Students may be out for summer, but education professionals across the state of Florida are hard at work planning for the future success of today’s students.

More than 400 professionals met at the Florida Educational Facilities Planners Association’s Summer Conference earlier this month in Boca Raton where they discussed important issues affecting the education built environment and ultimately, students of all ages from kindergarten through higher education. The BRPH team had five members in attendance, all of whom either participated in presentations or live demos from the booth. Read on for a few of the most interesting futurecasts presented at FEFPA ‘17 and how these hypotheses may affect the future of education design.

BRPH Graphics Manager, Todd Reed, gives FEFPA participant Saralee Morrissey a virtual tour of Pierson Elementary School using VR technology.


3D scanning has made its way into the education market and the technology is booming. It’s no secret that gone are the days of blueprints and hand sketches, but the use of 3D scanning, modeling and real-time visualization of Revit technology is the present- and future- of facility design. The BRPH team led live in-booth demonstrations of 3D models of two of our current projects. By using Virtual Reality, participants walked through the newly designed Pierson Elementary School and Eastern Florida State College’s Health Sciences Institute, while the team explained how design changes can be made in models like these, in real-time. Imagine walking through the design of your next facility as the architect is refining the design and making modifications in real time. This is the present, and future, of design. Check out a 360 view of Eastern Florida State’s Health Sciences building here.


Jessica Roddenberry, Architect and Education Lead Designer lead participants through a Design Thinking workshop at FEFPA 2017.


Take a few steps back from 3D modeling to the pre-design process and you’ll see educational design professionals disrupting the typical design charrette- though technology is not what thrives here. Jessica Roddenberry, Architect and Education Lead Designer and Sean Tracy, Florida Director of Education for BRPH led two Design Thinking presentations followed by workshops at the booth, demonstrating the power of human-centered design. By getting back to the basics with face to face conversations, sticky notes, drawings and old-fashioned collaboration, design teams are getting it right the first time by truly understanding the challenges education clients and their stakeholders are facing. By using the most elementary of skills we teach our students- listening- designers are transforming the pre-design process into something that delivers real results. The only requirements are sharpies, sticky notes and an open mind.



State funding for public higher education facilities has always been a hot topic. From prioritizing projects partially funded by private parties, to calculating the true ROI of online learning, the conversation is rapidly changing. One particular topic of interest was related to parking garages at large institutions. The state typically bonds projects like parking garages with a 20-year payback period. Larger institutions that already have several parking garages are now requiring designs for new garages with higher floor to floor heights for future proofing purposes. With the growing popularity of transportation services such as Uber and Lyft, and the increasing development of self-driving cars, the need for parking garages in the future is questionable, at best.



21st Century schools partnering with local organizations to develop targeted, technical training for areas of growth will pay dividends to their local communities by retaining their best and brightest students with the availability of full-time, relevant jobs that fit their background and training. Designing a 21st Century school, and curriculum, is more than ever the responsibility of the entire community and design professionals are beginning to embrace this reality. Learn more

The future of Florida educational facilities is bright, and these few topics merely skim the surface of a week’s worth of forward-thinking ideas. For a deeper dive into where we think educational facility design is going, and how we can help you get there, send us a note.