Story

Elevating Education

Focus Area Academic Facilities

Aerial view of parents and children entering a school building

We engineer our schools so that administrators can focus on education

At Page, we offer multiple engineering services as a single, fully integrated “total design” provider. This collaborative approach provides the highest levels of interdisciplinary coordination, quality control and quick responses as demanded on technically sophisticated projects. It also positions our project managers as single points of control in committing design team resources to ensure that our commitments are met.

Page Engineering achieves this through a process that allows designers, engineers and other project participants to collaborate at the onset of a project and evaluate possibilities that will maximize the potential between form and function before decisions are made that can inadvertently lead to building performance limitations.

In particular, educational facilities need to be healthy environments that help nurture the act of teaching and learning. They are heavily scrutinized for their operational performance and cost. The ebb and flow of students and faculty throughout the year make these complicated and complex, requiring experienced teams to address challenges up front.

Services

  • Academic
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Interiors
  • Strategies / Analytics

Anticipating growth, providing flexibility

Growing schools are rightly concerned about anticipating the needs of the future. Their focus extends beyond size and location to merging the requirements of student and staff growth, access to evolving technology, collaboration and amenities. How can they accurately anticipate future facilities needs? Various engineering design strategies can be employed to provide a flexible campus that is “future proof”.

Man focuses intently on editing building plans
© Page

Creating a flexible layout of office and classroom spaces, lighting, HVAC and technology and the use of modular components like demountable walls and modular power allows many schools to convert learning spaces quickly with minimum construction and interruption of operations. In addition, developing and adhering to space standards is key to providing the kind of flexibility that is needed in a continuously changing program.

Adapting to variables in the same building

The administrators of the recently constructed Houston Independent School District High School for Law and Justice were fortunate to find a sizeable site. They wanted to connect a series of building types under a single roof for both climate control and student convenience, which required a number of different engineering decisions for each section. Taller spaces required additional mechanical elements and each section must function as part of a whole system.

Image of a sprawling school building in the distance
© Mariella & Luis Ayala

Safety is paramount

We have engineers who specialize in fire protection services ranging from designing fire protection and life safety systems to conducting extensive investigations into building codes, standards and materials to fire, smoke and egress modeling and more. They are also responsible for understanding allowable quantities of chemicals and gases in certain types of structures, such as academic research laboratories.

Fire protection engineers discuss safety with a client
© Page

A story of growth

By all accounts, Trinity Episcopal is a success story. Founded in 1999 with just 13 students, Page designed its comprehensive master plan in 2000. Today, enrollment stands at nearly 600 and the firm continues to deliver learning spaces envisioned within the master plan. The campus design is a cluster of individual buildings ringing a central pedestrian mall. Each serves a distinct programmatic purpose: academic, fine arts, dining, etc. and each has separate engineering requirements.

Addressing diverse audiences

The distinctive North Paseo multipurpose building at The University of Texas at San Antonio consists of a variety of space types that all have their own engineering requirements. On the ground floor, variable classroom spaces for 60 to 100 students adjoin flexible 25-person group learning rooms. Technology research labs, a mixture of faculty offices and support functions occupy the middle three floors. Campus-wide administrative functions take up the top floor.

Building elevation plan
© Page
Students study in an open area created by a wide hallway.
© Dror Baldinger, FAIA
Exterior detail of a multistory brick academic building with colorful window and shade accents.
© Dror Baldinger, FAIA

“A large part of producing quality engineering design is working together with other disciplines and teams. Being able to comfortably work with and learn from the people around you is essential to building a successful career. I enjoy my job each day, and I look forward to each new project—the engineering industry is anything but dull. ”

Keely Barrett EIT

Page Associate and Graduate Fire Protection Engineer

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