We develop master plans for colleges and universities. Invariably, the issue of the effective use of existing space becomes a discussion as we explore the spatial requirements, types, and condition of the existing facilities. When discussing utilization, we come across a problem rooted in how measures of utilization are made. In British Columbia, the Ministry of Advanced Education required the institutions to submit information. As a result, utilizations are calculated based on FTE figures and yield some interesting numbers. The calculations indicate utilizations in excess of 100%.
Many Post-Secondary planning assignments require restacking or redistribution of space. In a few instances, we have helped institutions to design their space management processes and protocols which are then translated into policy and procedure regimes within the college or university.
Undertaking a Master Plan can be a daunting task; complicated by the bewildering array of objectives that a Master Plan might address and what the expected outcomes might be. Outcomes can range from strategic facilities plans that address outstanding and anticipated space problems, to marketing a future vision of what a campus might become to raise the profile of the institution in the community. In addition, the people who direct these plans on behalf of the institution must rely on the expertise of the consultants that they bring on board because they are likely not planners themselves.
In this short article, we will explore the various objectives of Master Plans. Hopefully the article will provide some guidance on which approach might be appropriate for your Institution. This will help inform the RFP content to ensure that you are asking the right people to provide the right information to help you with the task.