Page Insight

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Our space analytics team understands the role space plays within the greater campus context. Next to personnel, an institution’s facilities is its number one asset. Space analytics helps institutions communicate about achieving the highest and greatest use of its capital assets. We understand the learning experience and how that encounter is influenced by furnishings, technology, and the quality of the space itself. Having over 30 years of studying higher education and its programs, we realize the importance of how the disciplines, colleges, schools, and administration collaborate with one another and require certain adjacencies yet realize that how this is accomplished at each institution is unique. An institution’s mission, program mix, scale of campus, research enterprise, and culture all influence topics about space. That is not to say that any one of these areas shouldn’t evolve but that evolution typically doesn’t happen overnight. The services we provide considers all facets of higher education. They serve as the foundation for an iterative process that identifies opportunities and challenges, guides strategy development, and builds institutional consensus. Without analyses, the use of capital resources is guesswork which can be costly. We use proprietary cloud-based tools to generate and visualize the outcomes which incorporates geographic information systems and computerized drawings.

Space Needs Assessment Analyzes how much space is needed now and in the future. It is compared to the amount of space currently occupied or owned. Space metrics calibrated to the institution are used to determine the amount of space needed for each space category. Space categories include: classrooms, instructional laboratories, research space, offices, library, assembly and exhibition spaces, athletics, student centered spaces, recreation, residential space, and central services. The outcomes reflect a range of space needs by space category and by unit.

Examines how well instructional spaces are scheduled. This analysis includes scheduled use by day and time as well as how many hours per week a room is scheduled and the average seat fill rate when the room is scheduled. This type of study groups rooms by building, capacity, unit, room type, and type of scheduling showing averages for each group. This study allows the institution to see how efficiently they are scheduling their instructional spaces and how much growth can be accommodated in exiting spaces.

Seat Fill Rate

Utilization Target Actual

Weekly Room Hours


Classroom Demand Compares classroom capacities to course enrollments. By analyzing course enrollments and “fitting” them into existing classroom capacities, it allows the institution to see the demand for certain capacity rooms. Quite often there is a misalignment between demand for a certain room capacity and the actual or proposed course enrollments. It is the starting point for understanding demand. Once the driving factors are understood, resources (technology, furniture style, or rooms) can then be redistributed so that the demand is met.

Space Metric Development Contrary to popular belief there is not one set of “national” space standards or space metrics and fewer than 50% of the states have space metrics. This means that we need to rely on best practices and how the institution is evolving in its pedagogical, research, office, student life, and central service practices. One size does not fit all. Space metrics can be established to meet an institution’s or a system’s needs. This calibration is rooted in the level of planning (high-level planning or detailed-level programming) and knowledge of over 600 institutions ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large major research institutions, both private and public, with a wide range of missions. Good design promoting flexibility and efficiency is also a key factor.

Research

Team Size

Research space and research productivity is a concern for institutions with an emphasis on research. The amount of space needed varies greatly depending on the institution and its goals. There are multiple factors that contribute to how much space is needed for research. Team size, the number of research core facilities; the type of research; the level of undergraduate research activity; number faculty conducting research; and location all contribute to the amount of space needed. Modern design trends of scalability and flexibility also reduce the amount of research space required. Knowing how to calculate research productivity is important. For a major research institution, up to 30% of its space may be research. The analysis we conduct in research can help point to space inefficiencies, deficiencies, or research space overages. We can discuss how to gain efficiencies through the development of research cores.

Environmental Scanning Through demographic, labor, enrollment and program analysis we help an institution discover where the possibilities for new programs exist and the relevancy of older programs in serving the regional workforce demands. We can also study the changes in demographics with regard to ethnicity, income, and access, to see if existing student service programs will serve the projected student population. A key indicator for the academic program mix is isolating which occupations have high demand and have need for additional employees and how adept the institution at filling that need through certificate and degree completions.

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Space Reallocation / Migration Evolution and change is a constant within higher education. Institutions evolve but their space does not always change to match the evolution. Or, new buildings come on-line but there isn’t a plan for the use of the old facilities. Consequently, units can become fragmented and adjacencies become lost. Creating a reallocation or migration strategy is the next phase in developing a physical response for facilities. Through our space analyses along with prioritizing need, we can help develop a reallocation plan that will assist in crafting more efficient space meeting key goals and strategies.

Benchmarking Institutions want to understand how they compare to their peers or aspirational peers. Sometimes they may want to understand the best thinking of space that has been built for a certain facility type like a library. Both of these can be accomplished in one of two ways – through our internal data warehouse or through formal surveying techniques soliciting specific institutions. We can compare enrollments, faculty, square footages, research productivity, program characteristics, and facility types. The outcomes can show how your institution ranks within the list of peers and what you may need to do to achieve specific goals or improve targeted areas.

Inventory Creation/Auditing It is difficult to know if there is enough space if there is no accounting of what is already built, owned, or occupied. We can create a room inventory or audit a room inventory. This includes documenting the room number, space use code, square footage, occupant of the space, owner of the space, specific user of the space, and the number of seats. Other room characteristics may include type of seating and level of technology in the room. We do this through collecting floor plans and data sets and then methodically conducting on-site tours of space.

Space Adequacy Assessment This assessment addresses the functionality of a building to the general needs of the units that occupy the building. It is a different review than that of a facilities condition assessment which is focused on the physical condition of the building. Characteristics that are assessed may include: access to natural daylight; good circulation through an office suite; over-crowding of seats in a classroom; technology in the classroom; width of the corridor; adequate places for students to sit between classes or work collaboratively with others; and appropriate floor to ceiling heights. This is the type of qualitative information that enriches the quantitative space needs assessment.

Prioritizing Occasionally institutions have a wide-range of needs. Determining which units or areas have the greatest need should not necessarily be based on the quantity or quality of space alone. We developed a tool that allows us to enter a set of criteria by which to measure each need. The outcome is a prioritized list of where the greatest needs reside. This is not the final outcome but could bring to the forefront areas that may be overlooked in developing a physical response to meet the needs.

Program Planning Prior to actual design, many institutions want to develop a program plan for a renovation project or new construction. The program should meet vision, expectations, and delivery methods while being functional and efficient. This type of a program plan helps guide decision making when faced with budget restrictions and makes certain that the academic vision is achieved in the designed physical response.

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Digital Tools Finally, most of these services cannot be performed without the assistance from PI, our web-based digital tool. PI stands for Page/Insight. This tool analyzes a variety of datasets, institutional specific (i.e., course enrollment, facilities data, and employee data) and national datasets (i.e., census and labor statistics data). It uses database, graphic and geographical information system (GIS) technologies to visualize data and analytic outcomes. This tool is customized for every project as are many of the outputs. PI is instrumental in communicating the needs of the institution. Institutions have access to this digital tool long after the service engagement is over.

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