Forecasting Higher Education's Future

1. Construction by Lee Dellicker

Economic optimism and stable pricing will influence construction activity on campuses in 2004. The strongest trend will come as schools issue RFPs for design/build services. This pursuit will be driven by the speed of the design/build process and the desire to work through project backlog, and it will be supported by increased donor funding and the competitive construction pricing still available.

On campus, activity will focus in three main areas:

1. Onsite campus life: A strong trend in residential life projects, specifically how to improve residence halls, dorm living, dining facilities and campus centers with a goal of ultimately enhancing the quality of onsite campus living; 2. Sciences: Upgrading and expanding both classrooms and research laboratories in life sciences - often for multiple campuses- in an effort toward creating state-of-the-art facilities; and 3. Green building: While retaining a high interest in sustainable design and green building practices, a leaning toward what we term "practical green," a process which makes great strides toward LEED Certification, but only involves cost-efficient efforts such as construction recycling and reusing materials and does not incur large premiums. An interesting syndrome in building green - there's lot of interest in sustainable design and in being green, but not a lot of stepping up to the plate to actually do it.

Lee Dellicker is vice president of the Institutional Group at Shawmut Design and Construction, a $350-million construction management company located in Boston. He can be reached at 617-622-7000. Shawmut's Website is www.shawmut.com.

2. Sustainability by Richard Rooley

As the industry changes the way it designs, builds, operates and maintains buildings to incorporate sustainability, more resources are needed. Specifically, the industry needs guidance on how to practice green building design. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is working to provide those resources, focusing on measures to provide safe, healthy and comfortable indoor environments while limiting their impact on natural resources.

Most recently, ASHRAE published the ASHRAE GreenGuide, which serves as a reference manual for HVAC&R designers, providing them with guidance on green design from project design through construction, operation and maintenance to demolition.

ASHRAE also has created a technical committee, Building Environmental Impacts and Sustainability, which is working to find ways to reduce the impacts of buildings on the environment in order to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations. Practical applications on sustainability for building managers, architects, engineers and construction managers was a strong part of ASHRAE's 2004 Winter Meeting, scheduled for January 24-28, in Anaheim, Calif. The technical program and educational offerings included sessions on green building.

Richard Rooley, FREng, is president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

3. Campus Planning

Capitalizing on Unique Funding Sources and Community Partnerships for Development Success

by John R. Greiwe

Recognized as one of the nation's Top 50 schools, the University of Cincinnati (UC) is a growing urban campus. With minimal space on campus to meet the growing housing and parking needs, UC recognized the importance of a team effort to create the best solution. The unique result was the formation of a partnership comprised of neighborhood groups and private developers charged with improving housing and green-space.

To reach its goals, the university formed four 501C3 nonprofit corporations and the UC Board of Trustees approved about $75 million in loans to be drawn upon over several years for neighborhood projects. One of these nonprofits, the University Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (UHCURC), recently purchased the land adjacent to the western edge of the UC campus and began their first project - a $50-million development known as Stratford Heights. Not only is this project unique in its grassroots approach, but the concept differs from traditional means of financing such developments. UHCURC received loans from the UC Endowment for land acquisition, pre-development activities and additional amenities; and then secured bonds to finance construction. The combination of funding sources creates a power- ful, yet repayable means to finance this project by capitalizing on long-term rents. The project includes 14 residential buildings, a community center, multi-level garage, dispersed surface parking, as well as recreational spaces.

The design-build team was led by the Heights Development Corporation, a joint venture comprised of Miller-Valentine Group and Towne Properties. Miller-Valentine Group brought student housing, construction, real estate, property management and design/build experience to the team and development process, while Towne Properties brought significant site and residential development, as well as zoning expertise to the program. Although this hybrid development scenario is contrary to other models across the country since the nonprofit typically owns the land while the University owns the buildings, the concept is definitely a success. Ranked in the top 20 in size of transaction from 1995 to 2003, the Stratford Heights project clearly is a significant and alternative example of how neighborhood groups can partner with the University and make a difference.

John R. Greiwe, AIA, CCIM is the Vice President of Business Development for Miller-Valentine Group. He is the Market Manager for public/private initiatives throughout the Midwest Region.

4. Campus Housing by Norbert W. Dunkel

The housing profession continues to plan for a number of current issues and trends. First, we are facing a time when the bonds are being retired on residence halls from the 1960s and 1970s, and we need to consider renovating, deconstructing or constructing new facilities complete with modern amenities. These questions are leading to a surge in campus housing master planning.

Second, as budgets grow tighter and costs continue to rise, auxiliary housing operations are being asked to contribute to their institution's operation. Trying to complete 30 years worth of deferred maintenance projects, while being directed to provide housing operational or reserve funds to the institution's operation, sets back necessary campus housing infrastructure improvements additional years.

Third, it continues to be difficult to recruit and retain masters-prepared housing staff. The housing profession has taken a proactive stance to identify key research in order to better understand and plan for this trend.

Fourth, the high-speed networks provided to resident students are being penetrated by countless worms and viruses. Additionally, administrators are being directed to mitigate the Peer to Peer (P2P) file sharing of copyrighted materials. The housing profession will continue to work with the Joint Committee of Higher Education and the Entertainment Communities to develop approaches to educate resident students as to keeping their computer updated with virus protection and understanding the law.

Fifth, the housing profession is working hard on individual campuses to create residential-based academic communities that better connect the academic mission to the residential facilities. This approach provides countless benefits to the student and institution.

Sixth, many campuses have moved Greek house facility management to housing operations in order to ensure proper safety, security, maintenance and custodial oversight. With high quality staff and a solid vision, the housing profession is advancing to provide greater service to resident students.

Norbert W. Dunkel is the director of Housing and Residence Education at the University of Florida.

5. Interior Design by A. Kenneth Roos

An emerging trend in the college and university market is that buildings are increasingly being programmed as mixed-use. As activities housed within college and university buildings become more diverse, there is a need for interior designers to make wayfinding easier.

Hurried students navigate student centers, through food courts, lounges and financial service counters to find a 9:30 seminar classroom secreted deep within; a freshman wonders which floor of the science technology building houses the bursars office. These are just two examples.

Just as iconic buildings become readily recognized campus landmarks, sculpted forms within buildings can mark unique activity. A distinctly colored wall can identify the entrance to a financial service center; descriptive floor patterns, like breadcrumbs on a forest path can be a guide to an instructor's office. A stair clad in free flowing, overscaled guardrails can symbolize the way to a second floor coffee house. Special features such as backlit, translucent wall panels can become a beacon for a message center and make a distinctive design statement.

Representative design features, rhythmic floor patterns and lighting all clarify wayfinding, create familiarity and enrich the student experience. A confusing conglomerate of activities and services within a building can be architecturally transformed into a place of familiarity and comfort by creative interior design.

A. Kenneth Roos is a principal of Einhorn Yaffee Prescott, Architecture & Engineering, P.C., in Washington, D.C.

6. Campus Safety & Security by Greg Taylor

A holistic approach to campus security - one that embraces all functions and systems - not only improves security monitoring and response, but operational efficiency. Integrated building solutions, for example, provide the technological means to integrate control of fire, life safety, HVAC, communication and security systems. This command-and-control approach to building management has proven its worth not only on campuses, but also in airports, hospitals and other facilities.

The shrinking size of university budgets com- pounds the challenges of securing campuses, but through money-saving arrangements, such as energy performance contracts (EPC), colleges and universities can free up funds for facility security enhancements and make security system investments without neglecting other necessary facility improvements. An EPC is an arrangement under which an organization buys a package of energy-efficient, retrofitted equipment or services. The purchase is financed over time by dollars saved as a result of the improved energy and operating efficiency stemming from the project.

To learn more about how you can strengthen campus security through integrated building systems, visit www.honeywell.com.

Greg Taylor is Security Solutions Market Manager, Global Marketing and Business Development, Honeywell Building Solutions.

7. Cleaning

There is a greater focus on cleaning to protect health, including ergonomics, while reducing the industry's environmental footprint through green cleaning. Driven by educational facilities looking to lower costs and injuries, improve staff productivity, student attendance and standardized test scores, more emphasis is being placed on cleaning to enhance the environment. At the same time, the chemicals, equipment, procedures, paper and other disposables are being more closely scrutinized for their environmental and health impacts.

By reducing sources of dust, indoor air stays cleaner and healthier, resulting in less labor to remove dust from buildings. By reducing the use of harsh, costly chemicals, health and surface-damage hazards decrease and material costs drop. By adopting more ergonomic equipment, worker productivity increases and fatigue decreases, while insurance, workers compensation and lost-work time costs drop.

Ultimately, a healthier, naturally fresh-smelling environment also attracts students and related funding. There is evidence that both attendance and standardized test scores are improved in response to making indoor environments healthier through better cleaning.

According to researchers Fisk and Rosenfeld: "Calculations indicate that the potential financial benefits of improving indoor environments exceed costs by a factor of 8 to 17."

The movement toward healthier cleaning reflects these realities.

Contributed by The International Custodial Advisors Network, Inc.(ICAN).

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