The process of reconciling the competing themes of traditional vs. contemporary, broad vs. deep, micro vs. macro to create a building design “sweet spot” continues to evolve. Here you’ll see how that played out for Washington University in St. Louis in a new building for the Department of Computer Science with design strategies targeting flexible, foundational, adaptable, and enduring facilities. Presenters illustrate programming and space planning models for proximity, transparency, and convergence of people and ideas, and identify programmatic anchors in shared and public spaces that boost collaboration and put technical work on display to support recruitment, program building, and institutional reputation.
Mounting pressure on construction costs will impact all projects on the drawing boards, both new construction and renovations. Attend this session to get better pricing and more accurate budget figures, and better understand construction cost drivers for different academic programs. James Vermeulen and Blair Tennant deliver up-to-date construction cost forecasts based on the latest employment data, government spending trends, commodity prices, and cost data from more than 100 projects. Using analyses of equities, GDP, and construction labor markets, they illustrate regional construction pricing targets for the next two years and demonstrate bid and purchasing strategies that lock in costs and reduce risk.
Facilities that integrate previously-siloed disciplines are unlocking space and program synergies, enhancing recruitment initiatives, and equipping students for tomorrow’s interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial problem solving. Vic Tortorelli examines strategic opportunities, decision-making, and post-occupancy results from Ursinus College’s new Innovation and Discovery Center (IDC), which was designed within the context of an extensive master planning study of the College’s science facilities. Vic profiles teaching and research labs linking biology with other disciplines, such as psychology, biochemistry, and health and exercise physiology. He describes the design of active-learning classrooms, support spaces, and interdisciplinary centers incorporated within the IDC.
To recruit and retain the brightest minds and tackle new challenges in artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity, and cloud computing, higher ed institutions are now engaged in an arms race of high-powered data infrastructure, strategic industry partnerships, and innovative learning environments. John Walz profiles key capabilities of the just-opened Dwight and Dian Diercks Computational Science Hall and how they will advance MSOE’s priorities of turning out highly competitive, workforce-ready graduates, forging new alliances, and breaking new ground in technology innovation. He highlights distinguishing features of leading-edge classrooms and teaching labs, dedicated spaces for partnerships and faculty, a 250-seat auditorium for guest lectures, and, of course, an NVIDIA supercomputer.
Thematic STEM vs. focused-discipline science buildings: Value-based analysis for today's competitive academic institutions
The benefits of collaborative science have triggered an interdisciplinary science and engineering building boom pressing institutions toward program convergence, shared physical resources, open workspace, and team-based research and education. But is this facility direction the right choice for your institution? Session leaders contrast the decision making and planning strategies that determined the designs of two distinct science facilities at University of Massachusetts, Amherst – one dedicated-science building and one built for trans-disciplinary groups. They detail benefits and pitfalls for each approach, illustrate solutions for unexpected mid-project changes, and deliver post-occupancy findings.
A combined-discipline facility and academic unit for chemistry, biology, and physics will support High Point University’s rapid program growth, expand experiential learning opportunities, support leading research initiatives, and enhance student and faculty recruiting efforts. Angela Bauer and Brian Augustine set out key decision points in scoping out the new future-facing Wanek Building, and they detail innovative laboratory, planetarium, and classroom features High Point selected to equip students with workforce-ready technical skills and a scientific mindset. They illustrate efficiencies in space, equipment, and operating costs available by putting three disciplines under one roof.
Align your institution’s capital plans with the explosive growth of integrated engineering programs, or risk losing the competitive edge in recruiting and retaining students, faculty, and researchers, and collaborating with industry partners. Sharon Wood distills must-have building features and lessons learned from UT Austin’s latest engineering facility capital project initiatives: The Energy Education and Research Center, Energy Engineering Building (under construction), and the renovation of a historic gymnasium to create centralized flexible space for interdisciplinary robotics research programs. She examines infrastructure requirements current and future engineering programs.
MIT’s Media Lab is the granddaddy of successful industry/academic maker spaces. Keys to its long-term viability include a proven discovery model and enough facility flexibility to support the demands of highly creative minds from a wide variety of disciplines. Jessica Tsymbal identifies facility design elements, infrastructure features, and operating strategies that have kept Media Lab on the leading edge including its corporate sponsorship model, space allocation strategies, training prerequisites, occupancy expectations, and material and equipment flow. She illustrates solutions for accommodating the type of unique, short-term, and resource-demanding projects common to today’s collaborative research.
The demand for CGMP clinical batch trial suites are on the rise at academic institutions, and rigorous grant application and facility design and construction requirements must be navigated with precision. Mark Paskanik, Amy Caparoni and Steve Triggiano use a case study from the Duke Human Vaccine Institute to chart the steps and techniques used to coordinate stakeholder input and meet regulatory guidelines while staying true to project vision, budget, and schedule. They present a fly-through video of the space, highlight cGMP construction techniques, and highlight unique university organization strategies to increase speed to market.
Translating data and strategic vision into a physical space plan for engineering and applied sciences
Many institutions are constrained by quality and quantity of STEM space and struggle to achieve their vision for growth – and as a result, student and faculty recruitment and retention suffer. Here, session leaders demonstrate a process for incremental, strategic renovations that unleash the academic potential of underutilized and outdated buildings. They deliver a case study from the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science where the interdisciplinary research enterprise has been expanded utilizing existing buildings. They detail the shakeup of traditional departmental structures, and illustrate UVA’s "road map" to align the School's academic plan and strategic goals with its existing space inventory