The Brick Industry Association (BIA) , the national trade group representing distributors and manufacturers of clay brick and suppliers of related products and services, has announced that 70% of its eligible members have 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.
Innovative curriculum follows longstanding tradition of excellence
As the nationally-recognized authority on clay brick construction, members have valued BIA’s education programs for nearly 60 years. Given today’s emphasis on green building design and sustainability, BIA purposefully designed a program that allows members to benefit from BIA’s comprehensive and proprietary knowledge in a format that affords maximum flexibility and ease in obtaining updated information.
“Green building design principles have always been at the forefront of our efforts, and this area is continuing to grow in importance,” explains Dick Jennison, President & CEO of BIA. “Our mission was to provide our members the information they need in a cost-effective format that allows them to access it anytime, anywhere. Since the internet-based course is offered at no charge to BIA member manufacturers and distributors, we think we’ve succeeded.”
The course can be completed in one day of intensive learning, and it is broken out in five separate 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 v. Brick – Green Claims and Facts
Course can be tailored to meet unique member requirements
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 pace. For groups who have specific geographies or unique product offerings, BIA is able to customize the content to address these particular needs and facilitate the course personally on-site.
Green building design is at the forefront for BIA
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, 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 at no charge at www.greenbrick.com , 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 very frequently and much of this information is used in BIA’s “Brick Revisited” Just How Green Is It” presentation - one of 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 our 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, TX 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. “This program, with third party certification, is an integral part of BIA’s overall sustainability and green building design strategy,” affirms Jennison. “And it’s consistent with our mission of furnishing our members the tools they need to position their product as strongly and accurately as possible.”
About the Brick Industry Association
The Brick Industry Association (BIA) is the 75 year old national trade association representing distributors and manufacturers of clay brick and suppliers of related products and services. The association has been the nationally recognized authority on clay brick construction since its founding in 1934, and it represents the industry in all model building code forums and national standards committees.
BIA is involved in a broad range of activities that appeal to architects, builders, and consumers, including Technical Notes on Brick Construction, Brick In Architecture, Brick In Home Building, Builder Notes, national awards competitions, educational seminars, and numerous other programs. BIA also advocates the industry’s regulatory and legislative interests at the federal and state levels and educates municipal and planning officials about the benefits of brick at the local level. Along with the headquarters office that covers the entire country,
BIA is comprised of regions that manage programs in the Midwest/Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest. Go to www.gobrick.com  for more information.