The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), is the largest higher education institution in the UAE, renowned for its leadership in applied and technological education. Around 23,000 students attend 16 modern men’s and women’s campuses across the UAE – in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Al Dhafra, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah.
In line with international criteria, the UAE vision and future development requirements, HCT offers approximately 100 majors in the academic programs in Engineering Technology, Health Sciences, Applied Media, Business, Computer Information Science, and Education.
The college’s growing success meant that the Abu Dhabi Men’s Campus needed to expand from 3,400 students to 5,050. However, with the state of the incumbent facilities and with the use of temporary accommodation units, expansion plans were being significantly hampered.
HCT’s objective is to expand the college facility from 47,000m2 to over 125,000m2 to give enough capacity to handle the expect growth in student numbers and much more. To achieve this aim, the college needed to provide the facilities’ design consultants a design brief to guide them through the detailed master planning process preceding construction, informing them on the requirements for the education space and the service operations of the campus. Hence HCT needed to perform some modelling to predict the best optimised use of space as an input into the architectural building designs of the new facilities.
HTC selected EventMAP because of their experience space modelling education space and knowledge of setting up the services to run an efficient education organisation. Deploying EventMAP’s Space Planning and Modelling Tools generated space model options determining the best use of space including plans to keep the college fully functional during the construction period.
Across a series of stakeholder workshops, HCT, with EventMAP’s guidance, identified the optimal solution, taking into consideration different physical space types including general purpose teaching and specialised spaces, as well as support services such as the library, sporting and recreational facilities and administration support.
Once the model was agreed, EventMAP proceeded to provide a description of how the organisation’s education and support services would operate out of these facilities by defining the software and tools needed, along with the equipment to be allocated to each space to ensure efficient operations.
The outcome of these efforts resulted a design brief that provided an overarching philosophy identifying how the college, and the organisations within it, would deliver education in the future. The engagement with EventMAP provided:
The ability to quickly iterate the space model based on stakeholder requirements and feedback.
Using EventMAP’s experience helped HTC to achieve an efficient operating model for the new facilities.
Models for coping strategies for further student expansion plans beyond 5,050 using options such as longer working week or day.
An informative design brief which enabled the building’s architects to design a facility to match HTC’s needs.