intensities in the form of natural, as well as man-made, disasters. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from these challenges, and architects are leaders in providing cities, communities and individuals with tools to prepare and respond. As climate change and its effects are being felt around the world, the design community is on the forefront of the conversation about what resilient design is and how the built environment will meet the challenges.

Earn 8 AIA LU (6 AIA LU/HSW and 2 AIA LU/Elective)

Glass is increasingly the material of choice used by architects and designers to create safe, healthy, and inspired spaces where people live, play, learn, and work. The courses of the Glass and Glazing Design Academy provide a solid technical foundation for understanding the performance attributes, design considerations, and benefits of the many glazing and glass building products available today. In addition, the academy provides guidance on specifying glass and glazing to meet project requirements and achieve remarkable results with inspired designs.

Earn 10 AIA LU (9 AIA LU/HSW + 1 AIA LU/Elective).

The role of wood in design and construction continues to increase as architects and designers take advantage of its many positive attributes, such as its strength, thermal and acoustic qualities, and low environmental impact. Always popular in residential and light-frame commercial construction, the mass timber movement has contributed to the growing use of wood in larger commercial and multifamily projects. Wood structures allow for easier accommodation of mechanicals, and technological advances allow for unique designs that can achieve taller floor heights. In addition, the psychological and physiological benefits of wood cannot be overlooked. Exposed wood has been shown to provide health benefits to occupants and improve performance. The Wood Structures Academy invites you learn more about wood materials in contemporary residential and commercial applications.

Earn 9 AIA LU (7 AIA LU/HSW + 2 AIA LU/Elective).

The Sustainability Academy highlights the leadership role that architects, engineers, and the construction industry can play in finding answers to the challenges presented by climate change. Design choices can have a positive impact on the environment, addressing construction and materials waste, air and water quality, energy usage, and CO2 emissions as well as the health and well-being of building occupants. The courses in the Sustainability Academy endeavor to inspire architects and designers and encourage positive change toward improving the sustainable performance of the built environment.

Earn 8 AIA LU (6 AIA LU/HSW + 2 AIA LU).

The business of architecture is experiencing a profound evolution—some would say a revolution. Beyond the mainstay of ever-evolving design and construction techniques, data science and artificial intelligence (AI) are poised to disrupt the ages-old profession. Climate change and the movement toward sustainability and resiliency are creating new approaches to architectural design and even introducing opportunities to present new service offerings to clients. The Business of Architecture Academy demonstrates how architects can lead by example in design of their own offices as well as in product-selection choices for their clients.

Earn 8 AIA LU (4 AIA LU/HSW + 4 AIA LU/Elective).

The Custom Home Academy delves into contemporary single-family home design and how architects and designers are building quality homes that will stand the test of time. Whether creating custom baths and spa-like in-home retreats or designing to accommodate an aging population by simplifying access, the dual goals of pleasing aesthetics and performance requirements continue to push architects in new directions. These courses highlight custom homes in many types of environments, from lush tropical settings like Ecuador to the arid desert of Phoenix, from New York City to the outback of Australia, and provide inspiration for anyone tasked with designing a home for modern lifestyles and needs.

Earn 9 AIA LU (2 AIA LU/HSW + 7 AIA LU/Elective).

As cities grow, the demand and desire for multifamily housing has become an integral segment of a healthy housing market, one in which innovative design and engineering are needed to find ways to meet the many and varied project goals. The Multifamily Housing Academy puts the spotlight on architects and designers of multifamily housing who are creating spaces that are affordable and inclusive while also addressing sustainability, resiliency, and aesthetics.

Earn 8 AIA LU (2 AIA LU/HSW + 6 AIA LU/Elective).

Museums, zoos, and aquariums are the focus of this academy, which demonstrates solutions to the unique challenges facing these types of projects. The academy will present actual solutions to the issues of safety and security for humans, animals, and priceless artwork, as well as design approaches that use glass to enhance user experience and create stunning settings that combine architecture, art, landscape, and the natural world.

Earn 8 AIA LU (4 AIA LU/HSW + 4 AIA LU/Elective).

Whether you are seeking a better understanding of acoustics for a new project or current methods and information for a robust acoustic design, the Acoustics Academy is a helpful resource to assist you with acoustic performance and noise control. You will learn about classic as well as emerging approaches of interest to architects and designers, including sustainable choices. Occupant acoustic well-being is increasingly a top priority in project design, and the Acoustic Academy presents methods, strategies, and examples of projects that have rose to the challenge of meeting occupant comfort as well as modern design and performance goals.

Earn 8 AIA LU (6 AIA LU/HSW + 2 AIA LU/Elective).

When Frank Lloyd Wright lamented in 1928 that the Persians, the Egyptians, and the Moors knew more about the secrets of glass than American architects — who at the time had the thoroughly modern material readily at their disposal — he could not foresee the leaps in creativity and utility that architects would make almost 100 years on. Today, glass is a prominent material in commercial and residential projects, bringing in light, providing views, and balancing thermal comfort. Modern buildings, using new glass technologies, do their best to consider the health and well-being of occupants, and glass is being used in new ways to enhance aesthetics, provide privacy, and improve energy efficiency. The Glass in Architecture Academy presents information on advances in glass technology and examples of the many ways glass enhances a project.

Earn 8 AIA LU (4 AIA LU/HSW + 4 AIA LU/Elective).

Natural stone as a building material shows up virtually everywhere—from building facades to landscaping and interior accents. The Stone Academy examines the innovative design and structural uses of natural stone in residential, commercial, and public applications. It also delves into the use of stone as a sustainable material, as well as provides an overview of the aesthetic benefits, technical advances, fabrication, quarrying and excavation challenges, installation issues, and the overarching historical context of stone. Additionally, the academy examines many different types of stone and provides insights and case studies detailing their use, both indoors and out. As innovative design solutions become more and more important in creating cost-effective, high-performing contemporary structures, stone is a popular choice for its natural beauty and versatility, environmental benefits, and durability. The academy features numerous examples of such innovation across many project types in the United States and abroad.

Earn 8 AIA LU (3 AIA LU/HSW + 5 AIA LU/Elective).

Structural steel is a smart choice, offering ground-breaking new fabrication methods, unmatched resilience, and overall cost effectiveness. Building on the past, delivering innovative solutions today, and shaping the future. That’s American structural steel. The Steel Academy will present residential and commercial projects where steel has provided both the literal framework of strength and resilience as well as the aesthetic narrative around which the structures have been built. Furthermore, the academy will provide an overview of the many practical benefits that steel and steel systems present for architects, engineers, and designers alike to meet a wide variety of project expectations.

Earn 8 AIA LU (3 AIA LU/HSW + 5 AIA LU/Elective).

The Masonry Academy will examine the many aspects of masonry, which is one of the oldest forms of construction known to humans. From a high-level overview of materials, such as concrete, stone, and brick, to detailed breakdowns of a variety of innovative projects throughout the world, the Masonry Academy will provide architects and designers with inspiration and practical knowledge about incorporating masonry into contemporary residential, commercial, and institutional design—whether new construction or exacting renovations—as aesthetics, cost savings, and performance benefits are highlighted.

Earn 8.5 AIA LU (5.5 AIA LU/HSW + 3 AIA LU/Elective).

Academies FAQs

Please click on each question to view answer

  • Are academies free of charge?

    Yes. Like all the courses on the CE Center, our Academies of Digital Learning are 100% free of charge and accessible 24/7.

  • What is an academy?

    An academy is a collection of editorial-rich courses around a specific area of interest such as: education, multifamily housing, sustainability, acoustics, etc. Academy courses include a variety of course formats including, articles, webinars, multimedia and research reports.

  • What is a digital badge?

    A digital badge is a graphical representation of an accomplishment, skill or interest that can be earned and shared online. Each digital badge contains verified metadata that outlines your achievement and the criteria required to earn the digital badge. This allows colleagues, peers and employers to view and verify accomplishment and skills.

  • How do I earn a digital badge?

    Digital badges are earned by successfully completing all the courses within a specific academy. Once you have successfully completed and passed all the quizzes within an academy, you will then be able to view and download your digital badge from within the “My Academy Progress” page.

  • What are the benefits of a digital badge?

    Digital badges are a great way to showcase your achievement or mastery within a particular field or interest. They can be shared on various social media platforms, email signatures, websites and resumes.

  • How do I share my digital badge?

    You can share your digital badge on social media platforms or embed your badge in a website or resume through the “My Academy Progress” page on the CE Center. Additionally, you can export your badge to other badge-storing platforms, such as Mozilla backpack.

Academies