Higher Education Environments

Resources and information on educational facilities for professionals serving the college and university market.


  • Acoustics
    Office spaces at Scott Hall.

    Retrofitting University Buildings for Sound Masking

    When a physical space offers a little passive noise control, such as high cubicle walls, private offices or softer, sound-absorbing materials, the effects on the well-being of each person — as well as their productivity — can be profoundly impacted.

  • Full Facility Aerial From North Credit Paul Kennedy

    Facility Focus: Northwestern University Walter Athletics Center and Ryan Fieldhouse

    The complex itself, an impressive structure wrapped in glass, aluminum, and limestone on the northeast corner of the Northwestern campus, right on Lake Michigan—an enviable site not only for the dazzling lake view, but also for its proximity to the campus’ student residences, classrooms and other facilities.

  • Cleaning & Sanitizing
    Teacher disinfecting classroom desks.

    Are We Disinfecting Too Much?

    Will a more methodical, well-thought-out approach be implemented for disinfectant use or, will they be once again randomly applied, essentially using a “hope for the best” mentality? Let’s hope application is not random, and here is why. In the U.S., disinfectants are considered “pesticides” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and rightly so.

  • Episode 5
    Schools In Focus Podcast logo and Stu Rothenberger

    Schools In Focus: Rethinking Higher Ed Spaces

    Stu Rothenberger, Principal at DLR Group, discusses flexibility on a campus scale, the need for long-term resiliency plans, tackling equity issues, and creating smaller interaction spaces in a post-COVID19 learning environment.

  • Maintenance and Operations
    A row of fitness equipment.

    Keeping Campus Rec Areas and Equipment Clean During a Pandemic

    As universities begin to welcome students back, directors of college recreational centers will need to develop plans, policies and protocols to maintain a safe and healthy environment. The many “moving parts” that make up college recreational center operations present some unique challenges for maintaining a safe and clean facility.

  • Worker on roof adjusting solar panels.

    Six Key Factors for a Successful Solar Project

    Several colleges and universities are pursuing solar solutions for two major reasons: to save money on energy costs and/or to meet sustainability goals through renewable energy projects. Whether you’re already pursuing a solar solution or just starting to consider your options, there are some important considerations to keep in mind, as well as certain factors that go into the most successful solar projects.

  • Design-Build
    academic design and construction

    Why Design-Build Merits Serious Consideration for Academic Design & Construction

    The academic sector is the perfect use case for exploring how design-build is the best delivery system for mitigating risk, increasing the speed of delivery, lowering costs, and delivering great design – all through a simpler, more collaborative process.

  • Facility Focus
    Northwestern University sports facility

    Northwestern University: Walter Athletics Center and Ryan Fieldhouse

  • Editor's Note

    A New Back-to-School Experience

  • Industry Spotlight
    Group of students seated next to each other.

    Q&A with the Editor: Tim Nyblom and Dave O’Driscoll, HID Global

    We spoke to HID Global's Tim Nyblom, End User Business Manager - Higher Ed, and Dave O’Driscoll, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, about cloud and mobile technologies that will be important when universities reopen in the fall and in the next few years.

  • Planning and Design
    Austin Community College, Elgin Campus. Photo by Mark Menjivar.

    Design Considerations for Supporting Student Resiliency

    How can higher education institutions incorporate student success in their resilience planning process as they consider future impacts on campuses? And how can design professionals use their knowledge and skills to support this effort?

  • Reopening
    A woman student wearing a face mask looks at her phone while a few feet away a male student wearing a face mask looks at a book.

    Q&A with a Facility Services Expert: Protocols for Reopening Colleges and Universities

    As colleges and universities make plans to reopen facilities in the fall, higher ed decision makers must consider a variety of issues while COVID-19 continues to spread in communities across the country. A facility services expert shares strategies and protocols used to ensure a healthy environment for students, faculty and staff.

  • Facilities
    NC State University’s Talley Student Union

    Design for Post-Millennials: How Gen Z Is Shaping Higher Ed Spaces

    They are the first generation to be immersed in technology since birth, experiencing it as an extension of daily life. As future Gen Zers progress through our learning institutions, their characteristics, wants and needs will further shape K-12 education environments, university campuses and future workplaces.

  • Student Housing
    Young woman sitting at a desk looking at her laptop in a bedroom.

    Out of the Cloud: The Future of Student Housing

    Just as our homes have once again become the epicenters of our lives under quarantine — leading us to consider and re-evaluate their design — student housing facilities will likewise undergo massive changes in response to new hygiene concerns and lifestyle desires of students and their families.

  • COVID-19
    Empty classroom. Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

    UPDATED: Resources for Educational Facilities During COVID-19

    With COVID-19 changing the educational landscape each day, school and college decision makers need all the help they can get during this global crisis. Here are some resources on everything schools and colleges need to consider regarding educational facilities, construction, design and planning of new facilities, maintenance, managing employees and much more. (Updated 5/13)

  • Reopening Schools
    A woman architect looking at blueprints with her laptop open.

    What Schools and Colleges Have to Rethink for Fall 2020

    The fall of 2020 will be different. Nobody knows for sure what it will look like, but most would agree that it will be different, which raises many questions for those of us involved in the construction and design of academic facilities.

  • Cleaning and COVID-19
    A custodial worker using an electrostatic mister to clean an office.

    Combating COVID-19 with Electrostatic Misters

    This cleaning process provides more thorough coverage, essentially leaving no place for germs and pathogens, including those that cause COVID-19, to hide.

  • facilities
    Learning in Lounge Areas

    Extending the Classroom

    Learning is no longer restricted to the classroom or the library. Increasing the use and appeal of the space in between classrooms and other traditional learning environments can play a key role in teaching and learning.

  • maintenance
    Handling Restroom Vandalism

    Tips for Handling Restroom Vandalism

    There may not be a good answer as to why restrooms are vandalized, but there are products and methods available to help with discouraging the act.

  • technology
    Adapting to online instruction

    Adapting to Online in a Pinch

    Ideally every institution would be prepared for teaching continuity before an incident occurs. The following recommendations can be helpful even if your institution is already in the midst of a switch to remote teaching.

  • Parking
    Technology for Campus Parking Centers

    Data-Driven: How Customer Service Platforms are Improving Campus Parking

    What do your students complain about? Fair or not, parking is usually near the top of the list. To handle those complaints, many campuses are turning to parking-specific customer service platforms to support their automated parking operations.

  • Maintenance
    Cleaning for COVID-19

    COVID-19, Cleaning and Schools

    School and campus administrators throughout North America are very concerned about coronavirus and its impact on their facilities, students, teachers and staff. And there is good reason.

  • Maintenance & operations
    Healthy Cleaning

    A Response to COVID-19: Cleaning for Health

    As coronavirus concerns mount, what should administrators and cleaning professionals know?

  • energy efficiency
    EV Charging Stations

    How EV Chargers Help Campus Energy Ecosystems Evolve

    Electric vehicle chargers are much more than a plug-and-play upgrade to the old gas pump.

  • transportation
    Autonomous Shuttle Vehicle

    Autonomous Technology: Transforming the College Experience

    Autonomous shuttles could make transportation around campus easier for students, instructors, staff and visitors.

  • facilities
    North Carolina School of Science and Math Morganton Greenway

    Master Planning the Outdoors: Spaces for the Life of a Campus

    Some common strategies and parallel considerations are at play in all master planning for the outdoors. Each campus must first be approached on its own terms, free of predispositions on planning.

  • Sustainability

    To Push the Envelope on Sustainability, Push the Envelope

    Architects continue to design buildings much the same way they always have; yet, a carbon-free future will require new practices, namely true, front-loaded integrative design.

  • COVID-19
    parking payment stations at exit

    Frictionless Parking: Promoting Campus Public Health During This Pandemic

    Frictionless parking can promote public health by dramatically reducing the number of common touch-points within a garage or parking lot.

  • Editor's Note

    Resources for Remote Learning

  • outdoor learning water play space

    Learning Potential in the Outdoors

    For students of all ages, carefully planned outdoor learning areas and features can become an integral component of education.

  • custodian cleaning wall

    COVID-19 and The Custodial Training Component

    Issues impacting the ability and training of cleaning contractors vary in different settings and situations. However, all of them must be overcome, and urgently, if we are going to get on top of the COVID-19 situation.

    Parking Guidance Systems

    Simple Parking Guidance for Colleges and Universities

    Parking guidance also offers tremendous administrative benefits to colleges and universities by keeping track of how their parking assets are being utilized.

  • facilities
    Carl H. Lindner School of Business at the University of Cincinnati

    Future-Oriented and Sustainable: Business Schools of the Future

    How can good design contribute to better campus life? The opening of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati unlocked a new view to the future.

    Improving Campus Mail Delivery

    Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Intelligent Parcel Lockers Streamline the Campus Mailroom

    Is your campus mail center seeing a backlog of incoming packages? Intelligent parcel lockers can provide a positive student experience.

  • Parking and Transportation
    Ridesharing on Campus

    Let's Share a Ride: Promoting Carpooling on Campus

    When students, faculty or staff carpool, the end result is less congestion on campus roads and a greener campus. The key to promoting carpooling is in your students’ hands.

  • Higher Ed Technology
    audio visual

    3 Ways AV Can Draw People to Campus

    Today’s audiovisual experiences reflect a digital world that strongly appears to tomorrow's higher education students.

  • Higher Ed Services

    Bundling Auxiliary Services

    There is opportunity to better deliver on your institution’s mission. A new approach to the organization of service lines involves bundling the outsourcing of auxiliaries work.

  • Maintenance

    Healthy Cleaning

    Can more effective cleaning reduce student absenteeism? The evidence seems to say that it can.

  • Residence Halls
    timber building

    Constructing Community

    The largest mass timber building in America, Adohi Hall at the University of Arkansas, exemplifies a new generation of wood-framed and light-filled residence halls designed to foster connections.

  • Maintenance & Operations
    Optimizing HVAC

    The Simple Formula for Successful HVAC Optimization

    Comprehensive scoping plus planning equals savings.

  • Facilities
    Designing Faculty Spaces

    The Time Is Now to Create High-Performing Faculty Spaces

    Increasingly, leading institutions are recognizing that the time is now to focus on workspaces that allow their faculty members to perform research and other academic activities effectively while simultaneously nurturing meaningful relationships with their students.

  • Facilities
    Laboratory Design

    Lab Design: Keeping People in Mind

    A people-centered focus of the design of lab spaces can encourage engagement and place more emphasis on the purpose of the lab, leading to success for the institution.

  • Esports

    IP Brings the Wow Factor To Educational Esports Programs

    The technical requirements you need to know to start a K-12 or higher education esports program.

  • Q&A
    transforming education

    Elevating the Discussion On Transforming Education

    Jim McGarry, EDmarket president and CEO, reflects on this year's EDspaces conference and gives us a glimpse into the future of educational facilities design and management.

  • Adaptive Reuse for Education
    adaptive reuse

    Thinking Outside The Box: Adaptive Reuse For Education

    There are countless opportunities to create new and innovative learning environments within existing buildings.

  • Emerging Technologies
    reimagine AV

    Reimagine Education With AV

  • revitalizing historic facilities

    Revitalizing Historic Facilities

    Existing campus structures can be adapted to new life and new uses with a creative approach to restoring and modifying them from the ground up.

  • Guest Viewpoint

    Turnkey Renovation Solutions for A+ Aesthetics

    A few solutions to minimize renovation costs and support sustainablity goals.

  • Facilities

    Campus Parking Trends

    New technologies are available that are making campus parking more user-friendly and manageable, which is beneficial to operations and the bottom line.

  • Facilities
    Roof vents at Kansas State University

    Raising the Roof at Kansas State

    A renovation that included the repair of storm damage to the roof of McCain Auditorium on the campus of Kansas State University was a coordinated effort that required the replacement of custom-fabricated smoke vents.