Don't miss "New Metrics for the New Normal: Rethinking Space Utilization within the University System of Georgia" in the latest issue of Planning for Higher Education. The article was co-written by Sasaki principal Gregory Janks, Mel Lockhart of Paulien & Associates, and Alan Travis of the University System of Georgia and explores a bold new way of approaching space planning for colleges and universities.
Traditional space planning for educational institutions involves dividing spaces into distinct categories, and applying predetermined square footage needs to each. But on the modern campus, technological advances and cultural shifts are rendering space much more dynamic.
The University System of Georgia recognized that many of their institutions function reasonably well with far less space in some categories than traditional guidelines recommend, calling into question the orthodoxy surrounding space "needs." Different consultants reported wildly differing estimates of needs for institutions with similar missions, enrollments, and program mix. Moreover, these needs far exceed available capital.
In response, the system worked with Sasaki Associates and Paulien & Associates to formulate a new methodology for measuring the utilization of space to guide space management and capital allocation decisions for individual institutions and the system as a whole. The goal was to create a process that was understandable, easy to implement, and less prone to distortion that existing methodologies, whose calculations are often complicated and unclear. The new approach includes an overlay taxonomy that groups spaces with similar functions into buckets to minimize the effects of mis-categorizations and to provide the atomic units for new utilization metrics, greatly reducing the overall number of required measurements and providing information reflective of modern space usage. The resulting metrics provide new thinking, particularly for classroom and social spaces.
Not a Planning for Higher Education subscriber? "New Metrics for the New Normal" is available for purchase here.