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The big shift in higher education space planning and capital projects continues. Academic priorities have changed and are shaping space planning initiatives, campus plans, facility designs for a very different higher education future. 

Campus space and facility planning decisions must now incorporate new demands for improved space utilization, expanded flexibility, decarbonization, reduced costs, shared resources, improved recruitment, and new avenues for financing and funding of capital projects. This requires a shift in thinking toward sustainable buildings, spaces, and real estate portfolios that add long-term institutional value for multiple parties with shared interests.

All stakeholders who are interested in speaking at this conference are tasked to demonstrate innovative ideas, models, and/or solutions using one or more of the planning priorities and space types below, or your own creative new concepts that address the priority issues as identified in Tradeline surveys.

New planning models and decision-making

  • Space allocation and utilization metrics and benchmarks
  • Values-based strategic facilities planning: wellness, equity, collaboration, sustainability
  • Flexibility concepts to accommodate multiple academic programs and facility use
  • Impacts of hybrid-style learning and hybrid work on space planning and facility design
  • High space utilization: new facility and campus portfolio models
  • Hybrid workstyles and free-address workspace for faculty and staff
  • Implications of artificial intellgence (AI) on campus plans, infrastructure, and space
  • Student amenity spaces: upgrading and building new for recrutiment and retention
  • Cost effective renovation and renewal of underutilized and outdated space
  • Master planning stratgies for changing academic priorites and new space utilization goals
  • Capital project execution – construction costs, timing, contracts, delivery strategies
  • Sustainability, net-zero energy and decarbonization initiativesReduction of capital expenditures 
  • Facility investments for student experience and student engagement
  • Facility features for campus wellness and health
  • Facility strategies and new spaces that drive institutional revenue growth
  • Public-private development plans and processes
  • Physical consolidation/centralization plans for academic programs and/or campuses
  • Facility plans and features that improve recruitment and enrollment
  • Accommodating new program and space demands without physical expansion
  • Strategies for educational space: hybrid, multiple modalities, technology
  • Space and features that support innovation and entrepreneurship

Types of space:

  • Adminstrative/faculty offices and the new, hybrid academic workplace 
  • Educational facilities 
  • Innovation hubs that support discovery, creativity, team building, and entrepreneurship 
  • Hybrid facility designs for mixed/shared use and shared funding
  • Residential, student services, and recreation facilities
  • Social hubs, communal space, and campus destination space
  • Maker culture: Innovation, design, and prototyping spaces
  • Combined living-learning facilities
  • STEM facilities
  • Space and features for industry partnerships and commercialization
  • Facilities for sustainable energy, climate and environmental research


To complete a speaking application, you will need:

  • Presentation title, one-paragraph summary, and up to four takeaway ideas
  • Speaker names, contact information, Bio/CV, and headshot images

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