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Sustainable World: Student Projects in Interior Design

The following images are of two projects which are used to stimulate the thinking of interior design students about sustainable design. The commitment of the profession to these principles is no longer a desire of a few; it is the consensus of the professional organizations of both interior design and architecture. It is also a concept that is not difficult to convince the students is needed. They , and their clients and communities will inherit the world we are now using and misusing. The Mattamuskeet Enivironmental Learning Center and the Unplugged Office Building are shown here as a demonstration of the student’s skills in understanding and designing within the constraints of a sustainable world.

Project Description

The University received a building from the "Cold War" about eight years ago and is still trying to determine the best use of the space and the land that surrounds it. The Voice of America ( V.O.A. ) Site "C" facility was a listening post and was active in intelligence gathering up to the Persian Gulf War. Since it was decommissioned and was deeded to the University, it has been underutilized.

Your project will be keep the building "unplugged". Maximize the use of Solar Daylighting without creating additional cooling or heating load and with as few electric lights as possible. The electric bill should be very low in your design compared to the remainder of the spaces in the part of the building that you are not renovating. This is your chance to show what you know about adequate light levels, use of borrowed light, views, natural convection, solar collectors and the wise use of the earth's resources. The University should be a leader in demonstrating energy conservation measures in the Center of Excellence renovation.

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Project Description

This semester we will be working with an actual client and their selected designer on the renovation of the pump house at Mattamuskeet. The focus of our studio exercise will be create an environmental learning center relative to the stories that the development of the largest lake in North Carolina has to teach us all about human interaction with nature. The largest pumps in the world were once installed in the pump house. Their purpose was to remove the water from the lake so that the land could be used for farming and the community of New Holland.

After this effort bankrupted two corporations, the pump house became a hunting lodge. The Canadian geese and ducks that migrated here in the winter were fair game for wealthy sportsman who were entertained at the pump- house which had been renovated as a lodge. These ducks and geese are now protected as residents of a wild life refuge, but the most recent threat to the area has been the controversial Outlying Landing Field sought by the Navy. Those who oppose the OLF argue that both birds and pilots would be endangered by one another. The history of human development of Lake Mattamuskeet has been a series of stories of how humans sought to impose their will on the natural surroundings; our project will pose the question: "Does nature have rights as well?"

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