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Conducting an AIA Presentation

Are you interested in growing your Hardwood Flooring company?
Are you interested in developing a higher end customer?
Are you willing to become a recognized expert in the Wood Floor industry?

If you answered Yes to these questions, then learning to do AIA Presentations is a must for you!

What is an AIA Continuing education?

AIA Continuing Education is required for AIA members to renew their membership. (AIA stands for The American Institute of Architects) AIA members are required to complete 18 credit hours of continuing education PER YEAR!
12 of those hours must be on Health, Safety, and Welfare subjects. 6 credit hours may be on topics such as Construction, Construction process, Products, Engineering and so on.

There are about 80,000 AIA members who are required to fulfil their 18 hours of continuing education every year. So, plenty of opportunity exists to create content related to Hardwood floors!!

Mr. John Jemail of Robbins Sport Surfaces giving an AIA presentation in Billings, Montana

What kind of content should make up an AIA presentation?

An AIA presentation is supposed to be informative and general. A presenter may talk about the difference between strip flooring and wide plank flooring. Or perhaps the benefits and drawbacks to water-based finishes and polyurethane finishes. New technology (like UV cure) is always a good bet.

With a little forethought dozens of topics could be found to make an AIA presentation.

A Health, Safety, Welfare (HSW) course. An HSW course in Architecture is anything that relates to the structural integrity, or health impacts of a building.
It’s not too difficult to imagine that an entire credit hour could be dedicated to the benefits of Hardwood flooring with extremely low VOC finishes. Verses carpeting that traps dirt, dust spores, pet dander, and more. Hardwood flooring with low VOC finishes would also be much safer than flooring product made from a petroleum distillate. The petroleum distillate based product may “gas off” chemicals for weeks or months after installation.

To qualify for a HSW credit 75% of an AIA course’s content and instructional time must be on HSW topics as mentioned above. So, a one-hour course will spend 45 minutes on HSW content.

Why are AIA presentations important?

Wood Flooring is expensive up front.

It is also:
• Loved by consumers
• Adds value to any home
• Promotes a healthier environment
• Has the potential to last for generations, possibly centuries
• In the long run will be less expensive
• Allows the homeowner to change the look, with stains & finishes

This gymnasium floor features 1 ½” strip Maple. However, the Maple features 3 separate Stain colors, natural color, and paint colors. Just one example of the multiple faces Real wood flooring can exhibit.

So, it should be obvious to everyone that Hardwood Floors are best, right?

If only…….
Unfortunately, that statement is simply not true! These are just a very few of the many benefits of real Hardwood flooring. HOWEVER, the initial investment in hardwood floors may be 2 to 3 times as much as a low-end product like LVP. Unless wood floor professionals are willing to go out and educate Architects, designers, builders, and ultimately the general public, too often the choice is made to just go with the cheapest product.

The need for individual Hardwood flooring professionals to go into their communities and meet with Architects and Interior designers simply cannot be overstated!! And the good news is…… HELP is available!!!!

What can the NWFA do for you??

A LOT, the National Wood Flooring Association recognizes the importance of all types of education. Including the importance of educating Architects and Interior Designers. As such the NWFA has produced thirteen separate AIA approved presentations that NWFA members have access to, for the purpose of conducting accredited continuing education classes.

The courses are registered with the following organizations:
• The American Institute of Architects
• The Interior Design Continuing Education Council
o American Society of Interior Designers
o Interior Designers of Canada
o International Interior Design Association

NWFA has partnered with the CEU Events platform for the administration for the courses, including registering your course with both AIA & IDCEC, and reporting attendance.
Cost of this program is $400/year. This cost covers use of the CEU Events platform, unlimited access to the above PPTs and scheduling events. To purchase click here.
Once approved as a presenter and payment is received, you will have access to the courses and materials you will need to successfully lead training. If you are interested in having multiple presenters at your company, discounts are available.

The above information is taken directly from the NWFA website and is considered accurate as of December 2023.

If you are a Hardwood flooring professional who would like to participate in this program or you are an Architect who would be willing to host a continuing educational course on wood floors, please contact the NWFA at: (636) 519-9663.

What are the next steps?

Once you have made the decision to go put on some continuing education courses for Architects, what is the next step? Unless you want to build an AIA presentation from scratch (a lot of work) Here are the steps thru the NWFA to get started.

There are 3 steps to get rolling.

1. Complete payment with NWFA = $400 for the first presenter, then an additional $100/person.
2. Once payment is received, you must complete NWFA University course “Becoming an NWFA Continuing Education Presenter”
3. Once above steps are completed you will receive access to the CEU Events website to create an account and access materials for courses which can be done virtually or in person.

Remember you never need to do this alone! Hardwood flooring manufactures and suppliers may be willing to help. Finish manufactures and Sandpaper manufactures would be another possible partner. A wood flooring professional could also team up with a builder to put on AIA continuing education courses. Putting on AIA continuing education courses is a big undertaking, but asking an industry partner for help, can make the process less work and more enjoyable.
In this video we detail our experiences in putting on AIA courses with the help of our supplier, Robbins Sport Surfaces. https://youtu.be/IlsuchWo0-I?si=4otipz-YP95jcRY7

The process

Watching the above video will give you a sense of the process. Typically, the course presenter will bring in a box lunch for the members of the Architects office, while the participants eat, the presentation will be given. This format is called a “lunch and learn”

Particularly since the Pandemic, nearly all of these CE courses have gone “online”. Professionals have gotten used to meetings online or phone consultations. Many people are still working part of the week from home, making in person meetings even harder to schedule. It has become more difficult to book a lunch and learn course presentations, but difficult is not the same as impossible. We believe a properly set up, “in person” lunch and learn, is the best return on investment advertising we can do!! We further believe that doing AIA presentations in person, advances our companies interest and the interests of the wood flooring industry as a whole.

We would like to encourage anyone looking to build a larger Wood flooring business to consider doing “in person” AIA CE courses. We think your results will speak for themselves!!