Beautiful Blog

Resources for Reopening: Facility Capacity Studies for Assessing Spatial Needs for K-12 and Higher Education

May 22, 2020

As K-12 and higher education institutions begin looking towards the 2020-2021 academic year, a number of questions remain on how to plan for the return of students, faculty and staff in light of the continued novel coronavirus pandemic. HDG can partner with you to assess your facilities or building floor plans to develop guidelines and potential building or furniture modifications in order to comply with local, state, and federal requirements for reopening.

CCBC – 2020 College Master Plan Update HDG and The Collaborative

For example, HDG is currently assisting one of our clients, the Community College of Beaver County,  in understanding how social distancing guidelines might be implemented on the CCBC campus when students and staff return to an on-campus curriculum. In order to provide this analysis, HDG is analyzing the current conditions on the campus as they relate to building floor plans, room sizes, existing furniture, furniture arrangements, and photos of typical spaces to verify existing conditions.

With existing campus data compiled, the first step in this process is determining the maximum occupant load for each room given social distancing guidelines. This maximum occupant analysis takes into account a combination of the size of the room, the existing furniture size and arrangement, and any fixed furniture or casework that would be difficult to relocate. This information is then translated into color-coded floor plans and a matrix that clearly defines the social distancing occupancy for any given instructional or office space. The analysis will also identify spaces that would benefit from a different furniture layout or an entirely different furniture type, determine the spatial needs for office or administrative staff, and analyze how under-utilized rooms could be recaptured for new programmatic space, like additional offices or classrooms.

HDG can perform an analysis of this type for educational institutions and various other types of facilities to help owners and administrators prepare for reopening while identifying short- and long-term changes that may be necessary to ensure the health and safety of occupants.  The resulting information will allow owners to plan for continuing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and also prepare for the unpredictable post-COVID landscape.















As recognized leaders in planning and design for educational and institutional buldings, HDG can act as a trusted advisor to assist you with your reopening plans.  For more information, contact us at 412-206-0410 or


Additional Resources for Owners and Facilities Managers:

A Guide for Planning and Preparing Your Campus:

AIA Re-Occupancy Assessment Tool:

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.