Though long-term construction plans will always be necessary for university campuses, short-term goals can better help address micro trends impacting the campus or education sector as a whole.
Enrollment in places of higher education is in constant flux. Because of this, commitment to new construction is being viewed more cautiously, while renovations and reinvestment into existing space being seen as a smarter way to address evolving campus needs. These smaller and more nimble investments provide facility managers and finance officers the flexibility they need to surf the evolving financial landscape.
Reinventing existing spaces not only saves on capital costs, it also proves more environmentally friendly and less energy intensive. Several schools across the nation have recently engaged in energy efficient initiatives.
Just this month, the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut announced it had successfully installed a megawatt-class fuel cell microgrid on the school’s property, which is expected to generate $300,000 in annual energy savings.
And in January, Brandeis University announced it had signed a power purchase agreement to use solar power, with the expectation of saving up to $2 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.