Skip to content

Exploring the university's future growth and innovation through space analysis and flexible planning


Northern Arizona University
683 Acres
Completed 2019

The Northern Arizona University (NAU) Strategic Space Utilization Master Plan provides a comprehensive study of all of NAU’s internal spaces, which includes 100 buildings and over 4.5 million square feet. The objectives of the study were to inventory all existing space by type, analyze its usage, and provide recommendations for how space can best be utilized on campus.

The final plan considers the optimal use of existing campus space before building new space. In addition to comprehensive analysis and planning for the full range of space types – classroom, lab, office, student life, and athletics – emphasis was placed on the STEM disciplines and their aggressive growth. In particular, the team explored scenarios for the proportion of research space and teaching lab space to enable continued growth of the STEM disciplines. In addition to resolving programmatic needs and efficient building use, the plan also considers how these renovation strategies contribute beyond the building scale to a district-level idea known as the “Science Corridor.”

The final recommendations detail reuse and backfill strategies, new space standards and space typologies, and a series of space management policies to effectively govern and manage space use. By outlining these key policies and recommendations about the current space on campus, NAU is more prepared to address issues around space utilization and accommodation across the campus.

This effort was guided by the strategic deployment of the CoMap survey tool, an interactive mapping platform that enables participants in the survey to describe how they experience a particular place. As a result, the planning team captured crucial insights and perspectives on campus and building conditions and issues.

The university-wide space study is conceived as a first step in an upcoming comprehensive campus master planning effort. This was a key as the first step in a comprehensive campus master planning effort that is expected to follow.

Sasaki conducted the three-phase interactive planning process over the course of eight months. The effort was guided by a Steering Committee, comprised of university leadership, faculty, and administrators, with broad input from students, faculty, and staff.

想了解更多项目细节,请联系 Tyler Patrick.

Sasaki colorful logo Sasaki English