Continuing Our Education: "Structured" Learning Opportunity

Continuing education is very important to the A/E industry and is an ongoing requirement for professionals to maintain their licensure. Page works very hard to identify opportunities for its employees to both fulfill their requirements and broaden their skillsets through a formal support function called Page Learning. There are multiple ways to achieve additional education, one of which is through industry vendors who share their experience working with a variety of firms on different projects. Novum Structures, a single-source international specialty contractor for innovative architectural structures and their enclosures that specializes in structure, membrane and glass recently offered an educational opportunity to Page. A number of people signed up to learn about design solutions for glazing in the lower elevation of corporate / commercial facades.

Many continuing education presentations are made in classrooms or online but Novum structured a walking tour of downtown Houston around theirs so participants could see first-hand the final design solutions as they listened to the technical explanations and followed along in a printed booklet of the projects’ photographs and diagrams. One of the projects on the tour was 811 Louisiana, a recent Page renovation which made it that much more interesting for Page participants, who exclaimed over details they had not known such as structural supports for windows embedded out of sight in a false ceiling. 

The tour consisted of projects that had been completed several years ago as well as structures currently at substantial completion, and demonstrated technological advances in the relatively short time frame. Participants were able to examine structural steel fins both inside and outside atriums, glass fins, tension rods and support cables and discuss why each design solution was ultimately selected, learning the balance between clients’ aesthetic preferences and function. Sealing of window plates, supporting loads, creating the illusion of curves – and the insights into actually specifying and installing curved glass were all covered. 

Since people learn one of three ways: by hearing, seeing or doing, this tour is likely to result in higher memory retention than a typical classroom presentation. For this reason, the Page Learning framework includes options for self-determined training so that employees may select formats best suited to them. The individual education requirements for each identified development path, i.e. Project Management, Project Designer, Project Engineer, Operations, etc. consist of specific types of technical, productivity and interpersonal skills training.