September 20-21, 2021
Austin, TX

General Session: Adaptable space strategies for rapid recovery, near-term consolidation, and long-term growth

The past two years have illustrated the critical importance of adaptable space master plans that can be readily modified to leverage unexpected opportunities. In 2019, Wayne State’s just-completed master plan and space utilization process was put to the test, and here you’ll see the outcomes and lessons-learned. Ashley Flintoff charts the data used to build consensus and implement culture change, get optimal decisions on space utilization and resource allocation, and implement phased consolidation steps that speed recovery and allow for long-term growth. She identifies pivotal elements that every master plan needs for the next five years. 

General Session: Space reduction and strategic relocation year three update: New resource allocation model

University of Missouri's space reduction and relocation plan will reduce overall campus facility square footage by 750,000 gsf by 2023 by strategically targeting and eliminating buildings that are low-performing, high in deferred maintenance, not good candidates for renovation, or sub-optimally located. Gerald Morgan delivers a progress update, and tools being wielded to great effect including space chargebacks, space use inventory surveys, registrar-controlled space, and stakeholder communication methods. He illustrates rationales for buildings that have been demolished, academic and administrative units that have been relocated to "receiver" buildings, and building remodels and consolidations that have resulted in better space utilization campus-wide.

General Session: Innovation Hubs: Space and features for university/industry/community partnerships and commercialization

Co-working spaces in the Innovation Quarter of downtown Winston-Salem NC provide a unique mix of individual, group, and community settings to connect and collaborate while also supporting focused work for Wake Forest School of Medicine innovation programs. Jason Kaplan and Margaret Serrato describe how the co-working spaces were conceptualized, designed, and implemented in the historic Bailey Power Plant building to launch and accelerate solutions for improving health and social equity. They profile space configurations and design elements that bring new partners, possible investment, and advanced technology to the table, and facilitate productive connections with local and global innovation communities.

General Session: Higher education trends to consider before expanding or renewing your space

Recent shifts in higher education are impacting space, services, and departmental organization. Their roles on campus are changing, the interactions they facilitate are broadening, and how research, teaching, and learning are supported is shifting. Elliot Felix examines six trends reshaping campuses, and how to plan for them: community connections, collaboration, interdisciplinary projects, experiential learning, student wellness, and workplace transformation. He delivers key findings from more than 20 schools of architecture, business, education, engineering, law, and policy initiatives, and he identifies best practices for developing densification and expansion plans to compete with peer schools and catch-up to aspirant schools.

General Session: Esports programs: Space planning strategies for a dynamic growth trajectory

Campuses are under pressure to rapidly scale up collegiate esports programs to compete with peer institutions, recruit and retain student populations, add industry partnerships, and grow technology-related academic disciplines. Rob Bailey charts the esports momentum at Illinois State University and other leading institutions, and how campuses are delivering the associated space needs. He examines decisions on site selection, branding, supporting A/V, technology and furniture, and ties to academic disciplines. He scopes out start-up, conservative and “mega” esports facility benchmarks to know about, and how future esports developments may impact space planning.

General Session: You just received your Facilities Condition Assessment Report - Now what?

The long road to obtaining a facilities condition assessment is over. RFPs sent, assessment team contracted, someone in your organization spent hours getting them around campus and into spaces you did not know existed, and the final report is in-hand. Now what? Joseph Lalley relates Northeastern University’s experience incorporating facility condition assessment data into a deferred maintenance strategy and multi-year capital plan, and he provides advice to get the most value from the process. He identifies key must-do details for data validation, cost adjustment and project budgeting, understanding “Replacement Costs,” and marketing the result while piggybacking on programmatic projects.

General Session: Core Campus Project raises the bar for academics, community, experience, wellness, and agility

A state-of-the-art academic building is the heart of the Core Campus Project transforming the center of George Mason University’s Fairfax campus into a vibrant, globally connected hub for intellectual exploration. Cathy Pinskey examines space plans and programming strategies for a six-story, 218,000-sf replacement facility with modern classrooms, workplaces, community space, an innovation hub, and technology to carry GMU’s academic programs into the future with maximum teaching and learning flexibility. She also sets out decision-making rationales for related investments in campus infrastructure modernization, the expansion and redesign of a central plaza, and the addition of green space.

General Session: The pandemic impact on higher education: A round table discussion

COVID-19 has dramatically shifted short-term expectations and operating models and will profoundly affect institutional long-term goals for learning, campuses, facilities, and capital. In this interactive session, panelists relate what their institutions have done to assess and respond to institutional, faculty, student, and space impacts, the results to-date, and the outlook for the future. They discuss the results of a student viewpoint survey on long-term impacts of the pandemic on higher education and the learning experience, and explore options for reconciling student and institutional goals, supporting hands-on program requirements, and finding the sweet spot for combining on-campus and virtual resources.

Breakout Session: The new epicenter of campus activity: The transition from student centers to technology hubs as the campus nexus

Data, robotics, and virtual and augmented reality are reshaping the future of academic programs, and hubs for data-crunching, hacking, making, and computational sciences are emerging as the natural nexus of student activity and industry engagement. Diego Samuel reveals institutional plans that are raising the profile and accessibility of campus tech space and technologically driven disciplines, and he illustrates how this is shifting the epicenter of campus activity. Through a case study of the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation, he demonstrates how site selection, program offerings, operational protocols, and design decisions are coalescing to form the next campus hubs. 

Breakout Session: Residence hall construction cost control: Program influencers, budget levers, and market risk mitigation

Getting what you want out of every dollar isn't simply a product of smart residence hall programming and design – recognizing cost drivers from inception through construction is crucial to controlling your budget when the unexpected happens. Using case studies from three recent residence hall projects at top-tier institutions, Blair Tennant and Joe Stramberg will examine cost drivers, benchmarking, program influencers, cost control tools, and market influencers. They will demonstrate how these factors intersect and determine financial success; evaluate the decisions that influence construction costs; and show how this data ties into financial proformas and affordability.

Breakout Session: A planning process to integrate disparate campus programs in a historic structure

The Anna Hiss Gymnasium on The University of Texas at Austin campus is a prime example of a successful adaptive reuse project designed to support high-growth research and academic programs and industry partnerships. Session leaders detail the process that identified vital decision makers from Aerospace Engineering, Robotics, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Fine Arts to enable robust capital project decisions for immersive environments and cross-functional innovation teams. They scope out cost variables, funding models, and ownership considerations, and strategies for maintaining the historical significance of a legacy building.

Breakout Session: Underutilized space: Yesterday’s costly problem is today’s education solution

Irony: The pervasive problem of poor space utilization that has plagued higher ed for decades may now be the salvation for return-to-campus plans and the related spike in new space requirements and demand for resiliency. Alex Wing illustrates how colleges and universities can identify, capture, communicate, and leverage underutilized space on campus for short-term “black swan” space needs while supporting long-term institutional goals including multi-disciplinary collaborative initiatives. He examines investments in space quality, location, and functionality upgrades to postpone new construction and support enrollment growth and competitiveness. He also illustrates space solutions considered politically untenable yesterday that are today’s low-hanging fruit.

Breakout Session: An armchair tour of the new hybrid, multi-modal, technology-based buildings for medical & health sciences education

Medical and health science education facilities are entering a second wave of innovation with a new emphasis on emerging technologies, ideation, and multi-purpose space, and an increased focus on institutional culture, community, equity, and wellness. In this session, the CO Architects team provides an armchair tour of newly constructed facilities that exemplify the leading ideas and best practices in learning, training, and advanced work environments. They illustrate the project outcome impacts of augmented and virtual reality technologies, and identify key utilization metrics, space allocation models, and building efficiency measures. 

Breakout Session: The new planning model for STEM environments: Beyond physical laboratory space to total immersive learning environments

To achieve lasting success in science, technology, and engineering programs, universities must now refocus efforts towards learning and research that actively occurs in the broader institutional environment and community -- outside physical lab space. Session leaders demonstrate new planning and design principles that support program outcomes in very different campus spaces and locations and respond to occupants' social, pedagogical, and physical needs. They examine how leading institutions are enhancing community, mentorship, and engaged academics. They illustrate strategies for using buildings as sophisticated machines for learning and research, while promoting energy efficiency and sustainability. 

Breakout Session: Esports arenas are coming soon to your campus: The planning factors you need to know

Universities are ramping up facility investments and recruiting efforts for the next sports craze – esports – to boost institutional reputation, create leading-edge new academic programs, and promote (surprisingly) student wellness. Competing for space on campus are esports arenas packed with state-of-the-art equipment like virtual reality headsets and high-performance gaming computers, hefty monitors, and thematic lighting. Chris Chivetta and Will Schenck survey recent esports facility initiatives at leading institutions and detail five high-priority planning issues that must be considered.  They will also illustrate an array of space funding and program ownership solutions, space and equipment configurations, infrastructure requirements, and desirable adjacencies.

Breakout Session: Faculty and student space: Reimagining traditional approaches to the adjacencies of classroom, office and collaboration spaces

Got your attention? We thought so. Many campuses have dedicated 25-30% of space to offices -- far exceeding the 10-15% typically dedicated to instructional space. These numbers are unsustainable; something has to give. Session leaders demonstrate new strategies for re-envisioning faculty offices that are more flexible, collaborative, affordable, and better utilized. They examine workspace planning and design solutions at University of Nebraska that are enabling a shift between private focused work and collaboration with peers, boosting engagement with students, improving adjacencies, and creating more dynamic and productive interactions. They profile strategies for breaking one-size-fits-all and hierarchy-based office models, and they deliver lessons learned.

Breakout Session: Balancing past and future: Adding transformational spaces in traditional campus settings

How can your campus move beyond the constraints of tradition to stay on the leading edge and leverage more advanced ways to work, learn, and discover? Alex O’Briant examines the current era of campus upheaval, and the forces now reshaping institutional capital investment strategies. He sets out contextual clues to look for that can pave the way for more relevant and innovative facility designs. He profiles alternative solutions being adopted at higher ed institutions to blend traditional contexts with transformational architecture, and the early stakeholder engagement strategies that are raising expectations and opening up new possibilities.

Breakout Session: Construction cost forecast and timing decisions for university capital projects

Mounting pressure on construction costs will impact all higher education projects on the drawing boards, both new construction and renovations. Attend this session to get better pricing and more accurate budget figures, and better understand construction cost drivers for different academic programs. James Vermeulen and Vikrant Parikh deliver up-to-date construction cost forecasts based on the latest employment data, government spending trends, commodity prices, and cost data from more than 100 projects. Using analyses of equities, GDP, and construction labor markets, they illustrate regional construction pricing targets for the next two years and demonstrate bid and purchasing strategies that lock in costs and reduce risk. 

Breakout Session: Upending traditional health sciences education delivery in a very different higher education environment

Major economic and health safety disruptors are front and center in the planning and delivery of education, and the new Health Sciences Building at the University of Cincinnati meets these disruptors head-on. Session leaders examine the building’s progressive design which upends standard floor-level functional separation by mixing programs throughout the building to engage students, staff and faculty -- while also supporting a healing, healthy campus. They illustrate how spaces directly connect multiple colleges to eliminate legacy professional silos, and support occupant health with views, daylighting, and greenspace.  

Breakout Session: Strategic facility planning for the new face of integrated medical research and learning

Innovation in human health, translational medicine, and biomedical sciences has created the impetus for new university facilities that change the face of research and learning. Session leaders examine how these new opportunities should inform macro-level planning for institutional programs, strategic visioning, and early stakeholder engagement. They utilize data and benchmarking for enrollment, facility quality, energy use, space utilization, and research expenditure allocation to forecast facility use and future space needs. They outline revenue growth strategies and profile case studies from multiple higher education research and medical institutions.

Breakout Session: Research campus master planning: Case studies for program and financial success

Research campuses are quickly becoming a necessity for top-tier institutions to advance their research programs and compete on the world stage. This session takes a deep dive into the master planning of research campuses and the requisite elements for academic and financial success including the impact of environment, research focus, and governance structure. Session leaders demonstrate strategies for private partnerships, infrastructure development, financial structures for shared development opportunities, and they detail benefits of mixed-use and integrated districts on innovation, and the importance of institutional identity and branding.

Breakout Session: Measuring success: Conducting rigorous post-occupancy evaluations`

Colleges and universities are evolving to be more data-driven, architects and engineers are embracing lean design, and sustainable, high-performance buildings are gaining prominence. Post-occupancy evaluations (POEs) are needed now more than ever to evaluate the effects on project outcomes, but most institutions lack the key components: a consistent, rigorous methodology for conducting POEs, baseline data for comparison, benchmark data for context, and the culture of assessment and continuous improvement. Drawing from a variety of case studies from brightspot POEs, Elliot Felix offers an overview of assessment and analysis methods, a flexible process and principles any institution can adopt, and advice on implementation learned the hard way.