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Cramped For Space

8 October 2017

The higher education sector is one of Australia’s biggest exports. Revenue from education exports reached $21.8 billion in 2016. That growth is a result of an increase in the number of foreign students attending university. Simultaneously, the uncapping of university places has led to a surge in local students attending university.

The resulting strain on existing infrastructure makes it imperative that the tertiary industry upgrade their infrastructure to cope. Collaborative learning spaces, and communal areas for students, are two of the most important pieces of infrastructure that need to be provided.

However, in the education industry, many buildings are of an inflexible design and structure, and may even be heritage-listed, reducing opportunities to build new open learning spaces and public areas. Bringing in an experienced project manager to refurbish your property could overcome this inflexibility. While many university buildings are large, they are not necessarily being used to their full advantage. A property expert can help redesign and refurbish these open spaces to fit more staff and more students, while ensuring open space is not sacrificed.

For example, open learning spaces can be designed with flexible walls, allowing them to be used for large open spaces and communal areas, or as smaller areas for small groups of students.

Creating more collaborative learning spaces and communal areas will also help universities and training providers retain their competitive edge. Revenue from education exports jumped 17 per cent from 2016 to 2017, and an experienced building project professional can help you create the ideal facilities to attract students.

A refurbishment can also lead to a happier, more productive faculty. Staff workspaces in higher educational facilities may be cramped, and faculties and staff may be isolated from one another. A refurbishment expert can analyse existing workspaces to determine if faculties are grouped together in the most efficient way possible, and recommend changes if necessary.

Legislation covering fire safety and public amenities need to be taken into account when refurbishing an educational space. Any growth in student numbers must be analysed to determine if utilities such as medical facilities and toilets need to be correspondingly increased. A specialist with refurbishment expertise is the most ideally placed to redesign a workspace that complies with such legislation.

If you think you can make more efficient use of your physical space and develop a more collaborative learning and working environment, then contact a Programmed Property Services professional today.


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