Meredith Interior Design Students Learn Custom Building With Rufty

Meredith College students stepped out of the classroom and onto construction recently to get a close-up look at both the residential and commercial construction process. Prof. Jane Crowley enlisted help from Rufty Homes to visit a residential construction site and Rufty-Peedin Design Builders to access the Hilburn Exxon commercial site under construction. Crowley’s course in “Construction Technology” provides juniors majoring in interior design with practical skills and experience.

“This is an opportunity for students to get a hands-on feel for the intricacies of how a building comes together,” said Crowley, associate professor of human environmental sciences. “They see the guts of a structure before it gets hidden, particularly pre-drywall with all of the utilities and ductwork exposed.”

After their site visits, Crowley’s students were assigned to create their own set of construction documents for a 3,000 square foot interior upfit. This includes all proper dimensioning and symbols featured in professional working drawings.

“The experience is invaluable,” said Meredith College student Jesse Newman.  “It’s great to see every aspect of the building process and better understand all that’s involved. What we’re learning is so much more than the design of interior surfaces.”

The course has given students a better understanding of the intricacies between residential and commercial construction. Students learned important details such as where to locate electrical outlets and plumbing lines prior to drywall finish.

They also were able to learn the latest sustainable technologies, plus the importance of continuity and organization within a general contractor firm. Much of the Rufty Homes team has stayed intact for more than 25 years, and Rufty has a long history as the Triangle's top custom home builder, setting the standard for green building in N.C. back in 1994.

The company recently was awarded Houzz “Best of Design 2014” and “Best of Service 2014” designations, and for six years has been named the region’s top custom home builder by Triangle Business Journal and recently by Cary Magazine readers.

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