Taking sustainable living to a new level
When Chelsea Royall ’12 was an undergraduate student majoring in interior design, she joined the conceptual design proposal team for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon project. She said she felt as if she’d been offered the opportunity of a lifetime.
The Decathlon proposal gave Royall the chance to work on a design for the 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.
Royall, the daughter of two alumni, always wanted to attend Appalachian, but she never dreamed that the opportunities she received in undergraduate school would lead her to apply to Appalachian’s building science graduate program. Royall said her experience in the program gave her a considerable edge in the highly competitive field of “green” architectural design.
“Appalachian is the only reason I got a job,” Royall said. “I would say it prepared me in every way. It prepared me for the professional world, and it taught me everything I need to know to be able to design and do architecture and interior design as well.”
After graduating from Appalachian, Royall moved to Raleigh and worked at both an architecture and engineering firm.
Royall now lives in Boston where she works at an architecture firm. She said she is doing “exactly what she hoped to be doing” once she graduated. “I do site visits, meet with clients – very similar to what I was doing with the solar decathlon,” Royall said. “I’m grateful that I had the opportunity at Appalachian. I had incredible professors and I wouldn’t be here without them.”