The Marble Institute of America (MIA) has announced the development - and approval by the American Institute of Architects - of its first AIA Continuing Education System (CES) course that also qualifies for the Sustainable Design (“SD”) credit. 

The course, entitled “Genuine Stone: A Natural Choice for Sustainable Design” provides architects one CES-HSW/SD Learning Unit. The AIA Board of Directors recently modified the AIA-member continuing education requirement to include four hours of education in sustainable design as part of the existing 18-hour annual requirement. This sustainable design requirement became effective in the 2009 calendar year and extends through 2012.

The one-hour course provides an introduction to sustainable design and the sustainability movement, plus descriptions of how natural stone makes an appropriate and natural material design choice that contributes to a sustainable design solution over a project’s life cycle. Learning objectives for the course include:

• A review of the objectives of sustainable design

• A look at the characteristics of natural stone and their relevance to sustainable design

• Identification of ways to reduce environmental impacts when selecting and sourcing natural stone

• An explanation of how natural stone can be, and has been, used to support sustainable design goals, including case study examples

“This new course provides another great opportunity for MIA members to educate local architects and designers about the attractiveness of natural stone as a preferred building material,” said MIA Executive Vice President/CEO Gary Distelhorst. “We currently have over 100 approved instructors from 45 member firms that have provided CES Learning Unit credits for some 1,300 architects already, and this new course will be a very strong addition to the list of courses now available through the MIA for them to use.”

The course was developed by MIA’s sustainability consultant, Stephanie Vierra, LEED AP, for the MIA - utilizing content she originally developed for VeronaFiere and Marmomacc, but customized and expanded for MIA member use in providing continuing education for architects/designers.  In addition, a task force of MIA members provided industry information and advice for the course. Funding for the development of the course was provided by MIA members supporting the association’s Natural Stone Sustainability Fund.