University of Wisconsin-Madison
College of Agricultural & Life Sciences Facilities Master Plan
Integrated planning to optimize space
At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences (CALS) is home to a breadth of research, teaching, and outreach activities across a wide spectrum of biological sciences. With 1.1 million assignable square feet throughout 30 facilities, the College sought to understand the capability of existing space to meet its rapidly evolving needs for academic and scientific discovery.
The facilities range in age, with the oldest dating from the College's opening over 130 years ago, presenting opportunities for revitalization and adaptive reuse as well as additions and new buildings. Goals include optimizing the utilization of existing space, aligning highest and best use with strategic priorities, and addressing future research and academic needs as well as projected program growth.
The Flad team employed a space needs assessment and compared it to an analysis examining the quantitative and qualitative capabilities of the CALS buildings – a process that used defined space typologies to inform current and future space utilization metrics. Buildings were assessed for overall physical condition, function, and institutional value – this evaluation resulted in a quality index rating for each facility.
When integrated and analyzed, the data revealed many findings, including areas of surplus and deficit of quality space for each program, which informed the team's conclusions and recommendations. Priorities are identified as near-, mid-, or long-term, outlining a flexible road map for future investment that can adapt as funding opportunities become available. The data generated also provides the College valuable insights about day-to-day operations and the ability to plan effectively for incremental changes that improve space assignments, efficiency, and functionality. By strategically aligning CALS facilities resources for a rapidly changing future, this master plan positions the College to strengthen its identity and support advancement of the next generation of leaders in the agricultural and life sciences.