From new classrooms and living spaces to collaboration and entertainment areas, construction projects in higher education environments can improve quality of life, learning, and sense of community. But higher education environments can prove especially challenging to navigate for construction crews, designers, and collegiate leaders and staff. With that in mind, we have put together several strategies for a successful construction project in higher education. Moving forward with these points in mind can make for an easier construction process for all involved.
Whether the construction is replacing aging facilities, allowing the institution to increasing enrollment, allowing for security upgrades, or improving sustainability initiatives, one of the most important elements is that both parties - the institution and contractors - should show dedication to building smart. This can include anything from minimizing man-hours and risk by utilizing technologies such as automated brick-layers, to aggressively pursuing multi-purpose, practical engineering which allows for optimization of all planned space.
Higher education construction projects are often the culmination of massive capital investment campaigns. But in a time when most major construction efforts come in over-budget, it's important to collaboratively look at ways to save sensibly. For example, purchasing low-maintenance materials can dramatically reduce after-completion expenses, or using raw, polished, and sealed concrete for flooring or statement walls can achieve a stunning modern look with a significant reduction of cost compared to dry-wall or other flooring.
Most problems with construction projects, be they for a large educational institution, a business, or a residence, are prefaced by a breakdown in communication. To fend off problems and ensure all parties understand the project direction, needs, and goals, keep lines of communication open frequently. Ask questions, and ensure that a detailed regular reporting system is in place.
The needs of higher education construction projects can be quite different from more traditional projects. In order to ensure the best outcome, both parties should ensure that they're building smart, saving sensibly, and consistently communicating. If you'd like to learn more about construction projects in higher education, please contact us today.