A future-oriented, unifying and vibrant campus

19 February 2016 10:49

(updated: 30 August 2016 10:57)

A future-oriented, unifying and vibrant campus

Flexible, future-oriented solutions will ensure more efficient use of space as NHH embarks on renovations.

NHH's strategic space-use plan for the next 15 years was adopted at the board meeting on 11 February 2016. The Ministry of Education and Research has asked all the university colleges and universities in Norway to submit plans for the development of their buildings and rational use of space. Last autumn NHH appointed a project group to explore various options for future use of space on campus. The School has not wasted any time.

"We got started quickly because something needs to be done with the Tower Block. Once we were well under way with the Tower Block, we decided it would be a good idea to look at all the buildings," explains Anne Line Grepne who has headed the project group.

The space-use plan proposes a number of major and minor measures for the short, medium and long term. Overriding guidelines, such as rational use of space and sharing of facilities, flexibility in connection with remodelling and renovations, and standardisation of solutions, are central to all the proposed measures.

"The Tower Block will be our primary focus in the immediate future, but we have identified opportunities to make changes of varying magnitude in NHH's other buildings too. It is important to stress that this document is dynamic, meaning it is possible to change the order of the various phases and proposed measures," Grepne continues.

More efficient use

In the short term, NHH will implement a number of minor changes to improve efficiency and capacity utilisation, as well as undertaking several pilot projects to remodel classrooms and adjust the layout of workspaces. Another proposal is to refurbish corridors as informal meeting spaces that can also be used as an extension of the classroom.

"We want a vibrant campus where employees, students and guests feel welcome," says Grepne.

In the next phase, the Tower Block will be renovated. The design process will start in February 2016 and continue until the beginning of 2017.

"The design process will come up with a number of different options, and then it will be up to NHH's management and board to choose which solution to go with," says Grepne.

The actual renovations will not begin until 2018 at the earliest, in part because of state budget processes and the need for necessary clarifications. Once the renovation work starts, it will be necessary to find alternative premises for the employees affected by the renovations.

"The consequences will depend on the solutions we choose. We have considered options such as modern mobile office rigs or renting premises near NHH. Having all the units gathered on a single campus has greatly benefited NHH, and we believe it will be important to maintain this proximity during a temporary remodelling period too."

More varied solutions

NHH is aiming to achieve greater use of more varied and open-plan solutions.
"It will be important to make changes that facilitate more collaboration and informal meetings, while ensuring spaces can be adapted for work that requires concentration. This applies to the staff and students alike. We are seeing a general trend towards greater sharing of premises," says Grepne.

We are seeing a general trend towards greater sharing of premises.

Anne Line Grepne

The space-use plan also highlights that technology and digitisation are becoming increasingly important for staff and students at NHH. As workplaces become increasingly mobile, the need for personal workspaces in the traditional form is diminishing.

Grepne stresses that the changes will provide new opportunities, and underlines that the staff and students will be involved in the process.

"We know a lot about which solutions might work. This is a golden opportunity for NHH to make some minor adjustments to the way we work, interact and meet each other, while preserving what works well today."

The Service Building

In the longer term, parts of the Service Building will also be renovated. In addition, both the project group and other stakeholders want to develop other areas for extracurricular student activities. It will also be relevant to look into possible capacity expansions beyond the current buildings.

The project group

Project Manager Anne Line Grepne (Head of the project group)
Erik Lundberg (Head of the Section for Property Management, Office of Financial Management and Operations)
Therese Sverdrup (Associate Professor, Department of Strategy and Management).
Per Manne (Dean of Bachelor Programmes, senior safety representative)
Kristin R. Teigland (Head of Administration, Department of Business and Management Science)
Kjetil Sudmann Larssen (Head of the Section for Analysis and Quality Assurance, Office of Student and Academic Affairs)
Gunnar Christensen (Vice Rector for Faculty Management)
Sissel Jensen (Associate Professor, Department of Economics, employee representative)
Martha Lehmann-Røed (Senior Advisor, Section for Human Resources Management, and acting Head of section for the Library)

PwC has assisted with the process management. The administrative leadership group and rectorate have acted as the project's steering committee.

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Text: Øyvind Fredriksen