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Building for the Future

When our on-campus customers contact us to build a project, their focus, understandably, is on that project. Our focus is broader; we try to see each building project within the context of the overall development of the campus.

Our campus plan, “A Guide to Future Physical Development,” was first adopted in 1966 and supplemented in 1993, 1999, and 2006. We use it and other sound planning principles to create facilities that not only fulfill the immediate needs of the first users, but to also create facilities that will have a useful life for decades. These are facilities that fit appropriately within the aesthetic and historical context of Michigan Tech’s campus. These are facilities that will serve users whose needs have not yet been articulated. These facilities are structures with exterior envelopes that have a useful life of up to 100 years, are efficient to heat, ventilate, light and cool, and that are capable of several adaptive reuses. The design and construction of these facilities embody principles that attempt to minimize the vast majority of total ownership costs that occur after construction, before concentrating on minimizing actual, immediate construction costs.

Application of these principles over a period of years has resulted in a campus physical plant that is relatively compact, convenient, energy efficient and appropriately scaled and sized for a total enrollment of up to 10,000 students. It is a campus with a robust infrastructure that lends itself to the ever-changing needs of its users, while maintaining a sense of permanence and recognition of and respect for our unique ecological niche.

For more information, contact James Heikkinen, assistant director, planning and engineering at 906-487-2305.

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