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.

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).

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 Academy presents technical 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).

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).

Daylighting is an important consideration when designing buildings and shaping communities. Recent research has linked exposure to natural light with increased creativity, productivity, and overall satisfaction in work and education environments. The challenge becomes balancing this aesthetic in a sustainable and cost-effective way. The Daylighting Academy explores the design opportunities available using natural light and shading systems to meet building performance goals that are more and more focused on occupant comfort and energy savings.

Earn 8 AIA LU (5 AIA LU/HSW and 3 AIA LU)

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).

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).

The Wood Structures Academy examines a wide range of dynamic, innovative design and structural uses of wood materials in contemporary residential and commercial applications. It explores environmental and aesthetic benefits, technical advances, current code compliance, performance, its role in meeting green building goals, as well as the inherent opportunities for using wood in both conventional and unconventional ways. As a relatively inexpensive, readily available, easy-to-work-with, strong, adaptable, and beautiful material, the economic, environmental, and energy efficiency advantages account for the increasing surge in buildings being constructed of wood.

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

The Sustainability and Healthy Materials Academy focuses on the increasing use of safe, environmentally friendly materials within the larger tent of sustainable design and occupant wellness across a wide range of residential, commercial, and industrial applications. The Academy explores environmental and aesthetic benefits, technical advances, code compliance, certification tools, and cost considerations—as well as the inherent opportunities for using healthy materials and sustainable design strategies to enhance not only the aesthetic value but also the overall life cycle, integrity, and occupant satisfaction of a given project. As innovative design solutions become increasingly critical in creating sustainable, cost-effective, modern structures, the use of natural materials and products is seeing a resurgence for their beauty and performance benefits.

Earn 8 AIA LU (7 AIA LU/HSW + 1 AIA LU).

The Custom Home Academy focuses on unique, contemporary design strategies utilized in largely single-family residential building and explores the home as it relates to modern design and lifestyle concepts. The courses feature such ideals as embracing comfort, nature, practicality, and sustainability and identifies ways in which designs are incorporating these trends. The courses here can be viewed specifically within the overall lens of the cost, regulatory, environmental, and aesthetic constraints of a modern world, where occupant satisfaction and aging in place are increasingly on the minds of architects and owners. Creative strategies are increasingly needed to address the myriad of aesthetic and performance requirements of home design across the United States and throughout the world.

Earn 8 AIA LU (1 AIA LU/HSW + 7 AIA LU).

The Multifamily Housing Academy focuses on multiunit housing and explores the concept of “home” as it relates not only to individual buildings but also with a view toward community connection. The courses here can be viewed specifically within the overall context of the cost, regulatory, site, and development constraints of a rapidly urbanizing world. As innovative design is tied deeply to affordability and, increasingly, concerns of resiliency, creative strategies are needed to address the multiple problems and obstacles that inhibit delivery of the massive amounts of new housing now needed across the United States and throughout the world.

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

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.