Big Plans Small Buildings April 14-17, 2013
Big Plans – Small Buildings
The Greenbrier
White Sulphur Springs, WV

Opening Plenary – Connecting Instruction and Construction: What 21st Century Teaching and Learning Mean for 21st Century Facilities
Dr. Cathy Mincberg, President and CEO, Center for Reform of School Systems
Sam Wilson, REFP, Jacobs

The keynote address will trace the reasons that our US educational system still operates based on 19th Century societal needs. School buildings too often reflect an educational system that is over 100 years old. And communities often look to the past for inspiration on facility construction. Instead, facilities experts need to understand the changes in the way classes are being organized and the way students are being taught, and facilities experts need to be able to inspire educators to examine the changing needs of society and students.

View presentation PDF 7.46 MB
Planning: Creating a Template
Matt Dean, Director Construction Management, Horry County Schools
William Bradley, Ph.D., Managing Principal, SHW Group LLP

Recognizing the need to establish a strong foundation for its next capital plan, a school system in South Carolina developed a forward-thinking, soup-to-nuts educational specification to guide future design efforts. The presenters will identify the compulsories, discuss the process of developing the specifications and provide an outline for others wishing to do the same.
Cultural Shift: New Norms
This is Not Your Grandparents’ School
Andrew LaRowe, President, BAISCA
Dr. Glen I. Earthman, Professor Emeritus, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Donna Ward Francis, AIA, Principal, Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee

As a part of the strategic plan for the Southeast Region, a focus group on New Norms/New Directions will lead discussions on a variety of current issues that are impacting the planning, design, construction, and operations of educational facilities. This presentation will focus on examples of the changes occurring in our schools and how the membership of the Association can provide the greatest support. Focus group members will offer case studies to illustrate innovations occurring in design and construction relevant to school planning. An online survey regarding New Norms/New Directions will be posted on the Association website prior to the conference, the results of which will be explored in this presentation. Topics related to technology, security, safety and sustainability will be covered. Participants will break into small discussion groups and explore topics of particular interest with a focus on how the Association can respond to new norms/new directions through educational planning. Each small group leader will expand their discussion to other conference attendees through use of the Community Café segment of the conference.

This presentation title was adapted from Dr. Mark Manchin’s reference on why educational programs should be driving architectural design, not the other way around.

View presentation PDF 2.72 MB
How to: Connecting Design with Curriculum
Buildings as Teaching Tools: The Marshall County Story
Mark Swiger,Access K-12, Marshall County Schools
John Henry, Sustainable Learning™ Systems

Building on the 2012 presentation on constructivist teaching (PBL) using the built environment with Thom Worlledge from McKinley and Associates and Mark Swiger from Marshall County Schools, Mark and John Henry of Sustainable Learning™ Systems will present how Marshall County Schools in West Virginia has continued to provide a model for tying teaching and learning to the built environment. Using inquiry, project, and problem-based learning and other education best practices as contexts for real world applied learning the district and public/private partners are continuing to build capacity to replicate the model everywhere. Starting with the state’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified school, Hilltop Elementary, the district has recently moved students and staff into their 2nd LEED project, the new Cameron High School. How does a county utilize the built environment to enhance teaching and learning opportunities across the district? Marshall County Schools has built two LEED project schools and has utilized them as learning laboratories for the remaining eleven buildings. Learning kits, public-private partnerships, innovative standards-based instruction and an emphasis on sustainability literacy are being modeled throughout the district. This session shows how the district is working with green industry professionals, informal education entities, local NGOs and state agencies to enrich the learning experiences of the district’s students, all done through highly collaborative networks. Marshall County Schools was honored by the West Virginia Department of Education as the state’s most sustainable schools and district recently. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection honored them for their efforts in clean energy with an Environmental Excellence Award. The U.S. Department of Education honored them for their efforts in the sustainable schools movement with a Green Ribbon School honor. Marshall County Schools and their collaborative network is a model for other districts that want to integrate the built environment into healthy schools that stress sustainability literacy and energy efficiency. Plans for the future include rolling out these plans and utilizing Marshall County Schools as a laboratory for Science, Technology, Engineering, (Arts), and Mathematics (STEAM) learning and careers as well as disseminating best practices throughout the state and beyond. From LEED learning kits to how to implement sustainability into the curriculum of a district, and how to develop public/private partnerships, Marshall County sees its future prospects as an endless journey towards a more sustainable future for its schools, its students and its community.
Planning: Mapping the Process
Mike Raible, REFP, The School Solutions Group

Mike Raible has recently distilled over 25 years of facilities planning experience into a VISIO process map that documents the various steps in facilities planning process from end to end. As part of this presentation he will review the steps in the process and discuss with fellow practitioners the specifics of his work. He is trained as a graphic facilitator (The Grove Consultants, San Francisco) and will annotate the steps in the process in large format during the discussion. Copies of the final draft will be shared with discussion participants.

View presentation PDF 407 KB
Cultural Shift: Designing for Digital Natives
One School District’s Approach to Systems Design
David A. Stubbs II, Director of Facility Planning and Construction, Clarke County School District

This presentation will analyze the journey from conceptual conversations of being charged by the GADOE to design and construct the prototypical 21st century technology school through two generations of ideas and discovery. It will analyze the lessons learned from the input from three separate and distinct local building committees for three unique neighborhood schools by as many as three different architectural firms. Ideas will be presented as a systems approach of design focusing primarily on the design of today. Attendees will explore how to design for the combination of digital natives and immigrants while providing for a 100 percent digital native solution. Items discussed will include, buildings and their respective spaces, teaching and learning styles, furniture and storage solutions as examples. The 8 Defining principals of our design approach will be discussed: 1. Change the Environment; 2. Reduce the Clutter;3. Integrate Untethered and Transparent Technology; 4. Respond to Multiple Learning and Teaching Styles; 5. Develop Mobility at all Cost; 6. Create Adaptable and Flexible but Recoverable Tools; 7. Create Multi-Functional Tools; 8. Create Fun, Inviting and Engaging Environments.

We need to begin designing for our children’s future and not the past. Let’s think about that statement. At first glance, we generally say, yeah we do that every day, but do we? No, unfortunately we don’t and in some realist perspective we can’t. Yes, it’s true that if we sat down today to design a school 18-24 months prior to completion, we are already behind. But do we really have to have this short-sighted mentality? No, we don’t. The key to designing for our children’s future is to fully understand who we are actually designing for. Who are the stakeholders, who are our clients, where have they been and where are they going? What tools do they have and how are they being utilized? And most importantly, what are the tools that they need? After we can successfully, and only after, understand where we are going, can we start the design of a school facility.

What have we been doing? Apparently because of what is assumed as economy, we design prototypes, or cookie cutter schools, that are plopped down on any site in the country and call it good. We constantly put out school facilities that we built 20, 30 and 50 years ago because we are told that they “work.” But do they? “I can teach in a closet.” How many times have we heard this comment? Yes this is true, they can. But can instructors be more successful if they have the best set of tools that are available? We can go down a ski slope with skis from the late 1800’s, but we definitely would be more successful if we had a set of skis that were manufactured last summer. With the right set of tools, our journey could be less hazardous, more efficient, more comfortable as well as more enjoyable.

So how do we acquire this set of tools? We need to listen to instructional leaders as well as the teachers in the trenches. We need to listen and understand their conversations and discussions about collaboration, integrated technology, project based learning, S.T.E.M. and many, many other instructional models and approaches. We need to observe how space is being utilized. And then we need to go out and construct these conversations and observations in three dimensional form. Is this not the definition of architecture? Borrowing from the Webster’s definition, we find that Architecture is defined as “The art or practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones.” And to define art, Webster’s provides the definition “Skill acquired by experience, study, or observation.” Combining the two we get: Architecture: “The skill acquired by experience, study, or observation and or practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones.” Somewhere we took a wrong turn.
How to: Connecting Design with Learning Styles
Building for Learning
Dr. Virginia Jewell, EVAL International

This session will introduce the idea of using learning styles principles when designing a building based on the work of Dunn & Rundle. In an era of global competition in all areas of our lives, transforming our learning environments by addressing the needs of individual students in order to promote an increased chance for greater learning, student success and on time graduation, is no longer an option, but a necessity. Learning is the basic building block to success at any age. We will look at one instrument that gauges learning style and discuss how that should impact building design. If technology is available, attendees will take the learning styles inventory themselves in order to see how varied the responses are and that this variation demands that buildings be designed in a very different way. If technology is not available, we will look at a sample inventory and use statistics from prior groups to demonstrate the same principle. Before designing a learning space in begins, there are a host of issues to be addressed that go far beyond materials and standards. The purpose of this session is to talk about student differences and the impact on the design and eventually on the learning that will take place. Most of our classrooms are much the same. The assumption is that all of our students can learn in that kind of setting. Short answer, they don't. Some do, but for many of our students, the building itself is an impediment to reaching their potentials. Carol Tomlinson has championed differentiated instruction wherein we teach according to the individual's strengths. Learning style is a way that shows how each of us learn and includes environmental elements that effect the design such as preferences for sound, light, temperature, and seating, that few buildings address. Our objective is to highlight how this knowledge must impact future design.

View presentation PDF 1.28 MB
Planning: Building Performance
Making Sense of Baselines, Energy Modeling, EUI and Real Building Performance
Steven Daley, Managing Principal, Optima Engineering, PA

Many buzzwords have inundated the HVAC design industry recently that focus on energy performance of buildings and their global impact. The word “baseline” is used in many applications, but this is a very general term that can mean several different things. A true definition of “baseline” is very important when comparing a building’s projected energy performance. Energy Star Target Finder, ASHRAE, LEED use different baselines, and receptacle loads make a discernable difference in projected energy performance. Even baseline mechanical systems are questionable, as ASHRAE & LEED use the same HVAC systems for all commercial building types based on building size, though many times the baseline system may not be applicable to that type building. A “real world” baseline may be more appropriate for comparison, but nailing down a true definition can introduce regional factors, such as installation and maintenance availability. Energy Modeling is an educated, informed, researched simulation of a physical phenomenon. It is a great projection for building possibilities, but should not be considered a prediction of real building performance. Modeling excels in system comparisons and life cycle cost analyses, setting all other variables equal to compare differing systems for energy and cost improvement. Prescriptive systems are universal (like installed lighting, envelopes, etc.) where you just set it and forget it. However other systems are interactive, where many real world factors and human interaction affect the building’s real world performance. This cannot be accounted in an energy model. Another measurable of building performance made popular by Energy Star is the EUI (Energy Use Intensity) of a building, a number expressed in kBtuh/sf/year. But what is a good EUI score for different facilities? Some examples of schools and office buildings of different sizes and climates are compared using Energy Star Median EUI, LEED baseline EUI, and some published target EUI numbers. Two case studies are examined to compare Energy Star Target performance, LEED baseline and proposed performance, and actual building performance. The first case study is two identical 80,000 square foot elementary schools located outside Asheville, NC. HVAC systems are water source heat pumps, with a solar thermal component. After two years of energy data is collected, the schools are compared to their baselines, to each other, and to themselves year to year to conclude the reasons for the deviations. The second case study is a 90,000 square foot elementary school and public library located in Fayetteville, NC. HVAC systems are similar to the first case study, but with geothermal HVAC and several other upgrades.
Cultural Shift: Designing for Collaborative Learners
Serendipity Spaces: Planning Multi-purpose Niches in Schools Fosters Collaborative Learning Potential
Darren James, AIA, President and COO, KAI Texas

Open discussions and collaborative synergy happen when students, teachers and school staff have places devoted to out-of-the-box communication. Students and instructors treasure quiet alcoves and technology-friendly spaces. These “serendipity spaces” offer a unique design concept that encourages impromptu meetings and extracurricular conversation. Serendipity spaces enable school individuals to save time, money and effort because these readily available areas provide ready-made places to work, study, relax, collaborate, access the Internet, etc. Serendipity spaces manifest themselves in a variety of forms – from quiet study alcoves in a library, to a main traffic lounge complete with computer terminals and a nearby café; or a comfortable niche seating area adjacent to a window with a scenic view. These areas often reduce the sterility of classroom-oriented settings, and are truly essential to allow the most efficient use of space and to offer reasons for students and faculty to interact outside the classroom walls. Ideally, these serendipity spaces are distributed throughout the building offering different settings to satisfy a variety of purposeful unplanned conversations or time to get away from mass activity. Such spaces can be separated from other common areas to help reduce background distractions and enhance privacy, or can be in close proximity to main traffic thoroughfares to allow users increased interaction with passersby. Serendipity spaces can accommodate a variety of impromptu happenstances as well as student projects requiring extensive movement or additional space to spread out materials. The presenter considers incorporating serendipity spaces within all educational spaces the next must-have trend for efficient facility design. Darren and his design teams have collaborated with school professionals across the nation about forward-thinking technology designs that meet the emerging needs of modern and future learning environments. He has been involved in the design of serendipity spaces within schools ranging from a south Dallas elementary school and Dallas County Community College to Texas Woman’s University. He will use these schools as examples and show how the concept was effectively introduced into each building.
How to: Connecting Design with Project Based Learning
Innovation Generation: Designing for Project Based Learning
Marco Nicotera, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Perkins+Will
Barbara Crum, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Southeast Market Sector K-12 Education Leader, Perkins+Will

Many are aware that the shift towards globalization will require future generations to have advanced problem solving and creative skills in order to succeed; unfortunately the way we educate our children today is based on an approach that has remained relatively unchanged over the last hundred years. Under this model, learning tends to be a passive experience where students listen, but do not take an active approach in their education. This passive approach does not take into account that the world has evolved as we have moved from the Industrial Age to the Information Age to the present day, an era that author Daniel Pink refers to as the ‘Conceptual Age.’ The 21st century will require new curriculums and facilities that promote the problem solving, creativity and innovation skills essential for future generations to stay ahead of 21st century challenges. In order to design schools that foster these types of talents, the process we use to design schools and their programs also needs to change. In the Fall of 2009, Whitfield County Schools in Dalton, GA began a shift in their own educational thinking by moving towards Project-Based Learning, becoming a nationally-renowned model in the process and transforming the school system. This transformation would manifest itself into two new schools for the district at both the Middle School and High School level, propelled by a community of educators and students who were eager to adopt a new model. Perkins+Will was hired to lead these efforts along with the educational community, paving a new way to program and design schools for meeting the challenges of the 21st century. This thought-provoking session examines current thinking surrounding the topic of Project-Based Learning in an attempt to examine what types of programs, curriculums and facilities support creativity and engagement among students. Using Coahulla Creek High School and Eastbrook Middle School as case studies, we will explore what can happen when the focus is providing students with the tools to become real-world innovators and contributors.
Qualified Zone Academy Bonds
Ed McLiney, Chairman, McLiney And Company

Recognizing that capital funds are limited, Qualified Zone Academy Bonds provide schools with a low-cost financing option. The presenter will discuss how to leverage these bonds to fund projects.
A Learning and Teaching Roadmap
Glenn E. Meeks, Meeks Educational Technologies

View presentation PDF 1.04 MB
Conversation Café’
Conversation: Planning Credentials
New Planning Credentials Options
Len Wright, Ed.D., ALEP, President, Wright School Planning Services LLC
William Kolster, ALEP, Director of Facilities Services, Loudoun County Public Schools

Two organizations now provide professional credentialing for educational facility professionals—the Association for Learning Environments and APPA, formerly the Association of Physical Plant Administrators. APPA offers two credentials, the Educational Facilities Professional credential (EFP), a knowledge based examination for young educational facilities managers and the Accredited Learning Environment Planner professional credential (ALEP), an experience based examination for senior managers. Both credentials establish a standard for professional practice and recognition in the field of education facilities management. Through the APPA process, individuals may be identified and recognized for their professional competence in facilities management, especially in those areas unique to the academic environment. Both credentialing and certification will help assure educational institutions of the caliber of their facilities professionals, whose role, as stewards of campus physical assets, are so critical to the long-term success of the academy. Further, this program serves as an impetus for professional development among facilities professionals and will enhance professional standing within the profession. The Association has had the REFP designation, whose focus has been experience, service, and continuing education. The Association has recently established the new Accredited Learning Environment Planner (ALEP) certification. The Accredited Learning Environment Planner (ALEP) credential is designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and identify those in the educational environment industry (1) who demonstrate the knowledge and experience essential to the practice of educational facility planning and (2) who pass the certification exam. The ALEP program stands as a mark of excellence and has been developed to reflect the knowledge, skills, and abilities of a competent practicing educational facilities planner. How are the APPA and the Association certifications alike and different and what are the requirements for each certification and why earn the certifications? William Kolster, ALEP, will present the APPA EFP and ALEP requirements. Len Wright, Ed.D, ALEP, will present the Association requirements for the ALEP.
Conversation: Laws of Subtraction
Mike Raible, REFP, The School Solutions Group

Matthew E. May has created six simple rules for winning in the age of excess everything in his recent book, The Laws of Subtraction. How can these rules be applied to the practice of facilities planning? Are these rules an old gift in a new package or are they truly a new perspective that could foster an improved methodology? In a presentation that includes many current illustrations and large format documentation, Mike Raible will take participants on a tour of the rules, suggest possible applications to current practice, and discuss the views of the professionals in the session. Trained as a graphic facilitator (The Grove Consultants, San Francisco), Raible will document the presentation and discussion in large format during the presentation and share the final product with participants after the conference.
Closing Plenary: School Safety Fears Versus Facts
Dewey Cornell, Professor of Education, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

The continuing public fear and concern about school shootings may create a presumption that schools should be designed for maximum security from predatory intruders, with inclusion of electronic entry systems, guard stations, security cameras, bullet-proof door locks and other security features. In contrast, careful analysis of the nature and prevalence of school homicides confirms that schools experience substantially less violent crime than almost any other location, and that schools are safer now than 30 years ago. A more prevalent but less sensational school problem is a social climate of bullying and teasing, which research in the past decade has found to be unequivocally linked to negative social, emotion and academic outcomes for students. A primary conclusions from this presentation is that it is also important to consider how school environments can facilitate a sense of community and reduce potential for bullying and threatening that is not observed by adults.
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October 4-6, 2019
Hyatt Regency Orange County
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