Funding for the nation’s 1,700 or so public two- and four-year colleges remains well below pre-recession levels. Average state spending per student has fallen 17%—about $1,525—since the recession, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
TOP 100 UNIVERSITY ARCHITECTURE FIRMS
Rank, Firm, 2015 Revenue
1. Gensler $79,810,000
2. Perkins+Will $59,960,000
3. CannonDesign $56,800,000
4. EYP $46,539,910
5. Stantec $37,993,785
6. Robert A.M. Stern Architects $24,802,000
7. Clark Nexsen $24,561,000
8. S/L/A/M Collaborative, The $21,833,000
9. CO Architects $21,475,500
10. HDR $21,406,400
TOP 100 UNIVERSITY CONSTRUCTION FIRMS
Rank, Firm, 2015 Revenue
1. Turner Construction Co. $1,124,325,847
2. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., The $772,402,993
3. Skanska USA $535,834,200
4. Messer Construction Co. $521,400,000
5. Barton Malow Co. $470,447,175
6. Gilbane Building Co. $429,741,000
7. McCarthy Holdings $357,875,128
8. Consigli Building Group $343,722,913
9. Clark Group $335,471,145
10. Hensel Phelps $305,040,000
TOP 70 UNIVERSITY ENGINEERING FIRMS
Rank, Firm, 2015 Revenue
1. AECOM $65,000,000
2. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff $37,988,000
3. Jacobs $31,600,000
4. Affiliated Engineers $19,264,000
5. KJWW / TTG $16,943,913
6. Arup $15,856,593
7. Vanderweil Engineers $15,351,800
8. Simpson Gumpertz & Heger $13,586,000
9. Thornton Tomasetti $13,363,234
10. Dewberry $12,904,401
Money woes will continue to affect capital budgets and operations and maintenance allocations, says Mike Broge, PE, LEED AP, Higher Education Market Leader with Affiliated Engineers. That will only worsen an already significant backlog of deferred maintenance at many institutions, he says.
Budget constraints are compelling some public institutions to pursue alternative methods of financing their major building projects.
The University of Kansas leveraged a public-private partnership to initiate a $350 million redevelopment of its central district. The P3 deal includes a 265,000-sf integrated science building, a 40,000-sf student union, a central utility plant, student housing, and infrastructure upgrades. Most of the projects are scheduled for completion in mid-2018.
The University of Kentucky is among the schools that are enlisting developers to oversee their large on-campus projects. Memphis-based EdR is developing 14 new residence halls totaling 2.6 million sf on the Lexington campus. Two buildings are scheduled to open this fall; the others will be completed next summer.
“This approach keeps costs off universities’ books while still allowing them to stay ahead of the competitive curve with their facilities and on-campus amenities,” says Tim Steigerwald, SVP with Messer Construction.
Lack of capital has also contributed to a surge in master planning projects. Steigerwald says the University of Wisconsin is developing master plans for at least three large colleges, plus an overall campus infrastructure master plan. The goal: to achieve more efficient use of existing facilities through lower-cost renovations and spatial reconfigurations, thus avoiding costly additions or new facilities.
THE RISE OF INNOVATION SPACES ON Campus
To better equip students to excel in their future work environments, schools are developing a range of innovation spaces that promote hands-on, cross-disciplinary learning, foster unique business and industry partnerships, and encourage entrepreneurship.
Jeff Stebar, AIA, LEED AP, Higher Education Practice Leader at Perkins+Will, says that a phenomenon he calls “serendipitous cross-pollination” can occur across multiple disciplines working together in the same place. Such a structure models the 21st-century workplace and adds richness to the educational experience. “These spaces are typically owned by everyone, not by any specific college or dean,” he says.
That’s the idea behind the Collaborative Learning and Innovation Complex at Tufts University, Medford, Mass. Designer Stantec is transforming a 100-year-old warehouse into a new 95,000-sf facility that will house seven departments, ranging from physics and robotics to human development and community health. The teaching/research building incorporates open research labs shared by multiple areas of study, along with public social zones to foster interdepartmental collaboration. The project is part of a new Science and Technology Corridor that will also include a new 80,000-sf Science and Engineering Complex, designed by Payette. It is scheduled to open in 2017.
At the University of Utah, Lassonde Studios, designed by CannonDesign and Yazdani Studio, fuses a 400-bed residence hall with 20,000 sf of “garage space” where students can build a prototype, attend an event, or launch a business. Opening this fall, the facility has been designed to advance the university’s nationally ranked entrepreneurship program.
College libraries are also adapting to include technology-driven laboratories, informal group study workspaces, and cafés. A new 220,000-sf library under construction on Temple University’s main campus in Philadelphia will replace an existing 1960s-era facility with a dynamic, technology-rich environment. Designed by Snøhetta and Stantec, the $170 million project will accommodate Temple’s 2.5-million volume collection, student study space, research space, and staff areas.
A renewed interest in health careers is fueling demand for new health profession classroom buildings, clinical labs, and health-related research facilities.
“This trend is due in large part to a growing number of students who recognize the career opportunities afforded by a healthcare industry in the midst of a significant workforce shortage,” says Steve Rhoades, PE, LEED AP, Managing Principal, KJWW.
A 70,000-sf addition to the Columbia University nursing school is currently under construction in Manhattan. Designed by CO Architects and FXFOWLE, the seven-story structure will supplement the school’s existing classroom facilities with healthcare simulation technology, research facilities, and collaboration space. Expected to open in 2017, the building will include mock operating rooms, ICUs, ERs, and exam rooms where students can hone their nursing skills.
Private institutions are also jumping on the healthcare education bandwagon. The University of Pikeville, a private liberal arts college of 2,300 students in the coal country of Kentucky, is building a new 100,000-sf health professions education building that will open next year. Designed by Ayers Saint Gross, the facility will house the Bluegrass State’s first College of Optometry, as well as a nursing facility. The project is part of a strategic plan to upgrade the education needs of the Central Appalachia region and meet the growing demand for optometrists.
RETURN TO THE GIANTS 300 LANDING PAGE
Women in Design+Construction | Mar 21, 2023
Two leading women in construction events unite in 2023
The new Women in Residential + Commercial Construction Conference (WIR+CC) will take place in Nashville, Tenn., October 25-27, 2023. Combining these two long-standing events aligns with our mission to create an event most impactful for women in the $1.4 trillion U.S. commercial and residential design and construction industry.
Mass Timber | Mar 19, 2023
A 100% mass timber construction project is under way in North Carolina
An office building 100% made from mass timber has started construction within the Live Oak Bank campus in Wilmington, N.C. The 67,000-sf structure, a joint building venture between the GCs Swinerton and Wilmington-headquartered Monteith Construction, is scheduled for completion in early 2024.
Sports and Recreational Facilities | Mar 17, 2023
Aurora, Colo., recreation center features city’s first indoor field house, unobstructed views of the Rocky Mountains
In January, design firm Populous and the City of Aurora, Colo. marked the opening of the Southeast Aurora Recreation Center and Fieldhouse. The 77,000-sf facility draws design inspiration from the nearby Rocky Mountains. With natural Douglas Fir structure and decking, the building aims to mimic the geography of a canyon.
Architects | Mar 16, 2023
HKS launches partner diversity program to create a more diverse workforce and partnership network
Design firm HKS has launched a new partner diversity program that will work to build a more diverse AEC ecosystem. The HKS xBE program will give xBE firms (a term encompassing all disadvantaged businesses) and their members “access to opportunities to build relationships, pursue new work, and bolster innovation within the architecture and design professions,” according to HKS.
Sustainability | Mar 16, 2023
Lack of standards for carbon accounting hamper emissions reduction
A lack of universally accepted standards for collecting, managing, and storing greenhouse gas emissions data (i.e., carbon accounting) is holding back carbon reduction efforts, according to an essay published by the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Sports and Recreational Facilities | Mar 15, 2023
Georgia State University Convocation Center revitalizes long-neglected Atlanta neighborhood
Georgia State University’s new Convocation Center doubles the arena it replaces and is expected to give a shot in the arm to a long-neglected Atlanta neighborhood. The new 200,000 sf multi-use venue in the Summerhill area of Atlanta is the new home for the university’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and will also be used for large-scale academic and community events.
Sponsored | Cladding and Facade Systems | Mar 15, 2023
Metal cladding trends and innovations
Metal cladding is on a growth trajectory globally. This is reflected in rising demand for rainscreen cladding and architectural metal coatings. This course covers the latest trends and innovations in the metal cladding market.
Education Facilities | Mar 15, 2023
DLR Group’s Campus Planning Studio defines new leadership
Linsey Graff named Campus Planning Leader. Krisan Osterby transitions to Senior Planner.
Building Tech | Mar 14, 2023
Reaping the benefits of offsite construction, with ICC's Ryan Colker
Ryan Colker, VP of Innovation at the International Code Council, discusses how municipal regulations and inspections are keeping up with the expansion of off-site manufacturing for commercial construction. Colker speaks with BD+C's John Caulfield.
Multifamily Housing | Mar 14, 2023
Multifamily housing rent rates remain flat in February 2023
Multifamily housing asking rents remained the same for a second straight month in February 2023, at a national average rate of $1,702, according to the new National Multifamily Report from Yardi Matrix. As the economy continues to adjust in the post-pandemic period, year-over-year growth continued its ongoing decline.