Taking sustainable living to a new level
When Chelsea Royall was asked to join the conceptual design proposal team for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon project, she felt as if she’d been offered the opportunity of a lifetime. At the time, she was an undergraduate student majoring in interior design, and she’d been given the chance to work on a design for an ultra-efficient home that integrates renewable resources and innovative technology. The proposal was accepted, and Appalachian was selected to build the solar home, take it to Washington, D.C. and join 19 other collegiate teams in the 2011 competition.
The daughter of two alumni, Chelsea always wanted to attend Appalachian, but she never dreamed that an opportunity she received in undergraduate school would lead her to apply to Appalachian’s building science graduate program, and eventually become a member of the construction documents management team for a fully self-contained, solar home. She feels that this experience will give her a considerable edge in the job market, as she prepares to enter the highly competitive field of “green” architectural design.
The Solar Decathlon project is one of many ways Appalachian combines commitment to sustainability with dedication to educational excellence. Support for this project as well as other sustainability initiatives on campus provide invaluable opportunities for research, job training and hands-on learning on a campus that has a solid history of passion for and devotion to living and working sustainably.