Indiana State University’s own interior architecture design program has announced its intent to launch a new sustainable practices course. The course will seek to educate students on maximizing the efficient use of resources in construction. In addition, students will learn how their design choices can affect the environment.

“This August, we were looking at the curriculum as a whole and I could see a need for a course in sustainability that we could introduce to students at the junior level,” said Mary Sterling, the program’s coordinator. The course will be a valuable tool for future architects and designers. As resources have become scarcer, the concept of sustainable practices has leaked its way into nearly every aspect of the design process. Even seemingly small things like the amount of water a toilet uses in a flush are considered.

“Everything that we do design-wise needs to have an understanding of sustainability,” Sterling said. “… If we don’t have knowledge of that, we’ve missed the mark.” In addition to learning about efficiency, students will also learn about recyclable and renewable building materials. For example, terrazzo, a flooring and wall treatment comprised of grounded minerals and concrete, can be washed and reused many times. Linoleum, being made from renewable resources, is also popular for use in flooring. “It is essential for us to produce products from cradle to cradle, not cradle to grave,” Sterling said. “Recycling is a continuous process rather than throwing things into a landfill, which is a dead end process.”

The course is planned to start in the spring of 2016, and will be lecture-based. Sterling is very excited for the start of the course, and is proud that her students will soon be learning the invaluable skills to insure a sustainable future.