This section review Phase I of the EPA P3 Award project titled “Enhanced Sustainability through Straw-Bale Construction: Education-Research Building Demonstrating How to Live Sustainably in the Midwest." Phase I. Work was produced in the fall 2006 and spring 2007 semesters; and presented in the April 24-25, 2007, Environmental Protection Agency's National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. This section is organized into three parts: 

  • The Big Picture reviews the project context and establishes its potential to change peoples’ perception of the relation of built environments, people, prosperity and the planet. It reviews Ball State’s history of sustainability leadership and current efforts to take that leadership to the next level. It reviews the Land Design Institute, its global education for sustainability networking, and proposed LandLab as Midwest regional lab in a global network and as a resource-balancing and Ecobalance Design laboratory. It introduces the strawbale project as pilot project of a resource balance site management system and Ecobalance Design laboratory.
  • The Built-site as Educational Module shows how the module will immerse students in integrated physical and digital learning environments (field site, strawbale building, regenerative landscapes, major future environmental education center building, and global education for sustainability network) to maximize learning about relationships among built sites, people, prosperity, and the planet. It shows how the module can be used to raise understanding of P3 relationships in the diverse communities served by BSU (higher education, K-12 learners, adult learners, and builders and developers). It reviews zones of the built-site (strawbale building, greenhouse, constructed wetland) as P3 learning environments. It reviews initial scheduling of the learning module to optimize learning in these diverse audiences.

The Ball State LandLab is a Land Design Institute (LDI) initiative. The LDI promotes Ecobalance Design as represented in the model above, adapted from Introduction to Landscape Design, edition 2 (Motloch, 2001) based on work of The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, Austin.