Space Use

University Facilities 2019

May 6-7, 2019
Scottsdale, AZ

It’s a very different future for higher education facilities. Higher education directives aimed at campus and student life, new learning space, space utilization, revenue generation, enrollment and demographic forecasts, flexibility, collaboration, and shared use of physical and financial resources are transforming decisions and plans for all types of academic space and new capital projects. 

Academic Medicine Adopts the “Workplace of the Future”

Successful Collaboration and Integration Require New Space Plans and Change Management Processes

Published 7-11-2018

Anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital knows the scene: doctors, nurses, residents, and interns huddling in the hallway discussing a patient’s care. For any number of reasons, that is not the best way to confer, but traditional academic medical centers offer few alternatives. The situation is exacerbated by the increase in adjunct faculty who lack even scattered departmental resources like office space. At the same time, millennials are entering academic medicine with even higher expectations—of greater collaboration, pervasive technology, and continuous connectivity.

Making an Old Science Building Relevant Again

UConn Project Updates Structure and Enables Contemporary Teaching Methods

Published 6-27-2018

Renovating an old science complex can be a cost-effective way to transform a 1970s relic into an education facility for the 21st century. The Gant Science Complex, built between 1970 and 1974 on the Storrs campus of the University of Connecticut, is big—285,000 sf—but outdated and environmentally inefficient, with an R value in the single digits. It also reflects old-fashioned science teaching and research methods, making it hard to enable the kind of collaborative learning used today.

Converting a New York Office Building Into a Lab

New York Genome Center Requires High-Tech Solutions for Low Ceilings and City Space

Published 6-13-2018

It started, not with a budget or a space, but with an idea. Today, that idea has become seven stories of collaborative lab space for cutting-edge genomic research, called the New York Genome Center (NYGC). It happened with the help of innovative solutions that allowed a team to repurpose ordinary office space in a select but heavily regulated neighborhood. The result is a large, flexible, and productive facility that brings together laboratories, conference areas, a data center, and clinical space to encourage innovation and discovery—all while achieving LEED Gold certification.

Allen Institute’s Workplace Design for High-Throughput Neuroscience Research

Supporting the Data and Team Efficiency Requirements of a Next-Gen Research Facility

Published 6-6-2018

To work effectively with huge amounts of complex research data requires not just computational efficiencies, but team-centered facility design. The Allen Institute’s new 270,000-sf Seattle facility implements an innovative floor plan to integrate lab space, office space, meeting space, natural lighting, air flow—and most importantly, movement of people. “What we have done with our new research building is to take the basic research model and scale it up to a more team-oriented environment,” says Paul Wohnoutka, senior director of operations. And it supports this new environment with several inventive energy-saving mechanical systems.

RAND Develops IT Solutions to Enable the Transition to Unassigned Office Space

Universal Docking, Ubiquitous WiFi, and a Dynamic Corporate Directory Win Over Skeptics

Published 5-30-2018

The RAND Corporation transformed 10,000 sf of a Class A office building it leases in Alexandria, Va., from 100 percent closed, assigned offices and cubicles to nearly 100 percent unassigned seating, with glass walls throughout. The controversial pilot program has been an overwhelming success: An independent study found that the new design increases unplanned interactions among researchers and improved support for teamwork, while at the same time sustaining or improving the environment for deep concentration. It also increased space utilization by 30-35 percent. The original pilot space has been tripled, plans are in the works to convert more space this way, and RAND intends to implement this design for all new office space. Its success has been enabled by a wide range of IT solutions that RAND developed to support it.

Iowa State Realignment Echoes Move to Shared and Multi-Use Spaces

Published 5-23-2018

A leader in the field of plant sciences, Iowa State University, in Ames, Iowa, is recognized as a pipeline of new ideas and talent for the state’s massive agriculture industry. Yet despite explosive growth in biosciences enrollment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the most recent biosciences building was 30 years old and “bursting at the seams,” says Mark Rhoades, chief design officer and principal, The S/L/A/M Collaborative.

Universities Realign Their Campuses to Do More with Less

Bowling Green and Iowa State Meet Disruptive Higher Education Trends Head On

Published 5-23-2018

These are trying times for public higher education. Scarce capital funding, changing student demographics, missed enrollment targets, hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance, combined with the academic shift to active learning—all these factors, and more, suggest the need to rethink the traditional residential campus. Bowling Green State University (BGSU) has taken a wide-ranging look at the physical form and mode of operation of its campus, with an eye on more productive asset utilization and greater design flexibility. Its phased, multi-year plan has entailed demolition, renovation and adaptive reuse, and new construction. The plan also reflects a new vision of shared spaces that allow the school to do more with less, implemented by minimizing or eliminating single-use spaces, designing versatile classrooms that accommodate a variety of programs, creating multipurpose buildings that welcome a wide portion of the student body, and expanding the scheduling window.

Overcoming Legacy Barriers to Creating Interprofessional Health Education Facilities

New Case Studies Reveal Emerging Design Trends

Published 5-16-2018

Health education institutions nationwide are pivoting toward instructional programs anchored around interprofessional team-based care models that satisfy accreditation requirements and better prepare tomorrow’s healthcare professionals by simulating real-world environments. In addition to improving outcomes, integrating multiple departments with shared resources can also increase space efficiency and lower operating costs.