U.S. colleges and universities are keeping the future in mind with new construction initiatives. The latest trends in higher education projects are being implemented with students in mind, especially for preparing them for lives after graduation. These changes include building smart buildings with energy efficiency, multi-purpose buildings for everyone on campus to use and collaborate, and sustainable buildings to last for future generations.
No More Single-Purpose Buildings
While some universities are still constructing buildings that serve one department, single-purpose buildings are becoming much less popular. Instead, schools are developing buildings that serve many purposes for students and faculty, while bringing organization and inclusiveness to campuses. Student centers and libraries are incorporating more open and collaborative learning spaces, as well as smaller study rooms and cafes. Technology buildings are being built to act as a hub for all things pertaining to education in renewable materials, sustainable design, and interdisciplinary research.
Libraries That Aren’t Just For Books
Libraries on college campuses have come a long way from simple buildings used to hold books and for students to find a quiet place to study. Today, college libraries are cutting back on spaces for books and storage and replacing them with digital resources. Also, libraries are now being combined with student centers to offer services such as peer tutoring and career counseling. Libraries also need technology that smart buildings can provide, such as controllable lighting, comfortable temperatures, and energy efficiency for a large number of students using chargers.
In the education sector, construction rose 11 percent from 2016 to 2017, to over $90 billion; renovation projects accounted for the bulk of the development. Project executives see the constant need for infrastructure upgrading and are set on building more sustainable buildings to last many years for future generations. Colleges are also looking at older buildings that can be updated to meet new standards. Modular interior design and timeless, durable materials are key standards, as some colleges are planning for the buildings to last another 100 years. These buildings must be built with sustainability in mind, and with technology that can remain relevant for many years to come.
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