Traditional campus planning processes, from academic plans to technology plans to climate action plans, are typically separate and linear. At best, they are parallel processes that support one another but intersect only tangentially. An academic plan might be used to determine the appropriate number of classrooms for a facilities plan, but planners rarely question how the facilities plan can influence opportunities for academic engagement with campus buildings or support sustainability goals. Finances focus on initial cost rather than life cycle costs, often resulting in higher campus operating costs. Climate action plans focus on engineering solutions to support current campus buildings, rather than question if there are alternative options for existing and planned facilities that are more cost-and carbon-effective in the long view. Running these processes separately is more expensive, results in less creative solutions, and leads to engagement fatigue on campus, with low expectations for positive outcomes across all areas.
Our approach is different. We view college campuses as a series of interrelated systems that impact one another in continuous and unexpected ways. Our planning approach finds opportunities for the vision for carbon neutrality to support facilities, finance, and academic goals, not detract from them. If hired for a climate action plan, we bring our knowledge of campus facilities and academic impacts and opportunities. If hired for a facilities master plan, we ask questions about the carbon emissions implications of facilities design decisions. Ideally, the campus facilities master plan is developed concurrently with the climate action plan in order to develop the most cost-effective and creative solutions to achieve carbon neutrality. We engage stakeholders from each of these areas throughout the process to add their knowledge and perspective.
"I've had the pleasure of working with Elizabeth on developing master plans for two campuses over the past several years. Elizabeth has a unique, creative style that brings out the best in planning participants. She makes us think about what ‘could be’ in a fun and interactive manner. Participants enjoy the process, which leads to a great product!"
VP/CFO, St. Olaf College
Former Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, UW-Superior