Webinar Recordings

A Different Kind of SMART

Using Performance-Oriented Metrics to Redefine Success in a Forward-Focused Research Lab
Delivered April 20, 2021
Presented by Carlos Perez Rubio, AIA, LEED AP, HERA laboratory planners | Sarah T. Smith, NCARB, LEED GA, Auburn University | Clay Stafford, HERA laboratory planners
Planning Types: Campus Planning

Institutions referenced in this resource:
Auburn University

“SMART” built environments usually refer to buildings with embedded technologies that allow them to run as efficiently as possible. Yet for research institutions, that definition should be expanded beyond efficiency to include metrics that are used to quantify research productivity and accomplishments.

The expected useful life of the building and individual labs, research dollars generated per square foot, intellectual property generated, and successful recruitment and retainment of researchers are but a few bottom line-oriented measures that colleges and universities use. By embracing the business side of higher education, architects can create even smarter built environments.

In this presentation, we discuss how to identify and select appropriate metrics for institutions that are equally focused on education and research. What objective and subjective measures can be considered? Are these metrics applicable in our new (hopefully) post-COVID reality? How are institutions reallocating space in this new reality? How do we redefine the future of “smart” higher education research facilities?

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Discuss alternative measurements for research productivity and accomplishments in your “SMART” built environments to find new differentiators.
  2. Explore why it’s important to look for new differentiators in a world of potential pandemics, remote working, and generational shifts.
  3. Explain the concept of “small, smart, and simple” in research spaces and the lens it provides to improve and enhance research outcomes.
  4. Identify examples and projects that have successfully implemented “SMART” built environments with performance-oriented metrics.


Carlos Perez Rubio, AIA, LEED AP

Principal Lab Architect
HERA laboratory planners

Sarah T. Smith, NCARB, LEED GA

Director of Capital Projects
Auburn University

Clay Stafford

Senior Lab Planner
HERA laboratory planners

Recorded April 20, 2021.

Member Price: $39 | Non-member Price: $69 USD
Purchase includes streaming video recording.


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