College of DuPage

Interior Design 1190

BARRIER-FREE and LIFE-SAFETY CODES are a necessary part of the every day practice of Interior Design. The bottom line is — we as humans live, work, and play in built environments. We require them to be safe, sound, and enhance the quality of our lives. We seek this control through functional design; aesthetic yet well lit interiors, and barrier-free spaces. We now demand the highest quality of care and consideration that has ever been legislated into a built environment during any period of history.

Whether you are specializing in Residential, Contract or Commercial, Office, Facilities Management, Space Planning or another related Interior Design career, you will eventually interact with a variety of Codes and Specifications requirements. The biggest allocation of these codes and specifications relate to the built environment, fixtures, furnishings, accessible design, lighting, and/or other specialty areas such as Kitchen and Bath Design.

The law regulates all Building Codes, with emphasis on the public's safety, health and welfare. As you prepare for your studies as an Interior Design major you will be expected to learn, understand, research, apply and integrate code issues and/or requirements into your studio projects.

The National Council on Interior Design Qualifications exam (generally called "NCIDQ" exam) includes questions related to the application and understanding of Building Codes. You will become eligible for application to take the NCIDQ exam after either a minimum of four years real-life diversified work experience (combined with an Associate Degree) or a minimum of two years real-life diversified work experience (combined with a Baccalaureate degree). Check with NCIDQ at Web Site for specific and/or current eligibility requirements.

Upon graduation with an Associates of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Interior Design (the NCIDQ exam minimum educational requirement) you may decide to enter the work force immediately and/or transfer to a Baccalaureate degree granting program.

If you choose to begin your work experience (usually, under the guidance of a registered design professional) you will utilize your knowledge of Building Codes and Specifications as part of your overall required design skills. If your job responsibilities include working in commercial or contract design environments you will probably apply Building Codes and Specification knowledge with every project.

Remember, you are required to have the knowledge of Codes and Specifications in order to successfully work in today's demanding design fields. Interior Design professionals are called upon to expand into more and more areas of expertise regarding human environments including the specialty needs of aging populations, kitchen and bath design and lighting specialties.

Enjoy all the challenges of this class- knowing that in responding to these challenges, you must first master the ability to research and apply barrier-free and life-safety code requirements as you begin your career path into the professional working world of Interior Design.


The exams for this course are secured. Once you have entered the exam, you must complete the exam before your PC can be used for any other purpose. To take the exams, you will need the following:

  • A PC computer
  • Internet Explorer (all other browsers are unsupported)

Note: This course is not affiliated with the NCIDQ exam process or organization. College of DuPage's Inter 1190 course is a requirement for the Associates of Applied Science Interior Design degree only.

If you are not a registered Interior Design College of DuPage major you should contact Prof. Cotton prior to considering this class since you may not be able to enroll.