Back to School: The Latest in Education Construction & Design
By Rebecca Hasulak, Marketing & PR, QuickFrames
It’s only the end of July, and yet some schools are already back in session. With the rest of the country gearing up to return to classrooms soon, there’s a lot of discussion about how reopening is going to go. Given that the pandemic forced a majority of schools to turn to online and hybrid models last year, there are undoubtedly health and safety considerations to take into account. So, how is construction and design in education changing? Let’s explore that together.
Renovations Increase to Meet Ventilation Needs
Many educational institutions are having to reevaluate their facilities to make sure they “comply with federal and state reopening guidelines and the move toward smaller class sizes.” This is being accomplished through a mix of expansion, renovation and reconfiguration, depending on a school’s budget, space and current situation. Additionally, many institutions have already begun renovating in order to improve their ventilation systems and reduce transmission risks in shared spaces, while others have this in their plans for the near future. Either way, how schools look, operate and occupy space is surely evolving at a rapid pace.
Facility Management Gets a Facelift
For a long time, facility management was fairly cut and dried. Teams knew how to keep a building up to code and up to expectations of cleanliness and safety. But again, the pandemic threw a major curveball. Today, facility managers are revisiting the status quo and making changes. Naturally, the widespread emphasis is on continuing safety protocols and keeping health top of mind. But beyond this, other trends include building egress plans and viewing facility management more from a business perspective. For example, the impact of first impressions is being acknowledged and aesthetics are being seen as a big selling tool for impressing parents and attracting students.
Power of Personalization
Many other industries have long been shifting toward personalization, with emerging technology being released nearly every day that caters to treating people as individuals. Education has already embraced this, in terms of working to customize learning plans for students when appropriate and available. But, educational facilities haven’t caught onto the trend as much… until now. Today, many buildings are being designed with a configurable end in mind. The goal is for instructors to be able to customize the classroom setup as much as possible based on the subject they teach, their teaching styles and their goals. This can be done at the front end of a project, or it can still be accomplished later through flexibility with furniture redesign.
Additional design trends include incorporating color intentionally throughout certain spaces to capture students’ attention or create a specific environment. It’s exciting to think of school design as a more creative and open-ended field than it has been before and watch as these trends gain steam.
Our rooftop equipment supports have been used in numerous K-12 schools and universities across the U.S. for new construction and renovation projects. If you have upcoming steel frame construction projects and may be able to use pre-engineered structural steel framing components that support rooftop units, give us a call or start a fast quote here.