Management studies have proven that the most expensive
items in any building are the people occupying the space. It follows
that, to capitalize on this investment, work environments and equipment
should be appropriate to the work being performed for employees
to function at their best.
From space analysis to ergonomics, floor coverings to artwork, to
designing program-specific furniture for classrooms, the Campus
Planning Interior Design Team provides services in-house that help
create healthy, productive working and learning environments.
This team, a relatively new creation of Facilities Manage-ment,
provides interior design services to most of the Emory campus. Originally
the department was established to work on capital projects—to
monitor aesthetics and specify furnishings for new buildings—but
the daily needs of the Emory community have made the department
a much-needed and valued resource.
The Interior Design Team holds itself to high environmental standards
and is an active participant in the U.S. Green Building Council,
having worked on more LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design) projects than most interior groups see in a whole career.
The group has shared its experience and expertise with other professional
groups within the field at conferences and seminars.
Environmentally, the interiors group specifies low VOC (volatile
organic compound)-emitting materials whenever possible. It constantly
searches the market for products that are truly sustainable and
not just marketed "greenwash," which means a product made
with all natural materials. With many new environmental products
like "cornhusk doors" and "wheat walls," it
is important to make sure the materials used in Emory’s buildings
are durable. Green products only go so far; Emory can’t have
students walk into their classroom one morning and find that it
has biodegraded into a pile of dust. Our buildings are designed
to last for a very long time.
Recently, the interiors group worked on such projects as the Miller-Ward
Alumni House (for which it received the award for outstanding interior
design from the American Society of Interior Designers); the Candler
Library renovation; the Math & Science Center; the new Nell
Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing; the Autism Center; the Clifton
School’s Clairmont location; the Whitehead Research Building
(certified LEED Silver); the Winship Cancer Institute; and smaller
renovation projects such as the Cox Hall Computing Center and the
Oxford admissions office.
The diversity of style in these laboratory and classroom spaces,
from traditional to contemporary, show the broad capabilities of
this team, which consists of three interior designers: Patricia
Quaile, Lindsay Cross and Melissa Brown. All have degrees in interior
Department Manager Elizabeth Royals has developed a mock-up area
used in capital projects, which is the exact size of a "typical"
new faculty office. Finishes of a new building are applied and the
actual furniture being planned for the office is installed in order
to provide future occupants the opportunity to "kick the tires"
and make comments prior to purchase.
This mock-up office has proven a valuable tool; it has saved the
University tens of thousands of dollars by evaluating products prior
to procurement and eliminating those that do not perform to Emory’s
standards and expectations—if a carpet can’t pass the
simple "coffee test," it’s not going to last on
campus for 10 years. Many peer institutions have visited and acknowledged
that such model demonstrations would be viable on their campuses,
The design group also has assisted numerous Emory programs with
small requests and strives to remain a valuable resource to the
main campus as well as to Oxford and Grady Hospital. For more information
or to contact the Interior Design Group, call 404-727-7783.