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.
Data-driven tools that objectively measure the utilization and productivity of lab space can provide academic institutions with valuable insights for making key budget decisions about renovation, new construction, and allocation of existing resources. In 2018, space planners at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) in St. Louis, Mo., set out to quantify the utilization of wet lab space as part of an effort to achieve ambitious growth and recruiting goals. The process led to the creation of a rolling five-year needs study with annual reporting of lab space utilization and researcher productivity using benchmarked performance metrics. The reporting tool now provides university administrators with accurate, objective data on a yearly basis that helps them better utilize existing resources, improve adjacencies, and validate the potential need for renovations and new construction.
Hub of Collaboration, Learning, Creativity, and Groundbreaking Technology at the Heart of George Mason University’s Core Campus Project
George Mason University’s new Horizon Hall is being called a “game changer” as it anchors the Core Campus Project, which facilitates multidisciplinary education, active student learning, and technological innovation with ample flexibility to accommodate evolving teaching modalities. In addition to this new construction, the project includes theater renovations; the addition of green spaces, such as a meditation garden and amphitheater; expansion of a central outdoor space; the demolition of two older buildings; and extensive upgrades to the utility infrastructure.
Time and money restrictions are prompting some universities to ditch plans for new construction in favor of renovation or expansion to accommodate their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. Opting to renovate requires stakeholders to evaluate the existing building for the ability to accommodate the equipment and infrastructure needed to provide the best user experiences in the most versatile spaces, the highest level of productivity, and ample flexibility for future programs.
The booming life sciences industry, whose investment in corporate research and development spending more than doubled during the last decade to $212 billion in 2020, is giving birth to millions of square feet of new research laboratory space in the U.S.—29 million sf in 2019, up from 17 million sf in 2009. Much of that recent growth is in gene and cell therapy R&D.
The University of Missouri (MU) has undertaken a major space reduction and relocation project on its main Columbia campus, with a goal of eliminating 1 million gsf by 2024—250,000 gsf more than originally planned. A shortage of maintenance funding prompted the project, as the school faced an $881 million backlog in deferred maintenance and building needs for the affected properties. Over the past 10-15 years, the state has experienced financial challenges resulting in stagnant or reduced maintenance funding, and tuition-generated funding cannot make up the difference needed for proper building maintenance. The Strategic Space Reduction and Relocation Plan will reduce the university’s current deferred maintenance and capital needs backlog by over $200 million and save approximately $9 million in annual operations costs if the stated goals are met. By the end of 2022, MU will have eliminated 623,917 gsf through demolition and divesting of properties.