Planning for Higher Education Journal

De-Densifying Classrooms in the COVID-19 Era

A Scalable and Accurate Non-Linear Model Projects New Distanced Space Capacities
Journal Cover
From Volume 48 Number 4 | July–September 2020
By Kimberly S. Koverman and Ann P. Kalayil
Planning Types: Campus Planning

Institutions referenced in this resource:
Columbia College-Chicago

Campus space planning generally involves the use of linear models that apply a simple square-foot-per-person calculation to determine capacities for different room sizes. Most return-to-campus strategies following the easing of COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions involve modification of these models, increasing square-footage-per-person to accommodate six feet of distancing. This provides reasonable upper and lower capacity estimates, but it does not yield accurate estimates across different room sizes and room types. Columbia College Chicago has developed a non-linear model that is both scalable and accurate, resulting in estimates that match test fits across all observed spaces.

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