PREVIEW (Planning for Research and Education: Visioning Information Explorer WebApp) is a dynamic digital planning tool that is on the cutting edge for facilities evaluation in institutions of higher education. This tool will prove integral in helping campus leadership make the most meaningful and impactful infrastructure investment decisions in support of the campus mission and priorities emanating from Academic Futures.

PREVIEW is the final deliverable of the 15-month Strategic Facilities Visioning (SFV) process. SFV, informed by the other major campus strategic initiatives, drew collaborative input from more than 180 “visionaries” representing 30-plus colleges, schools, institutes and major support units across campus.  

Tool overview

PREVIEW is utilized by CU Boulder's Office of Planning, Design and Construction to inform capital planning discussions and decisions. PREVIEW combines and visualizes university data to show how people, goals and operations affect current and future campus environments. The data used is native to the university, publicly available, and updated annually. To ensure tool data is up to date, Planning, Design and Construction's GIS team captures and updates the data sets in PREVIEW every December.

PREVIEW is composed of three modules:

  • The Supply Dashboard: Understand the true capacity and condition of campus. “What does our campus have today?”
  • The Demand Dashboard: Forecast facilities needs based on population and Scenario Planning process. “What are our requirements and opportunities?”
  • The Options Tool: Anticipate and respond to a variety of future facilities requests. “How can we test priorities and assess initiatives?

PREVIEW Overview slides

Creating PREVIEW

  • Campus vision: Articulate a strategic campus-wide vision for an evolving educational and research landscape.
  • Investment opportunities: Identify opportunities for infrastructure, real estate and facilities investments to support the vision.
  • Scalable solutions: Identify change management initiatives to support the vision.
  • Planning tools: Develop methods to enable short, medium and long-term decision making.
  • Implementation strategy: Create the foundation for a campus master plan.

The SFV initial deep dive phase helped gain valuable insights from units across campus and set the stage for the Scenario Planning discussions to come next. During this phase, the project team met with “visionaries” from every college, school, research institute and major support unit on campus to gain a holistic view of individual program visions. The SFV project team synthesized results from these valuable sessions, mapping each conversation to key themes that emerged to discover which topics arose across multiple departments. The culmination of the Deep Dive phase was the arrangement of six interdisciplinary scenario planning teams that continued their work in the next phase.

Summary of Deep Dive process and findings

During this phase, visionaries worked in interdisciplinary groups to develop and test future facilities and infrastructure scenarios in relation to a variety of identified university requirements centered around our ever-evolving landscape of education and research and informed by the campus’ multiple strategic initiatives.

Key findings across the Scenario Planning teams articulated the spatial components and strategies necessary to achieve university strategic goals. These guided the development of PREVIEW and informed future capital planning discussions and decisions.

The Scenario Planning phase culminated in the development of building templates for unique building typologies across CU Boulder's campus. Each building template applied a mixed-use approach to campus programming to facilitate an enhanced experience for all students, faculty and staff.

The Scenario Planning phase also identified and defined key components that drove creation of PREVIEW, and created the campus makeup on the building, neighborhood, campus and university scale.

Summary of Scenario Planning process and findings

The Tool Development phase dove into digital development of PREVIEW, established key performance indicators for resource and infrastructure requirements, incorporated space and operational standards, and performed a risk and delivery analysis.

The Tool Implementation phase zeroed in on refining the campus facilities vision and PREVIEW prototype. The tool will play a vital role in testing and evaluating different facilities scenarios as we embark on creation of the next Campus Master Plan due in late 2021.