Tradeline's industry reports are a must-read resource for those involved in facilities planning and management. Reports include management case studies, current and in-depth project profiles, and editorials on the latest facilities management issues.
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has made fighting climate change a top priority for its 250-acre campus in Kamloops, British Columbia. University leaders have committed that TRU will become a net-zero campus and be fossil fuel free by 2030. To that end, it is replacing fossil-fuel-powered heating and cooling with a new low-carbon district energy system (LCDES) that includes a combination of heat pumps powered by renewable electricity. TRU officials and others believe electrification through district energy is the most impactful way for institutions to wean themselves off fossil fuels.
College campuses are great for what they are—places to bring students and faculty together in the cause of learning and research. Today, though, universities are increasingly seeking to bring in private industry, to take advantage of research synergies and help build the next generation of innovations. New science building projects and renovations need to invite and encourage corporate teams as well as establish fruitful grounds for discoveries. The University of Arkansas faced this challenge when contemplating a new building— the Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research, nicknamed I3R—to house labs, core facilities and office space to support five research centers of excellence. They sought to convey an inviting image and a less ivy-covered appeal, starting with the location on the Fayetteville campus.
Employing Asset Management and Capital Planning Software to Address Space Utilization, Budget Constraints, and Maintenance
The University of Kansas Medical Center faced a dilemma: how to support its growing research programs and faculty needs amid budget restrictions, aging buildings, and a backlog of deferred maintenance, all in the shadow of a decision by the university’s governing board that it would no longer fund new construction. Tasked instead with renovating existing facilities, KU Medical Center (KUMC) partnered with a facilities asset management company to assess and compile data on the condition of all infrastructure components, including everything from the air handling units, chillers, and boilers to the carpet and sprinkler system.
Texas A&M University has created an integrated Engineering Medicine (EnMed) program designed to train medical school students who possess degrees in engineering, computer science, physics, and/or related career experience, to identify and solve significant healthcare problems. These physicianeers graduate in four years with both medical doctor (MD) and a unique master of engineering (M.Eng.) degree that is focused on the design and implementation of medical technologies. To fulfill this mission, Texas A&M has renovated and modernized a former bank office building into the 144,000-sf EnMed Tower, equipped with large reconfigurable learning studios, simulation spaces, flexible classrooms, multidisciplinary labs, maker spaces, and virtual anatomy labs that leverage virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. The school will graduate it first class of physicianeers on May 20.
Repurposing non-research facilities to house specialized life sciences and therapeutics labs is a growing trend sparked by real estate inventory and the fiscal practicality of renovation rather than new construction. The vacancy rate throughout the United States for lab space in the fourth quarter of 2022 was 6 percent versus 19.5 percent for office space, according to the Jones Lang LaSalle real estate transparency index. The vacancy rates for 2021 were less than 4 percent for labs and approximately 15 percent for offices.