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Reducing Potential Capital Costs for the London School of Economics

Reducing Potential Capital Costs for the London School of Economics
Sector
Education
Products
Service

Data modelling and simulation defines estate requirements and reduces potential capital costs for the LSE.

The London School of Economics was founded in 1895 for the “betterment of society” and from its early years has had an extraordinary impact on the development of the social sciences and the development of public policy. It has over 12,000 students and has over 8000 international students from over 148 countries, with over 100 languages being spoken on campus all supported by over 3000 staff. It prides itself on having 18 Nobel prize winners that have studied or taught at the LSE.

The Challenge

Capital costs for universities – particularly within major cities – can be enormous. However, when a university recognises the need for change and starts planning for the future, accurately calculating resource requirements can seem like an almost impossible task – but one where miscalculations can mean potential overspends of tens of millions of pounds in the new built environment.

This was exactly the scenario that the London School of Economics found themselves in when evaluating how their resource requirements would change with an anticipated extra 1,000 students over the following three years calculated as a 22.5% increase by the LSE. Whilst there would be a net loss of six lecture theatres including one with a 240-seat capacity, and the removal of current computer teaching rooms. Analysis was needed to identify exactly how much teaching space was just enough and how to avoid overspending on estate space in one of the world’s most expensive cities to build or rent in.

The Solution

EventMAP were engaged using our modelling and resource software, to accurately determine how best to use LSE’s existing estate and exactly how much their overall estate would need to change to provide the correct type and configuration of teaching and other space for increasing student numbers – while ensuring that the quality of the learning experience remained at its exceptionally high standard. EventMAP developed an interface between our software and the university’s legacy systems to seamlessly extract the necessary timetabling and student data and were able to develop models for increased room utilisation (benchmarked against Higher Education Council of England has published (HEFCE 00/04 Estate Strategies: A Guide to Good Practice) that allowed LSE to accurately plan for their expansion and keep projected capital costs to a minimum.

The Benefits

The resultant data rich report demonstrated the up level of growth that could be contained in the current and future available space at the university over the following five years. This supported discussions and strategy planning of senior stakeholders in the organisation, with the provision of a scenario-based modelling tool to de-risk the planning and optimisation of investment in new estate facilities. It was also possible to predict the size and room types needed to fulfil the curriculum outlined by the university going forward, including evidence to suggest a large lecture hall would not need to be included in the future estate, and saving the projected build and ongoing maintenance cost for the LSE.

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Based on our projections for growth, we worked with the EventMAP team in identifying a theoretical upper limit on additional teaching space requirements. The result concentrated our thoughts and provided a basis on which to overlay the practical realities of the space allocation process. The combination of computer generated scenarios and ‘local knowledge’ enabled us to provide a correct solution which proved very useful in advising the School as it enters a period of expansion.

Keith Clarkson
Head of Property and Space Management, LSE
Diamond

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