Earlier this week our team was in Nashville for the Campus Facilities Summit to meet with heads of facilities, capital planning, construction and engineering from the best colleges and universities across the country. It was a pleasure to connect with these college and university leaders that oversee all aspects of design and construction.
One of the biggest concerns among college and university facilities and capital planning executives was the issue of limited budgets: Do more with less, while making your university its best! Funding cuts across the higher education industry have made the need to strictly budget time, money, and manpower more urgent than ever.
Over the next 5 years, it is predicted that the higher education sector will continue to face significant challenges that will require it to review its operations and its product portfolio in order to improve profitability and to maintain the ongoing health of the sector. Here we examine the top 3 key trends that are transforming college and university facilities management and capital planning right now:
1. Re-Imagining Where Learning Takes Place at Colleges and Universities
In a recent study conducted among management-oriented higher education associations in the United States, an increasing number of higher college and university leaders identify challenges associated with “aging and expanding facilities” as one of the top change drivers in the field. This concern was exceeded only by insufficient financial resources, changes in IT, and student demographics.
In the same report, “insufficient facilities” were also cited among the critical issues impacting the success of college and university facilities. The study concludes with an acknowledgement that leadership is “a key ingredient that will ensure higher education’s future success and mitigate its threats.”
As teaching delivery models evolve, so have the spaces needed for learning. With the rise of smaller class sizes, which serve to increase collaboration, the need for traditional lecture halls has decreased. Now it is more likely that the lecture hall will sit empty while professors take their students into smaller classrooms that are more accommodating for interactive and collaborative learning.
This change to the way students and educators interact has encouraged schools to re-imagine the ways in which they use their existing spaces in order to meet these evolving needs. It's not surprising that many universities are now conducting space utilization case studies in order to discover how to use existing space more effectively rather than building new facilities.
2. Transforming the College and University Campus into a Strategic Asset with Technology
Staying updated on how to use data and insight tools in order to improve facilities and get the most out of your institution's physical assets is one of the most efficient ways to cut costs.
When it comes to capital planning, a strategic software solution like FOUNDATION.Plans will help colleges and universities in the development of accurate and transparent capital improvement plans that strategically prioritize your capital investments and mitigate risks. In addition, with FOUNDATION.Plans, you can easily manage deferred maintenance with a clear understanding of immediate versus long-term improvements.
With a powerful software solution like the FOUNDATION Solution, college and university facility managers can leverage building and asset data and turn them into actionable insights.
3. College and University Facilities are Becoming Environmental Innovators
Owing to past Environmental Protection Agency regulations and compliance requirements, education institutions have become leaders in the pursuit of environmental and sustainability goals.
Increasingly, colleges and universities are identifying areas where they can actually go beyond mere compliance and evolve into proactive management to support more progressive campus-wide environmental and sustainability goals.
Since 1996, industry associations APPA and CSHEMA have collaborated on the publication of an annual guide to environmental management in an effort to help facility managers go above and beyond.
Environmental compliance requirements are continually evolving and are becoming increasingly complex. It’s essential to have a collaborative and continuous improvement mindset in order to effectively protect a school’s reputation from non-compliance citations. A strategic software solution like FOUNDATION, a full-service platform that collection data and insights from conditions assessments all the way through through to capital improvement plans, can reveal new ways of doing things in order to empower college and university facility and capital planning professionals to find hidden value and maximize resources.
Today, colleges and universities are expected to be good stewards of the environment and ensure they not only stay compliant but also become sustainability innovators.
The good news, though, is that Intellis' innovative technologies and platforms in facility management and capital planning software empower universities and colleges to work smarter and more efficiently. Whether the colleges and universities are growing in enrollments, shrinking in on-campus presence, or facing aging buildings, Intellis' platform offers an efficient, affordable, adaptable solution for college and university facilities and business officers.
Technology should empower your team to improve efficiency and workflow. Staying updated on how to use data and insight tools for facilities is an easy way to cut costs. With the help of enterprise software, like FOUNDATION, facility managers and capital planners can leverage building data and turn it into actionable insights.
With robust, data-centric work systems tailored to your needs, you won't have to waste the opportunity to achieve more for your institution. At Intellis we look forward to seeing the progress educational institutions make across these areas, and we’re proud to be an ally in helping colleges and universities work smarter to reach new levels of success!
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