The era of long bland corridors and small lonely laboratories is almost over for most progressive schools in 2018. Corridors are now seen as open and opportune meeting places where communication and collaboration can take place spontaneously. Wide corridors with large transparent windows, various collaborative spaces including couches, tables and whiteboards make a building snap into life with vibrancy and activity. Distinct flooring patterns and strategic mood motivating colours create a space that empowers productivity
Position to Fascinate
Specialized spaces such as wet chemical spaces are no longer hidden away from public eyes but rather made as open and visible as possible to acquire the attention, interest and fascination of persons in the immediate area. Science, Technology, Engineering and mathematics are all interesting subjects and can contribute to a great culture when showcased and strategically positioned.
Transparent to Showcase
Consider plenty of creative wall space such a whiteboard or glass walls as these can be utilized as whiteboards. Include open display areas such as pin boards and specimen’s collections, antiques, video feeds, aquariums and higher end student projects.
Amenity spaces such as cafes, coffee machines, and seminar rooms are used as a way to bring others into the building as well as to make it more desirable to the staff and students. Ideas like these, combine to make a building of today much more approachable, interesting and enjoyable places than they were years ago.
Return on Investment
Although the construction cost of a highly flexible STEM facility may be somewhat higher than the cost for less flexible and traditional space, the ROI occurs every time a simple change is needed and can be accomplished by the users or facilities personnel, without bringing in contractors, experiencing interruption, inconvenience, and delays. Ensure open plan and flexible design are incorporated into the project goals so that they are not compromised during value engineering exercises or alternate bid considerations.
Evolution of STEM
STEM science is ever evolving, and the laboratories which support science teaching and research must accommodate change. Because the infrastructure to support change can be expensive and in some instances, may be rarely used, careful planning is essential to control the appropriate provisions for a given project, and the related costs analysed with attention to detail, to ensure a successful long-term outcome.