Podcast: Planning is essential for meeting education market challenges

In a continuing series of discussions with IMEG’s market leaders, this episode of The Future Built Smarter features John Holbert, vice president of education. John discusses the challenges facing the market, primarily those for higher education institutions, which face ever-increasing enrollment competition, changes in student demographics, limited resources, aging infrastructure, and difficulties with facility staff retention. Many higher education institutions, as well as K-12 school districts, also face challenges in meeting sustainability and environmental initiatives as well as the need to improve safety and security in their buildings and on their campuses. “Security has become a big topic, and we have started consulting on safety and security plans for campuses and districts,” says Holbert. Such initiatives start with a vulnerability assessment and gap analysis, with planning and design including principles from Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, or CPTED. “We’re also seeing more referendums and funding opportunities for safety and security measures,” he adds. Before embarking on any building project, Holbert emphasizes the importance of master planning to best prepare for the needs of the future. Such planning helps institutions meet their long-term goals and allocate funds and other resources accordingly—before it’s too late. Across the landscape of education, we see a lot of deferred maintenance,” he says. “We‘re still going into 50plusyearold buildings that have original systems in them.” 

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