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UNC Charlotte’s Classroom Study Launches Engineering Facility Renovation/Expansion and New Master Plan Priorities

Published 7/3/2024

UNC Charlotte has plotted a course for the future that prepares the campus for an 11% enrollment increase overall, with a 13% increase in STEM disciplines. The priority is student success, a UNC systemwide performance-based metric for a new funding model that ties funding to student success and graduation rates rather than just enrollment numbers. The goal is for more students to graduate on time with less debt. The strategy to achieve that goal includes creating the kinds of spaces that students need and want in order to succeed, with more opportunities for active, hands-on learning.

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Less Lab Space, More Support Space, and Customizable Workstations

Published 5/8/2024

A study of three academic medical centers constructed in 2009, 2014, and 2020 reveals little change in the square footage of research spaces over time but a radical change in how the square footage is being used. The result is research space that is more efficient, flexible, adaptable, and functional, with a higher percentage of space dedicated to lab support. The metrics gathered in this study can help guide lab planners as they look to the future.

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Stanford University Aims for Net Zero Carbon Emissions in Facilities

Published 2/28/2024

Stanford University is committed to reducing carbon emissions across all scopes of work with the goal of achieving net zero emissions within its campus operations. To achieve this, the facilities department at the university is developing a database that tracks carbon intensities for different building types, updates facility design and project delivery guidelines, and implements whole building life cycle analysis for all major capital projects. 

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Seven Surprising Space Usage Trends for Colleges and Universities

Published 12/13/2023

In this white paper, researchers from brightspot, Buro Happold, and Occuspace used anonymized data from 38 universities to help answer questions about how library, fitness, dining, and office spaces are used, and how usage patterns vary. Together, these insights can help leaders in higher education make decisions about consolidating locations, shifting stacks to study space, optimizing adjacencies among different functions on a campus, incorporating student success functions within libraries, aligning fitness and dining operations with demands, and right-sizing the workplace to align with hybrid and remote work patterns.

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Harnessing Data to Improve Designs and Enhance Client Collaboration

Published 6/28/2023

Decisions about space size, type, and utilization must be based on data, but massive datasets can prove to be too much of a good thing if they are not translated into usable, understandable information. HDR's proprietary software, Data Wrangler, provides a platform for facilities planners, operators, and owners to visualize how data defines their spaces, and then manipulates that data in real time to demonstrate how to maximize the assets' potential. The result: Greater collaboration and faster decision-making.

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ASHRAE Creates Global Occupant Behavior Database

Published 4/10/2023

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has created the Global Occupant Behavior Database, a publicly accessible resource that can provide actionable insights about how buildings are used. Compiling data collected by 39 institutions in 15 countries, the database was developed in collaboration with researchers from Syracuse University, the University of Georgia, Texas A&M University, and Technical University of Denmark.

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The Hurley Group Transforms Offices into Labs at Elm City Bioscience Center

Published 1/16/2023

The Hurley Group has transformed an existing office building in New Haven to create the Elm City Bioscience Center. Designed by Svigals + Partners, the adaptive reuse project offers over 100,000 sf of leasable research space for startup companies. Featuring BSL-1 and BSL-2 environments, the eight-story biotech hub provides lab suites with adjacent work areas, meeting rooms, and break rooms. Advanced mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems enable the structure’s 12,000-sf floor plates to easily adapt to changing requirements and configurations.

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Optimize Space Planning by Measuring Lab Utilization and Productivity

Published 12/14/2022

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.

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Architectural Billings Continue Historic Rebound

Published 7/5/2021

Demand for design services from U.S. architecture firms continues to grow at a vigorous pace, according to a report issued by the American Institute of Architects in June of 2021. AIA’s Architecture Billings Index score for May rose to 58.5 compared to 57.9 in April. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings, and May’s ABI score is one of the highest in the index’s 25-year history.

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Olivia Business Centre Attains Highest WELL Health-Safety Rating

Published 4/5/2021

The Olivia Business Centre was awarded the highest WELL Health-Safety Rating in March of 2021 by the International WELL Building Institute. Located in Gdańsk, Poland, the eight-building corporate park offers 2.5 million sf of world-class office space and accommodates over 200 companies. Achieving 25 out of 25 available points in all WELL Health-Safety categories, the complex leverages advanced infrastructure to continue operations safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Features include:

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Vermeulens Releases Q4-2020 Market Outlook

Published 2/15/2021

Vermeulens has released its market outlook report for the fourth quarter of 2020. Key points include:

Construction Prices: Remain flat through Q4 of 2020, with one in ten projects showing cost reductions with strong contractor coverage across the board.

Fed Watch: The Federal Reserve continued monetary stimulus.

Architectural Billings: Q4 has returned to growth in inquiries; however, three quarters of billing declines in 2020 will result in a lower volume for the first half of 2021.

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