College Planning & Management

OCT 2012

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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Page 39 of 83

F&E 2 012 Furniture & Equipment is whether the recommended solution boosts return on investment (ROI). Admissions and Administration. University settings are typically permanent: there are no lease expirations, so materials are expected to last as long as possible. In this way, universities generally perform better than corporate America in maintenance of materials and fi nishes. And though much can be borrowed from the corporate models of workplace interiors, college administrative offi ces should be designed with a timeless concept in mind. With no compelling need to respond aggressively to trends, purely admin- istrative environments can utilize the best traditional workplace models, with hardwall offi ces and standard casework. Nevertheless, certain elements of trends in furnishings and sustainable design can be incorporated to make invaluable contribu- tions to performance. One key to success is daylight and outdoor views, which boost morale and productivity dramatically. Therefore, the layout should keep enclosed offi ces toward the middle of the buildings, opening pe- rimeter walls to the whole team. Another simple approach is attention to color, which can help create vibrancy or softness in a space as desired. Seat cushions can provide a pop of color while allowing easy downstream change. In general, campus workplace furnishings are getting brighter and much more playful, just as in the corporate offi ces for Google and Facebook. Administrative offi ces can also benefi t from switching out traditional lighting schemes and furniture types for up-to-date alternatives. Task lighting and desk lamps can improve performance and simultane- ously reduce energy costs, while ergo- nomically designed furniture can improve employee vision and health. But successful implementation requires stakeholders to remember that one size does not fi t all: Clients should also engage in testing before making large purchases of furnishings and lighting systems. President and Development Offi ces. For most colleges, the premium placed upon prestige may be as large as that of a For- tune 500 company or a major legacy law fi rm. The university president's offi ce and the development offi ces will host meetings with potential donors. But because the offi ce may be in place for decades, even centuries, high-quality and high-durability fi nish materials could represent a smart investment of design dollars. 40 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / OCTOBER 2012 WWW.PLANNING4EDUCATION.COM

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