Active Learning Meets Proactive Building for Higher Ed

Active Learning Meets Proactive Building for Higher Ed

Active Learning Meets Proactive Building for Higher Ed 2499 1744 Make Space for Possibilities - DIRTT

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Some people thought the University of the Fraser Valley couldn’t do it. Students couldn’t see how the old campus pub could be a meaningful learning space. Stakeholders weren’t sure the renovation would be completed on time. But this school wasn’t going to let that stand in the way of putting their students first.

Let’s rewind. In 2018, UFV needed a swing space to handle displaced students and faculty from another construction project. They bought a nearby restaurant and got ready to convert it into classrooms and admin offices. But they only had a year to do it. Design a building, gut the campus pub and get an active-learning student space ready for fall 2019. Conventional construction couldn’t meet that deadline, but with DIRTT they could do it all.

Using prefabricated construction meant that as the mechanical, electrical and plumbing were being roughed in, the classrooms were being built offsite. Having both these things happen at the same time cut weeks from the schedule. Once the base building was ready, the walls went up in no time. And these aren’t only partitions to separate rooms. The walls had vibrant colors, integrated tech and 10-foot windows to let the light in. Writable surfaces in every classroom support teachers and students in their active-learning plan.  

But Building K isn’t just a space for today. It’s a space that can adapt for tomorrow. The next time the University of the Fraser Valley needs to renovate, they’re ready. UFV can reconfigure DIRTT and customize their learning spaces.

Would you use DIRTT again? Absolutely. Yes. There’s not a doubt in my mind.   

Mark Goudsblom, University of the Fraser Valley, director, campus planning and facilities management