Predicting the Future, Knowing Your Data, Adapting a Masterplan


GBBN Associate Principal, Zach Zettler, recently returned from the North Central Regional Conference for the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP) where he discussed strategies for harnessing the power of predictive analytics in higher education masterplans.

Colleges and universities often build their long-term masterplans on assumptions about the future of their campus, but that often proves to be shaky ground. Zach and co-presenter, Robert Bell, Interim Director of Planning, Architecture, and Engineering at Miami University, made the case that historic data about the amount and distribution of common space,  the configuration and size of sleeping rooms, and needs of Gen-Z students provide a more reliable predictor—and more adaptable resource—for long-range masterplans. The data also showed that new and renovated halls produce more satisfied students with a greater sense of belonging, community, and diversity.

Zach and Robert discussed a computational metrics mobile app that GBBN developed and how it is used to prioritize available data, make more informed planning decisions, and align their team around the best available data for their masterplan.

Check out the summary of Zach and Robert’s presentation here.

Read about our work at Miami University here and here.

Learn more about Zach.