Designing a Building's Structural Reliability in a Changing World

Structural is the longest lasting component of a building, designed to meet codes that address geological and environmental risks. Yet as we see with growing research, climate is changing and many codes may not be keeping up with evolving environmental risks.

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Topics: Sustainability & Resiliency, Engineering, Research

12 Big Ideas about Building Simulation in the Planning Process

Molly Eagen, AIA

As we continue to strive to meet high-performance building goals such as those outlined in the AIA 2030 Commitment and other standards, incorporating environmental simulation and energy analysis into the design process becomes increasingly relevant. However, with a multitude of tools available, fast moving project timelines, and confusion about who is best poised to perform building analysis, integrating this work into design process can seem overwhelming.

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Topics: Sustainability & Resiliency, Technology

Creating Campus Value Through Developer-Led Student Housing

Across the country, our current healthy economy is creating opportunities for colleges and universities to take a new direction in developing student housing—turning to developers to finance, design and construct much-needed housing instead of financing it themselves. The reasons are numerous—from decreasing state financial support, to the lack of developable property on dense urban campuses, to limited in-house resources in market-driven development, to managing risk of future enrollment changes.

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Topics: Education, Arts & Culture

Up Close: Amin Mojtahedi

Amin Mojtahedi, PhD(c), Associate AIA, is a Design Researcher at HGA and PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research focuses on the architecture of social learning and people-space analytics. Here, he talks about how research can create supportive spaces that boost individual and organizational growth.

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Topics: Education, Research

Designing Healthcare's New Front Door

Once concentrated in a central hub, health care services are moving outward — into retail spaces, clinics, wellness centers, homes, schools and corporate spaces.

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Topics: Healthcare

Reaching Higher: Planning Arts Facilities for Changing Student Expectations

The renovated Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center has created a campus focus for the arts at Macalester College in St. Paul. 


Performing and visual arts programs have long jostled for new or improved spaces on college campuses. They often find themselves competing with capital campaigns promoting state-of-the-art student centers, STEM classrooms and labs, athletic facilities, and amenity-rich student housing that promises to give one campus the competitive edge over another. Thus, college arts programs are frequently housed in aged and makeshift buildings.

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Topics: Education, Arts & Culture

Demystifying the Library Building Process

Libraries are often the heart of a community, offering vital resources through technology, information, and social gathering spaces. As libraries continue to grow in importance, more communities are expanding existing libraries or building new. Yet the planning process can be daunting, especially for those new to the brick-and-mortar building process.

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Topics: Arts & Culture, Community

Buzzworthy Technologies 2017


This edition of Buzzworthy Technologies further explores the confluence of technology and society. 

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Topics: Technology

3 Ways to Achieve a Happier Campus

Campus safety and security today is a multi-faceted concern. Behind obvious crime are silent precursors to a range of unsafe behaviors. There is not much happiness; yet happiness is a central criterion of positive mental health, crucial to student safety on campus.

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Topics: Education

New Questions, Different Thinking, Positive Impact: Start at Zero?

Think about this for a moment. When the kindergarten students of 2017 are college freshmen in 2030, what will the world be like? Will they have a bright, clean energy well and a health-focused world? Will we have done anything substantially different so that they have a better future?

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Topics: Sustainability & Resiliency


HGA’s team of architecture, engineering, planning and design experts share their knowledge through research, published articles, white papers, and speaking engagements.