Classrooms and Class Labs

The unique core mission of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa suggests the need for environments that serve five interdependent spatial domains: instruction, research, administration, campus life, and host culture. The “Classroom and Class Labs” volume addresses basic requirements for all UH Mānoa instructional space and technology—furniture, room configuration, lighting, audio-visual equipment, wall composition (including windows, doors, and writable surfaces), floor and ceiling systems, ventilation, acoustics, accessibility, safety, and security, among others. Design for maximum flexibility is the central recommendation for all new and renovated classroom space. Likewise, design guidelines for class labs seek to maximize flexibility within the pedagogical requirements of all disciplines and programs requiring bench-based coursework.

These Design Guidelines appear after an unprecedented change in the environmental context of university instruction, indicating a new calculus for the management and design of virtual and physical space. Among the many lessons universities around the world learned from this experience, one conclusion is clear: 21st century higher education presupposes the ongoing evolution of instructional space and technology. Conventional assumptions about spatial organization, buildings, and their relationship to diverse scenes of teaching intimate new and hybrid instructional practices, new and hybrid techniques, and new and hybrid typologies.

In view of the 2017 UH Board of Regents “Integrated Academic and Facilities Plan,” emerging university policies embody expectations for significantly higher rates of classroom utilization, serving a wider range of needs. Accordingly, the university has established a target efficiency for classrooms based on 45 hours of primary instructional use per week optimum, 30 hours minimum. 

See the full Classrooom and class lab design guidelines here.

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