Leveraging Building Condition Surveys to Address the “New Normal” in Our Schools (Part 2)

Author:

Daniel B. Heukrath, AIA, LEED AP Practice Leader | Architecture

Category:

  • Design

Posted:

May 26, 2020

Creating healthy learning environments and low stress places will be paramount to restoring ‘normality.’

As New York State nears Phase 2 of its Reopening, and the academic school year has been shortened for many school districts, there are many different directions future learning in schools may take as the summer unfolds. Currently, Education is expected to be one of the last sectors in the state to resume. While the “new normal” is still uncertain and evolving, now is the time for school facility managers and administrators to be forward-thinking and take a fresh, holistic look at your current facilities and operations!

Educational institutions must now shift from a crisis-management mode to a more forward-thinking mindset for what school will look like this fall. Some factors to the multi-faceted reopening of schools include:

  • A potential, temporary freeze or delay on capital projects to re-prioritize work with an emphasis on life-safety and mitigation compliance projects.
  • Increased safety measures, personal protective equipment (PPE), added staff to ensure safety, and training for wellness checks will have impacts on building use, employment expenses, and schedules.
  • Preparing for construction costs – which might escalate due to material and labor shortages, or contractors might be hungry for work – driving prices downward.
  • Rethinking internal pedestrian traffic flows and daily school interactions will certainly be hotly debated.
  • How we use technology to support us in our daily activities, increasing student/teacher connectivity, will continue to be examined and developed.

To help prepare and plan for the “new normal,” schools can use their Building Conditions Survey (BCS) as the catalyst to stimulate the thoughtful discourse needed to help educational facilities transform effectively.  Our BCS process is designed and committed to create a cycle of success that allows you to:

ASSESS – every part of your building, inside and out, with the most current tools of the trade, to identify and evaluate current or potential problems, and provide a comprehensive understanding of its components, assets, and systems and how they are interconnected.

PRIORITIZE – the most urgent or important needs for repair and replacement, or the potential for deferment for another time, to maximize the investment in your physical plant.

PLAN – the best way to address those items from the highest to the lowest priority and affix reasonable budget expenditures to solve them in the short- and long-term.

NKB’s team includes experts in cost estimating, capital project schedule development, design, engineering and constructability reviews, along with MEP analysis and life-cycle evaluations. Our registered architects and licensed engineers personally inspect all occupied school buildings to assess the current conditions of the space, major building infrastructure, and condition rating. We look for evidence of structural failure, deterioration, and probable expected useful life, including the need for maintenance and replacement. The BCS results include our expert opinions on the building’s condition, advice on any critical or future repairs, and the consequences of non-repair or deferment.

NKB will provide the comprehensive overview of  the required BCS data and overlay it with the new (and future) pandemic-driven conditions and influences your facility needs to evaluate, modify or change. We’re all in this together! For more information, contact Dan at dheukrath@nkbpc.com

Author:

Daniel B. Heukrath, AIA, LEED AP Practice Leader | Architecture

Category:

  • Design

Posted:

May 26, 2020