Health, Safety and Welfare credits

The following three standards must be met for a course to qualify for HSW credit.

1. Course directly addresses HSW definitions

Health Safety and Welfare (HSW) in architecture includes topics that relate to the structural integrity and soundness of a building or a building site. Course content must focus on protecting the general public.

  • Health: Aspects of architecture that have beneficial or salutary effects on occupants and users of buildings or sites and address environmental concerns.
  • Safety: Aspects of architecture intended to limit or prevent accidental injury or death of occupants and users of buildings or sites.
  • Welfare: Aspects of architecture that engender demonstrable positive emotional responses from, or enable equal access by, users of buildings or sites.

2. Course covers at least one HSW topic AIA has vetted  

The subject matter of HSW courses endorsed by AIA's Continuing Education System (CES) include technical and professional issues that safeguard the public and fall within the following topics necessary for the proper evaluation, design, construction and utilization of buildings and the built environment:

  • Building systems: Structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, communications, lighting, acoustics, egress, security and fire protection
  • Construction contract administration: Contracts, bidding and contract negotiations
  • Construction documents: Drawings, specifications and delivery methods
  • Design: Urban planning, master planning, building design, site design, interiors, safety and security measures
  • Environmental: Energy efficiency, sustainability, natural resources, natural hazards, hazardous materials, health impact analysis, occupant comfort, air quality,  ventilation, weatherproofing and insulation
  • Legal: Laws, codes, zoning, regulations, standards, life safety, accessibility, ethics and insurance to protect owners and the public
  • Materials and methods: Construction systems, products, finishes, furnishings and equipment
  • Pre-design: Land use analysis, urban ecology, programming, site selection, site and soils analysis and surveying
  • Preservation: Historic, reuse and adaptation

3. HSW topics dominate course content

Three-quarters of the content and instructional time of a course must be focused on acceptable HSW topics to enable the class to count as HSW credits. For example, at least 45 minutes of a one-hour course must be spent discussing HSW topics.

AIA/CES requires that each course satisfy a minimum of four learning objectives. For HSW course qualification 75 percent of the course learning objectives must directly relate to HSW topics.

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