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Come Together, Act Together and Better Together:  Step Up Building Energy Efficiency Using Sustainable Materials 

Interior Design students learn knowledge of sustainable principles in the classroom. This project introduced building energy assessment tools to analyze and evaluate energy consumption and interior materials as they explored materials and finishes available to interior designers and ways that they could be combined into construction assemblies. 

Many buildings in the Muncie community need proper insulation, sustainable materials, and more sealed windows and doors to reduce energy consumption. Through a relationship with our community partner, Ross Community Center, students worked to help to solve a community challenge of reducing building energy and applying sustainable materials.

In this project, our Interior Design students learned to apply specific energy assessment knowledge, skills, and tools to benefit the community from the Sustainable Interior course and learned sustainable materials and how to apply them to the real building, Ross Community Center, from Interior Materials and Application course. 

Students in IDES 114 Sustainable Interiors course went onsite for an initial consult, walkthrough, and field measurements with the community partner.  Students discussed and determined the methods to test energy efficiency and apply better materials engaging in processes that included examination of airtightness, heating, cooling, and ventilation.

At the end of the semester, students provided analytical reports of Ross Community Center that suggest more efficient energy-saving ideas to benefit staff, children, and parents using the community center. 

This will continue into the spring semester with students in IDES 115 Interior Materials and Applications will design the space on paper by drawing a working set of construction documents. They will produce floor plans, furniture plans, finish plans, interior elevations, and wall details and sections. The students will then meet with the community partner to determine which student scheme, or combination of schemes using sustainable materials, will be implemented. Once a final design is established, the students will meet the industry consultants on-site for material applications and actually apply materials by shadowing the industry consultants.  This project aims to provide students with real-world experience.