Space Use

  • Achieving Better Academic Space Utilization Through Strategic Relocation, Remodeling, and Demolition


    The University of Missouri (MU) will eliminate 750,000 sf of education and general facilities space by 2023 in order to reduce costs and improve overall space quality and utilization. The initiative will allow the university to save approximately $153 million in deferred maintenance, capital renewal, and plant adaption costs, as well as about $5 million in annual operating costs. It’s an ambitious undertaking, considering that the 1,200-acre main campus in Columbia, Mo., has 7 million sf of education and general facility space spread across 185 major buildings. To meet the 10 percent reduction goal over the next four years, the university will strategically demolish, divest, relocate, and rebuild a data-driven selection of aging or under-utilized buildings.

  • Big Data for Better Design


    Almost every field of endeavor has been supercharged in recent years by the advent of “big data”—the ability of computers to process and analyze large data sets to gather insights. The business of creating student spaces on campuses is no different. June Hanley and Scott Foral of HDR have used big data in several projects, and offer some wisdom on how to turn raw data into actionable results.

  • Five Space Planning Principles to Avoid the Inefficiencies of Research Program Turnover


    Churn—it’s the constant, costly reality of research space utilization, with a price tag that’s often underestimated. Also underestimated? The opportunity for organizations to realize cost savings, operational streamlining, and overall efficiencies amid the inevitable swapping of research teams and space during renovations and equipment relocations, asserts Mark Allen, AIA, architect and principal at Wilson HGA; and Jeanne MacLellan, principal of Dowling Houy. “Even with a client who’s in the midst of a renovation, we know that, in three to four years, they are going to be renovating again,” explains MacLellan. “We’re not eliminating churn and its inefficiencies; we’re maximizing options now that will minimize its impact down the road.”

  • Design Strategies for Unknown Occupants


    Planning for the new Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (JHACH) Research and Education Building in St. Petersburg, Fla., took place before all the building users were identified, and used strategies like identifying the business and design drivers to support collaboration, innovation, and communication. “The vision was to create a state-of-the-art space for pediatric health research and education, in a building that would draw people out of their offices and into the collaborative areas, to teach, work, and communicate,” says Roberta Alessi, executive vice president and chief operating officer at JHACH.

  • When Research Programs Grow Faster Than the Space


    The Children’s Research Institute (CRI), the research arm of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., has seen its research programs expand, bringing the need to accommodate more staff and projects. A new innovation campus is in the works, but the move to the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center Campus will take four years to complete. The institute is therefore focusing on laboratory densification, both in the current space and the new campus.

  • Data Analysis Key to Maximizing Sensor-Based Smart Technology


    The vast array of Internet of Things (IoT) technology on the market today can tempt facility planners to install the latest gadget just because it is available. IoT technology offers a variety of tools, such as sensors and software that can be added to furniture or other facility assets, to allow these assets to connect and exchange data using built-in wireless connectivity. But to what end? Brian Haines, vice president of strategy for FM:Systems, cautions planners to look beyond the allure of new technology and to carefully assess which sensor or combination of sensors will produce data that advances specific institutional goals or addresses immediate facility concerns.  

  • Nova Southeastern University Supports Students’ Changing Needs with Continual Expansion and Innovative Design Strategies


    Educating healthcare professionals in a manner that crosses disciplines and fosters teamwork for the advancement of public health is more than a mission statement for Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Florida.

  • Rodent Facilities of the Future: Larger or Smaller?


    Exponential growth in the use and development of genetically engineered rodent models during the last several decades has resulted in researchers at many institutions requiring ever-increasing amounts of vivarium space. However, new technologies will drive different design considerations and space planning in future rodent facilities, says Neil S. Lipman, professor and executive director of the Center of Comparative Medicine and Pathology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medicine.

  • LAB2050: Imagining the Lab of the Half Century


    Imagine a baby born today. She’s smart and science-minded. Through good luck and hard work, she earns her doctorate early, and by age 31, she is solidly embarked on a research career. What does her lab look like? That’s what two SmithGroup thought leaders—Adam Denmark, director of Laboratory Planning, and Steve Palumbo, Science and Technology Studio leader—sought to find out with their team members though a yearlong research initiative they called LAB2050. Collectively, the SmithGroup team and their client advisors defined six categories that they used to project current trends forward—technology, funding and partnerships, energy and the environment, collaboration, synergies, and planning and design—and to visualize the new ones that might emerge.

  • Facility Design as an Enterprise-Level Solution


    Asking a company to define its culture often results in an ambiguous response, but answering that question is key to addressing business concerns with the most effective workplace and organizational design solutions. Organizational strategies reflect the structure of the business, can identify workflow and system inadequacies, and should support workplace design. Assessing a company’s business objectives, functional needs, space utilization, necessary workplace improvements, user requirements, and operating capabilities can be instrumental in making the best design decisions. This approach is built on a foundation of viewing design as an enterprise-level service capable of solving business problems, and not just real estate issues.