UND O’Kelly Hall Renovation

EAPC Shaping the Future of Higher Education Design

In celebrating National Higher Education Day, we are proud to emphasize the transformative role of EAPC Architects Engineers in shaping the future of higher education design. Since its inception in 1967, EAPC has pioneered innovative architectural solutions, which has greatly impacted the higher education sector. We strike a balance between impressive design, resilient functionality, and operational efficiency.

The educational landscape is always changing, and we at EAPC understand the importance of adapting to these changes. We view higher education design as a platform to create environments that harmonize with the educational goals of the institutions, considering the varied needs of students, faculty, and the broader community. Our designs are geared towards fostering creativity, collaboration, and adaptability.

“In higher education design, we thrive on the unique challenges and requirements presented by each department and building type,” described EAPC Architect Casey Hutton. “To effectively address these needs, we immerse ourselves in learning from our clients and users. It’s an incredible opportunity to glean insights from a diverse range of professionals—becoming a petroleum engineer in the field, an aerospace research pilot documenting flights, a medical doctor performing procedures, or a Division I coach extracting the best from their athletes.”

A notable aspect of our approach is our collaboration with facilities staff in every higher education project. We consider the practical aspects of facilities operation right from the early stages of programming through design and into construction. This involves considerations like the size of offices, conference rooms, and classrooms; the arrangement of custodial closets for storing equipment and supplies; accessible plumbing chases for ease of maintenance while keeping toilet and locker rooms usable; and standardized door hardware for various applications. We make it a point to embed these elements seamlessly into our designs without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.

We understand that every higher education campus is “a city within a city”, and we adopt a holistic approach to our design process. Input from facilities personnel is integral in every phase of our design process, from foundation to roof and everything in between. Sustainable criteria are meticulously evaluated from a life cycle perspective, and all materials are discussed and vetted before they make it to the project specifications. This detailed process ensures that we approach every project from an operations standpoint and guarantees the owner that our designs are not just visually pleasing but also functional and operationally efficient.

Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond simply incorporating eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient techniques in our designs. We actively design structures that positively contribute to the ecosystem. Equally important is the safety of all users. Our designs prioritize a secure environment by integrating best practices in various aspects like emergency response, accessibility, and usage patterns.

EAPC’s Higher Education Design: Exemplifying Excellence

North Dakota State University’s Peltier Innovation Complex in Fargo, ND: This complex is a prime example of a collaborative space designed for innovative research, with an emphasis on sustainability and safety. Energy-efficient systems and locally sourced materials were used to enhance sustainability, while safety considerations were factored into every design element.

South Dakota State University’s Raven Precision Agriculture Center and First Bank & Trust Arena in Brookings, SD: These projects highlight EAPC’s proficiency in multifunctional design. The Raven Precision Agriculture Center, a leading-edge research center, combines classroom spaces, laboratories, and faculty offices with an unwavering focus on sustainability, collaboration, and safety. The First Bank & Trust Arena showcases EAPC’s talent in creating multi-use facilities that serve as a hub for campus and community activities.

Raven Precision Agriculture Center – Photo by Jordan Powers (www.jordanpowers.com)

“It is a privilege to design for higher education—to revive structures that have withstood the test of time, often spanning over 50 years,” explained Casey. “Our goal is to infuse them with renewed vitality and adaptability to endure another half-century. These buildings hold significant historical value, having played a part in the education of countless students.”

First Bank and Trust Arena Rendering

On National Higher Education Day, we take pride in our role as pioneers of higher education design. Our designs go beyond mere structures; they serve as nurturing environments that fuel the minds shaping our tomorrow. They are sustainable and safe, promote collaboration, and reflect a balanced focus on aesthetics and operational efficiency. At EAPC, we are committed to setting fresh standards in campus architecture and shaping the future of higher education design.