Even before the onset of COVID-19, e-learning was expanding at a rapid rate, this according to JLL at a recent event titled Shaping the Future of Education Facilities.
The consultant revealed that further growth in opportunities regionally for the education sector is expected as a result of population growth, mega projects, and large residential-focused communities in both existing and planned cities.
TOP REAL ESTATE INSIGHTS FOR THE EDUCATION SECTOR:
According to JLL, Design is evolving for education facilities – both new build and refurbishments. With learning facilities designed to offer a transitional experience for students into working environments, traditional corridors are now also being transformed into wider circulation areas to act as dual-functionality spaces for additional learning zones.
“The reality is that these spaces feel more open, connected to the classroom, and offer spaces for individual or group study or even after-school classes. There are a number of areas where upfront investment in design features can pay dividends over the long run. Power supply and networking capacity, for example, are increasingly important considerations thanks to the growing use of technology-based learning. Natural lighting and thermal performance are another example,” notes the consultant.
Looking at higher education, the consultant reveals that universities have been increasingly under pressure to make big changes post-pandemic. For many high learning institutions this has meant entering into partnerships and collaborations with businesses and public enterprises to create communities beyond traditional classrooms and lecture halls.
“The aim is to enhance the campus experience, nurture ideas and generate new revenue. From Australia to Italy, the U.S., and Japan, these ideas are manifesting as innovation hubs: live-work-play districts where entrepreneurs, academics, students and professionals cluster and collaborate. Globally we are also seeing a trend of shopping malls being converted to learning spaces, although this is less strong regionally,” said the consultant in a press release.
Finally, for a successful project outcome, the event revealed that it is essential that a suitable development budget is established.
“The first stage for this is value management. A project’s value drivers should be determined from the project stakeholders such as the faculty departments before you put pen to paper. This helps to establish the functional purpose of each space. This spatial planning is essential to understanding the building’s capacity and where department synergies can be used to make a more efficient space. Once all functional and spatial requirements are outlined, the project can be benchmarked against similar projects to establish a budget based on the design aspirations. If required, value engineering can be applied at the end of each design stage to ensure that the project is not deviating from the overall budget,” revealed JLL.
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