Illinois State University: GreenFluence

Students at Illinois State University gathered to celebrate Earth day on April 22 by learning more about sustainability and green building. Interior Design students and IIDA Student Members joined students studying environmental health, construction management and others for the general meeting of GreenFluence, a student organization dedicated to learning about sustainability from a variety of professionals related to green building.

Mike Royse, president One Main Development

The speaker for this meeting was the president of One Main Development, Mike Royse. One Main Development is currently working on the development of Uptown One in Normal, Ill., the green development of the city center adjacent to ISU’s campus. Many of the buildings are going to be LEED certified. According to Royse, one of the goals of this project is to go beyond the points of the LEED system to make this development as sustainable as possible.

Uptown One, rendering taken from One Main Development

Royse spoke of the current development shift away from the auto centricity of large shopping malls and private housing areas to the development of urban city centers with multi-use structures of condos on the top floors, business offices in the middle floors and retail and entertainment at ground level. This type of development works well with sustainable projects because walk-ability is increased with the dense zoning and close adjacencies of multi-use structures.

Royse shared lessons One Main Development has learned about sustainability like the importance of addressing the “F.U.D.”, that is, the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt that the community members or professionals working on the project may have. One Main Development has learned that it is helpful to address these concerns like the possible additional budget and time requirements of sustainable projects.

ISU GreenFluence student members

Another lesson Royse share with the students is change involving sustainability in a community comes from large system alteration like land use, transportation and walk-ability, and systems of hydrology. Overall, Royse of One Main Development advised collaboration when working on sustainable building projects like including the community and a variety of professionals to get involved and to communicate with other cities about sustainable projects in order to learn from one another.

If you want your IIDA Campus Center or student group to be spotlighted here, please email me. Also, if you want more information regarding how ISU organized this event, you can also email me for more details.

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