Sustainable Expectations

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Integrating sustainable design into education has become a normative standard. A student’s awareness and understanding of sustainable design is an expectation for attaining accreditation of interior design programs. Such accrediting bodies have clearly communicated the design educators’ responsibilities in the preparation of future interior designers entering into the workforce. Yet, there exists a lack of information concerning the value of sustainability achievements from the employers’ perspectives. It is therefore critical to determine the practitioner’s ethos concerning sustainable design practices and achieved credentials of entry-level interior designers. It is critical to determine practitioner climate regarding sustainability in order to best prepare students for entry level design positions. This research investigates a state of Alabama practitioner’s value and expectations toward sustainable design and credentialing expectations of emerging interior design professionals. Investigators delivered an internet-based questionnaire to the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) members of the state of Alabama. The questionnaire included a three-part survey: demographic, sustainability awareness, and ecological worldview. Sustainability awareness was a means of measurement of awareness and involvement among design practitioners and firms in sustainable practices. The ecology section utilized the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale. The study found no statistically significant difference in one’s ecological worldview and sustainable awareness. Descriptive statistical analysis revealed ASID members value LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credentialing; yet, few practitioners hold the LEED credentials of LEED Accredited Professional (AP) or LEED Green Associate.