Sustainable Materials: Informed Decisions vs. Assumptions

AIA Course #: HAW565; HSW/SD
IDCEC Course #: 100232; HSW
Subject Code: 2.12 Interior Design: Sustainable and/or Environmental Design

One Hour Course

Course Description:
The integration of sustainable materials in designing and installing work environments is a key consideration for many clients and most designers today. The use of sustainable materials has a direct and indirect impact on our environment. There are extensive resources identifying and classifying materials relative to the benefit and/or risk they pose to the environment. In this session, we'll review information and explore a critical thinking process that will allow designers to consider a variety of aspects in evaluating their best options, looking beyond the face value of available material information and developing a customized point of view regarding the use of sustainable materials.

Course Objectives:

• Discuss the growth and impact that sustainable materials have on the design industry.
• Review the current status of materials and gain an understanding of their impact on the environment.
• Examine and exercise a critical thinking process beneficial in assessing the specific appropriateness of materials in applications.
• Discuss various resources available in the industry that serve to keep designers current and accurate in their knowledge of sustainable materials.

Content Outline:

1. What does the term "sustainable materials" mean? Identify and explore the similarities and differences of a client's perspective and a designer's understanding of what is meant by this term.
2. Introduce and examine information on a variety of popular 'materials', identifying the good/bad of each.
3. Engage in small group exercise that allows attendees to experience a typical design scenario involving sustainable materials and to practice the critical thinking process. Discuss and summarize.
4. Question and answer discussion.