Space Use

Groundbreaking Building at UMichigan Collocates Research Labs, Classrooms, and a Museum

Students and Visitors Can Observe Modern Research and Natural History Artifacts in New Biological Sciences Building

Published 1-18-2023

The University of Michigan has transformed the way science is conducted and communicated by integrating the Museum of Natural History into its uniquely designed $261 million Biological Sciences Building (BSB). The 312,000-sf building opened for classes in 2018, and the museum opened a year later, facilitating connections between university researchers and the community. More than 200,000 members of the public visited the museum within the first year, underscoring the university’s belief that science is a social, not merely transactional, interaction.

Top 10 Reports of 2022

Published 1-4-2023

2022 offered a glimpse of what the post-pandemic era might look like, with a redefinition of “workplace” in a hybrid setting; examining the benefits and challenges of renovation vs. new construction; and using data to drive complex facilities decisions. The following are the reports that Tradeline readers found most helpful in 2022, as they focused on strategic space planning in this shifting environment:

Best Design Concepts for Multi-Use, Flexible, Scalable Rodent Vivariums

Adaptable Spaces Accommodate Multiple Functions

Published 1-4-2023

Creating an efficient, productive, and safe rodent vivarium of any size begins by determining the current and future needs of both the researchers and the animal care staff. Collecting data from users throughout the process of new construction or renovation ensures the design aligns with their research, equipment requirements, utility specifications, and animal care needs. 

Optimize Space Planning by Measuring Lab Utilization and Productivity

Washington University School of Medicine Develops Method for Quantifying Researcher Performance and Space Use Efficiency

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.

Space Reduction and Strategic Relocation at University of Missouri

Missouri’s Flagship University is Eliminating 1 Million gsf from its Columbia Campus

Published 11-2-2022

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.

The Hybrid Workplace: Home Sweet Office

Creating the Right Post-COVID Environment for Employees to Do Their Best Work

Published 10-5-2022

Among all the questions about the post-COVID workplace, a common realization is taking hold: Organizations must be especially mindful of employee needs in their return-to-office planning. The pandemic upended not just the professional but also the personal side of workers’ lives. One of the things that distinguishes this new era is the much larger role empathy and understanding will play in the design process, says John Campbell, president of the architecture firm FCA. The new workplace will feature a variety of recalibrated space types that are more purposeful, employee driven, and less unitized. 

Benchmarking Data Can Drive Both Quantitative and Qualitative Space Decisions

Data Collection Should be Centralized to Support Decision Making

Published 9-21-2022

Collecting “big data” is always a good first step for benchmarking, but the data will benefit facility design only if there is an equally strong system for applying it to make informed decisions. Using a variety of technology tools, Flad Architects of Madison, Wis., has developed what they call a data warehouse, a central place where everyone within their firm can store and evaluate data to use when benchmarking space metrics across all projects in all sectors. Both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods are used to conduct space utilization studies including new sensor technologies that provide a high level of accuracy.

Academic Institutions Repurpose Large Teaching Spaces for Today’s Pedagogy

Emphasis is on Active Learning and Accessibility

Published 9-7-2022

You had a few of those big lecture classes in college—rows of students sitting in tiers, facing an instructor with an overhead projector or maybe a PowerPoint presentation. But recent studies show that students learn better and achieve more when they actively engage in their learning rather than passively listen to a lecture. Higher ed students will likely continue to spend about half their time in lecture halls or large-format classrooms designed for 75, 150, or even 250 people, so universities need to adapt these spaces with improved audiovisual systems and more room per student.

Space Strategies 2023

October 16-17, 2023

At this conference, you’ll get the critical space planning data, metrics, processes, and solutions that you’ll need to meet goals for successful hybrid workplace initiatives, increased flexibility, higher space utilization, and change management. This includes multi-purpose spaces, improved space allocation processes, more effective data collection and reporting, better workplace engagement and experience, lower occupancy cost, and greater organizational performance.

Unum Group Optimizing Space for the Future Hybrid Workplace

Universal Seating in Fully Flex Environment, Shift to Coworking for Satellite Offices, and New Campus-Based App Help Increase Efficiencies and Reduce Overhead

Published 8-3-2022

Even before the COVID pandemic, many companies were looking to optimize space and decrease costs. Unum Group, an insurer with international operations, has taken a multi-pronged approach: reducing its on-campus footprint by creating one-size-fits-all work spaces, moving to flex-for-all seating, switching nearly half of its long-term off-campus leases to coworking rentals, and developing a Modo® Labs app for space utilization and company communication. The app offers real-time access to concierge services, online food ordering, and organizational information. In the United Kingdom, employees can also use the app to make seat reservations and ensure they have a desk when coming to the office.