Space Use

  • 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.

  • Notre Dame Transforms Historic Football Stadium into Multi-Use Campus Hub


    The University of Notre Dame’s Campus Crossroads project, compleletd in 2017, transforms the iconic Notre Dame football stadium into a vibrant multi-use campus hub and student center with near constant activity. As the largest, most ambitious construction project in the university’s 175-year history, the stadium remodel includes the addition of three new adjacent buildings that provide more than 800,000-sf of academic, athletic, and student life space designed to increase interaction and wellbeing.

  • Designing a University Space for Collaboration—Then Making It Happen


    Universities across the country are looking to assemble students and faculty from different research interests in spaces that promote cross-disciplinary collaboration. Successful designs call for exteriors that beckon the entire campus community and flexible interior features that enable the institution to refresh the mix of researchers and projects at regular intervals. Such projects also call for encouraging a campus-wide sense of ownership of the building while establishing a space application review process. Opened in January 2017, the University of Idaho’s $52 million Integrated Research and Innovation Center (IRIC) works to accomplish these goals through building design choices and ongoing space management decisions. Randy Benedict, design leader and principal at NBBJ, and Russell McClanahan, IRIC facility manager, describe how those two activities—design and building management—work to make the IRIC a hub of interdisciplinary interactions at the campus in Moscow, Idaho.

  • Academic Workplace Evolution: How Universities Are Rethinking Spaces for Faculty and Staff


    Colleges and universities are rethinking their workplaces to align their space with how people work today and to use space to achieve their strategic goals. Beyond macro forces reshaping higher education in terms of access, accountability, and financial stability, there is a confluence of financial, environmental, technological, and cultural factors prompting this change, including increasing numbers of administrative staff and a growing disengagement among faculty and staff. But the most common mistake that institutions make when trying to change their workplace is assuming that they are trying to solve a space problem. Even if the impetus for a project is a space problem—you’re out of space and have no place to put the new faculty or staff member you just hired!—you won’t solve it by thinking about it that way. It’s more complex and nuanced than that. What you need first is a workplace strategy, a coherent statement that describes how your space will be used to help you achieve your larger strategic goals.

  • Using Data-Driven Design to Produce Research-Supported, Customized Client Solutions


    Clients look to architects to help them make decisions regarding the built environment that can greatly impact the future of their institutions and their employees. Doing that successfully depends on the quality of information used to make those critical decisions. Collecting comprehensive data from multiple sources, substantiating it with research, and analyzing it with proprietary software developed by HDR enables the firm to provide clients with the kinds of customized information necessary to make sound decisions and help predict building performance.

  • Reviving Legacy Buildings for 21st Century Science


    Miami University and The Pennsylvania State University have transformed outdated buildings into modern STEM teaching and research centers while maintaining some of each building’s historic aspects. The projects aim to replace siloed labs, dark corridors, and dated HVAC systems with collaborative research facilities and up-to-date mechanicals, recapturing wasted space to provide areas where students can gather. Swing space for affected occupants was crucial—Miami University’s Pearson Hall remained partially occupied during construction, while Penn State’s Steidle Building was vacated—as was clear and frequent communication with faculty and other building users. Both projects required fairly complex phasing.

  • Designing the Veterinary School of the Future


    When Texas A&M created a new set of buildings for its veterinary school, it sought to provide spaces that would work for current methods of teaching sciences, but also flexibility to accommodate future change.