In a special series of articles, Infocomm addresses the issue of classroom standards and provides a comprehensive set of guidelines for universities and other learning institutions to follow, so that they can avoid common mistakes. The articles cover the issue of design from 4 distinct aspects – industry standards, campus infrastructure standards, classroom design standards, and classroom equipment preferences.

In a previous article on Classroom Standards, we talked about industry standards regarding classroom design. In this article, we will talk about campus infrastructure standards.

These include building infrastructure items, such as power, conduit, and data. For example, what type of lighting zones or switching do you expect in rooms? Is there a particular lighting system you use, or a particular interface that your control system requires? What do you need from the building systems to build the teaching space?

While this type of information is critical, it is much less frequently included in standards than classroom design standards and classroom equipment preferences. This is because these requirements are much harder to fix when they go wrong, or are omitted.

Some key observations from this article

“Consider illustrating your requirements with actual drawings whenever possible, as that is the type of documentation architects and consultants are used to working with.”

“Get yourself a copy of the set of architectural plans and learn how they are organised and what they look like.”

“Consider breaking your requirements down in the same way: electrical drawings for electrical needs and conduit drawings for conduit needs.”

“This part of campus standards should address where building infrastructure affects the learning space. You should explain what is needed, where, and why and should not reinvent the wheel.”

“All information need not be drawings. Text is also important. You can use text to describe any special notes regarding lighting fixtures, and so on.”

“Avoid carpeting in classrooms whenever possible, as most school and universities do not have the money to clean carpets regularly.”

“Another thing to consider with these infrastructure standards: What happens in the future? It’s tough to predict what we’ll need a couple years from now. How many of us figured out later than we care to admit that we needed conduit and power in odd locations for wireless access points?”

“Know your needs and concerns, but remain flexible and talk with the people that have been — in theory at least — hired to help you. Don’t be dogmatic. They will probably have some good advice. They have probably seen the same questions addressed elsewhere.”

To know more about this topic, view “Why Campus Infrastructure Standards Are So Important”. More on this in the coming weeks…Watch this space…

To know more about how to design and install classroom infrastructure standards, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or at contact@actis.co.in.

(Image Courtesy: Welingkar)

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