Over the past decade, there has been tremendous growth in university construction spending. In 2017 alone, spending in the education sector rose nearly 11% to $92.4 billion. This includes both new campus construction and renovations of existing space. Alas, education institutions are on a never-ending quest to ensure that their campuses are functional, attractive and maintained both today and for the next 200 years.
Campus stewardship is a top priority for facilities maintenance and real estate teams at higher education institutions. They must sustain the legacy of past generations with a high-functioning and attractive campus, while also preserving the campus for the benefit of future generations.
So how do university construction and facility teams effectively advance their campuses while preserving their legacies? In our webinar, “Transforming Campus Construction,” we hosted a panel of campus and facilities experts from higher education institutions; Calvin College and Angelo State University. Together, they draw from firsthand experience to highlight how construction, maintenance and campus safety can benefit from the use of construction technology.
The webinar discusses:
- Challenges that universities face on a daily basis and how they overcome them
- University-specific use cases for construction technology in all phases of campus construction: design, construction and operations and maintenance
- Best practices for successful construction technology implementation at your university
Read on to learn more about what our expert panelists discussed.
Key Challenges for Campus Construction and Facility Maintenance Teams
For education teams, sustaining a high-function and attractive campus is no easy feat. Across universities, there is no shortage of issues during campus construction and facility maintenance including the following:
- Maintain service levels as universities grow. As campuses grow and expand, crews must cover a greater square footage. Since 2008, the square footage that public university maintenance crews have to cover has increased by nearly 20%. Facility maintenance teams must quickly respond to work order requests.
- Access complete and reliable projects or building data. Many universities are cities within themselves. For example, Penn State University covers 22,000 acres of land and 32 million square feet of buildings across 22 campuses in Pennslyvania. Given the scale and complexity of campuses, it is nearly impossible for project managers juggling multiple university construction projects to make it to all jobs on a given day or even week. This often results in a lack of transparency of project data.
- Complete projects on tight timelines. Most university construction projects revolve around the academic calendar. For projects like student housing, it is imperative that these projects are finished and ready to accept students at the start of the academic year.
- Minimize student disruption and maintain safety. Teams must work safely, as to not put students at risk because projects are in and around occupied buildings and along major campus throughputs. Minimizing disruption and maintaining student safety is key to sustaining a high-functioning and attractive campus.
How Construction Technology Solves Problems for Universities
Many universities are turning to technology to address some of these pain points. Construction technology solutions such as PlanGrid, help universities by:
- Enhance campus stewardship. With the right technology, teams are more efficient and effective. This means they’re freeing up resources for scholarships or funds to enhance the student experience.
- Increase student service levels. With all of the information on a tablet or phone, tools like PlanGrid helps construction and facility maintenance crews cover more ground and improve response time to work order requests.
- Build the right thing the first time. When the most current information is not in the right hands, rework happens. With cloud-based productivity software, you can rework and avoid the schedule overruns and minimize the disruption to the students and campus community.
- Improve collaboration and campus visibility. Access all campus information, anywhere. All reports, as-builts, equipment manuals–every piece of information that you can possibly need can be accessed in PlanGrid, even if you’re across campus.
- Track progress and quality. When technology is made to support field teams, it becomes the single source of truth for all buildings so you can track building quality and construction progress.
To learn more about best practices and benefits technology can bring to universities, join our webinar and hear from our expert panelists from a variety of roles:
Jeremy Spinler- Campus Safety, Calvin College
Cody Guins- Director of Facilities Planning and Construction, Angelo State University
Improve Your Campus and Register Today
The challenges of higher education construction and maintenance are likely only to increase. However, with the right strategy and technology, it’s possible to not only overcome these hurdles but enhance campus life overall. Learn more and watch our webinar now.