Outdoor Spaces

Reconnecting with Nature: Exploring the Benefits of Outdoor Learning Environments

The concept of reconnecting with nature in schools is gaining momentum as we begin to understand the greater benefits these spaces provide within the educational framework, such as learning in multiple dimensions; academic learning; social interaction; personal development and well-being; mental, physical, and social health; creativity; and much more.

Campus Funding

How These Financing Strategies Can Help Georgia School Districts Jump-Start Big Capital Projects

With high inflation, supply shortages, and high costs of labor, the ability for district leadership to make the financing work has become more challenging. In Georgia, home to some of the nation’s largest school districts, there are numerous financing options available to schools that help them navigate these hurdles.

Image courtesy of Studio G Architects

Universal Design for Learning

Building Inclusivity: Universal Design for Learning in K–12 Education

Approximately 15 percent of children in U.S. public schools receive special education support or services—with some states reporting numbers over 20 percent—and these figures are rapidly increasing. When considering English language learners, the numbers climb even higher. As school districts prioritize the inclusion of all learners, school design teams can support district initiatives by integrating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into the fabric of educational environments.

Innovative Approaches to HVAC

Things are Looking Up for Energy Savings, Noise Reduction, and Better Student Performance

Schools nationwide—especially those in historically cool climates now undergoing elevated heat events—face a challenging cycle when it comes to adapting to climate-change-driven temperature extremes during the school year. Often if heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems even exist, they are nearing end of life and operating less efficiently. Facing limited budgets, schools often opt for repairs over equipment replacement even though repairs can be costly and newer systems are designed for more efficient, sustainable operation offering long-term energy and cost savings.

Evidence-Based Design

Improving Test Scores & Student Well-Being: Why Education Facilities Should Prioritize Biophilic Design

As design professionals, we know the impact our physical surroundings can have on occupants – open spaces can inspire a sense of grandiosity but create a lot of noise, certain colors feel calming while others build excitement, curved lines soften a space while straight lines add intensity. These are all well-known tenants of design, but only in the past few decades have we used science to support these claims.

Classroom Design

Elevate Classroom Environments, Create Positive Learning Outcomes with Color

Color selection for classrooms must rely on evidence-based design and principles to enhance engagement and, more importantly, support both teachers and the students in the desired outcomes for their time within classrooms and learning spaces.


The HYDRO Building: Where Water Conservation Meets Preservation

In hopes of revitalizing the 200-year-old Colorado National Western Center, the Hydro building is a transformative, civic-centered, living laboratory that connects the urban core of Denver to the rural communities across the region through water literacy and conservation. As one of three signature buildings on the Colorado State University (CSU) Spur campus, Hydro reflects the water-focused research, education, and policy-making inside.

Smart Lockers

A Case for Campus Mailroom Efficiency

The vast majority of university mail service centers were constructed prior to the advent of the digital age. Now, in the days of social media and same-day shipping, receiving or sending a letter in the mail is an uncommon occurrence, while online shopping and package delivery have seen a meteoric rise.

K–12 Grants

The Important Role of Data to Maximize Grant Funding

Federal and state governments announce available funds to public school districts throughout the year. These are usually tens or hundreds of millions of dollars meant to help schools with infrastructure upgrades or replacements. There’s a catch to all these grants, though: Schools must apply for the funding through an oftentimes complicated and detailed application process with a strict deadline.

Northeast Lakeview College STEM Facility

New Construction

Our New STEM Facility Changes the Game for Students

After several years of planning, design, and construction, we proudly opened the doors to Paluxy Hall at Northeast Lakeview College in August 2022. Situated on our 267-acre campus, the 80,000-square-foot facility provides students with the resources and support that they need to achieve success in science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) fields.

Building Blueprints

Facility for Students with Autism and Learning Disorders Opens in Massachusetts

Reuse of existing buildings is nothing new in Massachusetts, where three-hundred-year-old structures aren’t out of the ordinary. The renovation of older buildings to serve fresh purposes can pose a range of opportunities and challenges. Massachusetts-based construction firm Colantonio recently renovated a century-old building in Quincy, Mass., to serve as a children's special education facility.

futuristic classroom

Learning Space Design

The Future of Learning Environments: Flexibility, Simplicity, Connectivity

Spaces4Learning recently convened a panel of ed tech experts to discuss how technology and design can help create a better learning experience for all students — and how institutions can plan, design, and assess their own vision for the classroom of the future.


How $122 Billion in School Funding Is Fueling Nationwide Construction

Congress appropriated an extremely large amount of funding for school projects, and the final round allocations totaled $122 billion. That’s a huge amount – about $380 per person in the U.S. This revenue came through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program and was delivered with a mandated deadline: It must be obligated by Sept. 30, 2024.

Indoor Air Quality

Helping McMaster University Adapt its Buildings for the Future

McMaster University is using technology to better control and manage its legacy thermal systems and create smarter buildings. Carmichael Engineering Ltd., a Canadian systems integrator, worked closely with ABB Canada’s leading experts and its highly adaptable smart building platform, ABB Cylon®, to improve energy efficiency, enhance user adaptability, and leverage innovative technologies in locations across campus.

Predictions & Trends

Spaces4Learning 2024 Predictions for Educational Facilities: Part 3

We asked our readership to send us their predictions for 2024 trends in educational facilities. Across K–12 and higher-education campuses both, we asked for opinions on topics like technology, flexible learning spaces, campus safety & security, disaster response, and more. This article is the third in a three-part series compiling responses from educational professionals and vendors.

Predictions & Trends

Spaces4Learning 2024 Predictions for Educational Facilities: Part 2

We asked our readership to send us their predictions for 2024 trends in educational facilities. Across K–12 and higher-education campuses both, we asked for opinions on topics like technology, flexible learning spaces, campus safety & security, disaster response, and more. This article is the second in a three-part series compiling responses from educational professionals and vendors.

Predictions & Trends

Spaces4Learning 2024 Predictions for Educational Facilities: Part 1

We asked our readership to send us their predictions for 2024 trends in educational facilities. Across K–12 and higher-education campuses both, we asked for opinions on topics like technology, flexible learning spaces, campus safety & security, disaster response, and more. This article is the first in a three-part series compiling responses from educational professionals and vendors.

Healthy Schools

Unveiling the Research-Based Benefits of Sensory Movement Pathways for Children

Incorporating sensory movement pathways in schools can offer several benefits for students' physical, cognitive, and emotional development. These pathways are designed to engage multiple senses and provide students with a structured way to engage in physical movement throughout the day. Sensory movement pathways, also known as sensory pathways or sensory trails, have gained attention for their potential benefits in promoting children's physical, cognitive, and emotional development.

Facility Focus

Facility Focus: Kirk Kerkorian Medical Education Building, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The Kirk Kerkorian Medical Education Building (MEB) is the flagship facility for the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV and serves as an anchor for future expansion within the city s burgeoning medical district. With a diverse program that supports learning and collaboration at many scales, the new facility—the med school’s first permanent structure—allows the school to double its graduating class from 60 to 120 students and help address a shortage of healthcare professionals in the state.


Charge Up Your EV Infrastructure: Funding to Electrify the Campus

The Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution is upon us. A recent analysis by EY found that EV sales will outpace all other engines three years sooner than expected. This demand will be further driven by the Inflation Reduction Act with new incentives to encourage domestic EV production and ownership. Campuses need to be ready with convenient access to fast and reliable charging stations to support students, staff, guests, and electrified fleets.

Building Blueprints

Community-Driven Design for Next-Generation Learning: A Case Study of Upper Arlington High School

“Your voice matters” defined the Upper Arlington, Ohio, High School master planning and design process, and it was the catalyst behind the project to improve aging facilities in this high-performing district.

Designing for SEL

An Open-Door Policy: Designing for Social-Emotional Learning

While these design goals sought to balance the various needs of a school, they also supported social-emotional learning (SEL), which focuses on fostering social and emotional skills within school curricula. SEL can take many forms, but it generally adheres to five central competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.

Facility Focus

Catawba College Completes Renovation Project on Center for the Environment

At Catawba College, home of the first certified net-zero campus in the Southeast and only the seventh in the United States, the Center for the Environment (CENV) features the Environmental Studies Department’s hands-on research laboratory. Built more than 25 years ago, the building needed major systems and aesthetics revitalization.

Campus Design

Delivering Successful Career & Technical Education (CTE) Spaces that Spark a Sense of Curiosity

Creating successful spaces to spark curiosity, collaboration and confidence for students starts with several key programming and design considerations.

Campus Infrastructure

Enabling the Future of the Campus Experience

This strategy for campus renewal and modernization was top of mind for the University of New Hampshire (UNH) as it embarked on one of its most significant infrastructure improvements in recent history––relocating a substantial portion of its utility distribution network connected to the Combined Heat & Power Plant (CHP).

Theaters/Performing Arts

Designing for Theatrical and Performing Arts Curriculum in Schools

Getting a student out from behind a desk; having them work with others in a self-directed way; allowing them to explore and express themselves and make things; having them learn skills that can be applied in life and in possible career paths—those are goals behind today’s push to change how students learn, to get them to want to come to school every day. Education in the theatrical and performing arts promises much of these.

New Construction

Here's a Transformative Trend in America that Must Not Be Overlooked

Construction activity on university campuses in America is more than noteworthy. In fact, it is being categorized as transformative! Due to a massive increase in students after COVID-19, a construction trend is sweeping college and university campuses in response to the high demand for more housing.

Facility Focus

Facility Focus: WSU's Woolsey Hall Shapes Next Generation of Business Leaders

Home of The Barton School of Business, Woolsey Hall at Wichita State University (WSU) bridges the traditional academic campus with a newer complex of makerspaces, labs, and research facilities.

Facility Maintenance

Can Outsourcing Solve Higher Education’s Operational Challenges?

Today’s higher education institutions are faced with a myriad of operational complexities in the pursuit of academic excellence. Staffing, student well-being, maintenance, sustainability, and operations management challenges have only been amplified by the pandemic, decreasing enrollments, aging infrastructure, and funding constraints. The operating environment of educational facilities has undoubtably become more stressful.

Storm Shelters

Storm Shelters’ Growing Importance in Schools

Reliable storm shelters must include the engineering necessary to ensure safety, comply with required guidelines and create comfort during emergencies.

Healthy Schools

Three Truths About Meeting Sustainability Mandates in K–12 Schools

Today’s K–12 leaders are tasked with everything from adhering to rigorous academic standards to implementing operational procedures to building healthy school communities, and for many, sustainability unintentionally falls to the bottom of the priority list. Further, the cost of taking on green initiatives is on the rise, making it even more of a challenge for financially strapped school districts to meet sustainability expectations and commitments.

Healthy Schools

Hygiene and Cleanliness are Top-of-Mind this Back-to-School Season

Summer is flying by, which means a new school year is around the corner. As students begin to fill the hallways, so does an inevitable influx of germs and illnesses. A successful school year starts with creating a safe and healthy environment to welcome students back. Prepare your building for a new school year with these hygiene and cleaning recommendations.

Campus Security

Best Practices for Ballistically Protecting Your School

Ballistically protecting a school can be a daunting and complicated task. Focusing on practical best practices streamlines the process and makes your efforts more effective.

Indoor Air Quality

Your School’s Unseen Health Threat: Indoor Air Quality

With the start of a new school year, the health & wellness of students, teachers, and school district employees has become—more than ever—a top priority and concern.

Campus Amenities

Solving the Challenges of Printer Jams, Card Waste, and Long Lines at the One Card Office

NC State University One Card offices face tough challenges trying to serve tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff. Every person needs an ID card to access various aspects of campus life, from entering residence halls and other buildings to linking to debit accounts and proving student status to participate in university activities. One Card office challenges include improving printer efficiency, reducing card waste, and eliminating the hassles of having to visit one central location to pick up cards.

Emerging Technology

AMR Scrubbers Free Up Staff for More Human-Centered Duties

Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) are the future; Isaac Asimov and the rest of classic sci-fi have been telling us this for decades.

Campus Audio

Campus Audio

Defending the Campus Perimeter with Audio

How can audio from intercoms and IP speakers play a role with perimeter security?

Building Blueprints

Case Study: Modernizing a 1960s L.A. School with Biophilic Design

The client was Grover Cleveland Charter High School, part of the Los Angeles Unified School District in Los Angeles, Calif. The challenge, modernizing a 1960s-era, single-story school to double its square footage to accommodate additional students and to follow biophilic design goals that would benefit students and foster collaboration and social interaction.

Campus Amenities

Esports: The Next Great Space to Learn

Schools across the country and world are incorporating esports or competitive videogaming into their curriculum—even offering full and partial scholarships—to meet the growing popularity and demand of virtual sports.

Active Learning Spaces

Bringing STEAM to Life in the K–12 Classroom

What if you could apply crucial STEAM concepts in a way that engages students like never before?