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The University of Cincinnati’s College of Allied Health Sciences designed a classroom building that lives up to its name, one that promotes the health and well-being of students and faculty, with ample natural light, healthy eating options, and spaces for quiet respite.
Scenario planning provides the tools and data to develop a space plan that accommodates ever-shifting priorities and an uncertain financial landscape. Northern Arizona University conducted a comprehensive analysis of 6.2 million gsf of space in preparation for the construction of a new STEM facility, only to be faced with a multi-year pandemic and a new university president. The years of planning proved to be a strong foundation for the decision-making process going forward.
The Digital Futures Building at the University of Cincinnati contains 16 multidisciplinary labs where researchers can study next-level topics, such as using artificial intelligence to enrich people’s lives, determining how cryptocurrency impacts the market, applying virtual and augmented reality to improve training programs, and analyzing human performance to enhance athletic training and rehabilitation. Its location in the city’s Innovation Hub offers proximity to startups, midsize businesses, and Fortune 500 companies. The top two floors of the facility are available for use by corporate partners.
Training the scientists and engineers of the future requires academic spaces that are as much as a story taller and 1,000 sf bigger than in the past, and better-equipped to support entrepreneurship, industry partnerships, and hands-on learning. In addition to the standard makerspaces—with metal shops, machining labs, woodshops, prototyping, and 3D printing—students are also experimenting with wind tunnels and large water tanks.
Recent catastrophic weather events have devastated animal facilities, with the loss of thousands of animals, years of research, and untold potential grant opportunities. The National Academies, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are calling on research institutions to be more proactive in their approach to disruptions as varied as weather, terrorism, and supply chain disruptions. Facilities design features can help protect against threats from infiltrating air and water, as well as accommodate animals and their care staff that may have to shelter in place until the threat has passed.