McDaniel, Ray-Degges to Speak at IDEC National Conference in Boston

SAINT PAUL – Growing awareness of the ways in which physical learning environments influence 21st century learning goals is encouraging new exploration into why space matters to the quality and character of the undergraduate learning experience.

At the Annual Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) Conference in Boston on March 8, BWBR’s Stephanie McDaniel, AIA, LEED AP, will join North Dakota State University’s Professor Susan Ray-Degges to present insights gained through an exploration of informal student collaboration spaces and active learning classrooms in the campus’ new STEM classroom building.

Ray-Degges, a professor and interior program coordinator at North Dakota State University, and McDaniel, an architect and principal at BWBR, will present their effective data-gathering process (which included teaming with NDSU interior design students) and findings from a post-occupancy evaluation for NDSU’s new A. Glenn Hill Center for STEM Education.

The post-occupancy evaluation was coauthored by Ray-Degges, McDaniel, Dr. Ron Degges, an associate professor of practice in statistics at NDSU, and Stefnee Trzpuc, CID, EDAC, LEED AP, a design research and knowledge management specialist at BWBR. The team employed the study to identify classroom features that support student collaboration and student-faculty interaction, as well as how collaboration spaces encourage learning activities outside the classroom.

“We know that students learn more when they construct their own knowledge. When they learn the content for themselves through group learning, rather than being lectured to, they have better comprehension and retention. In our design, we try to support that collaborative learning,” McDaniel informed. “The building design can support collaborative learning in the classroom through the use of white boards, grouped seating, and display monitors. We believe that every space should be a learning space and support collaborative learning outside the classroom by providing a wide variety of choices for students — open comfortable seating, alcoves, and enclosed study rooms.”

Ray-Degges’ and McDaniel’s presentation, “Unleashing student voices on a college campus. A post-occupancy evaluation for a STEM building in higher education,” will be a part of IDEC’s Boston 2018 Human-Centered Design Conference, which will be held March 7-10. The IDEC conference gathers scholars, educators, and designers to discuss the role of the interior environment on the wellbeing of human users through the lenses of culture, pedagogy, practice, social impact, and beyond.

BWBR Designing First Parksmart Facility in Madison

Creating a value-add for East Washington neighbors that goes beyond additional parking options, BWBR is working with the City of Madison to design the first Parksmart certified structure in the region. BWBR partnered with GRAEF to design the new facility.

Similar to LEED certifications for buildings that denote the energy, environmental, and air quality performance of a facility, Parksmart provides certifications to parking structures that enhance a community through efficient traffic flows, enhanced wayfinding, placemaking, longevity of the structure, lighting, stormwater management, and alternative transportation accommodation. The combined aspects of the structure help reduce emissions while also providing a durable, easily manageable facility.

Known as the Capitol East District Parking Structure, the facility will be part of a larger development along the 800 block of East Washington Avenue. The parking structure will provide 675 stalls as well as commercial space supporting the redevelopment of the East Washington Avenue commercial corridor. The corridor is a redevelopment of several properties, including an MG&E property where the parking structure will sit. The corridor also includes Spark, home to office space for American Family Insurance and the StartingBlock collaborative entrepreneurial center, and the Cosmos, featuring a planned 2,500-person concert venue.

The parking garage will provide off-street parking for businesses and entertainment venues, provide bicycle parking and sharing, reduce vehicle idling, and include preferred parking and charging for LEVs and electric vehicles.

“Often people look at a parking structure and only see the utilitarian aspects of the facility,” said Leigh Streit, AIA, LEED AP, project architect. “We’re excited to work with the city on a project that goes beyond utilitarian. This will be a value-added parking structure that fits within the values and fabric of Madison and its residents.”

Construction began Oct 2017 and is expected to be completed Aug 2018.