University of Technology Sydney gets a smart campus

There are several dynamic mapping apps on the market, but there’s only one all-in-one sign management platform that handles every task involved in creating a SMART CAMPUS: PAM Wayfinding.

Two years ago, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) began collaborating with PAM Wayfinding, using the platform to audit existing signs in weeks, instead of months. It also used PAM to juggle feedback between project and faculty managers, signage manufacturers and designers in the process of implementing 8,000 signs across 19 buildings and 110 floors – no easy feat.

There are many benefits of using an all-in-one sign management platform, like having the ability to keep a live digital record of every sign and floor plan, forever.

Once you’ve collated a real-time database of destinations and signs, it’s easy to add smart signage or launch wayfinding apps in just a few clicks.

Instead of purchasing wayfinding hardware or a mapping application that only performs one small part of your overall wayfinding needs, PAM is a far more affordable solution. For a monthly subscription fee, it handles everything from auditing to design, installation, maintenance, digital content management and personal wayfinding apps.

Wayfinding is a crucial piece of the puzzle

UTS is Australia’s leading young university and ranked 15th in Times Higher Education’s 2017 global ranking of universities under 50 years old. It recently added four new landmark buildings designed by acclaimed architects including Gehry Partners, Bligh Voller Neild and Hassell. But in the midst of this $1+ billion renovation, it realised it needed a coordinated signage system to bring its master plan vision to life and work towards developing a smart campus.

“Before PAM, we had a lot of problems with redundant signage – I’m sure any large facility faces similar challenges. A single name change can impact multiple signs across campus, which makes signage a big beast to manage,” says Bryce Hutchinson, Senior Building Information Manager and Project Manager at UTS.

A digital ecosystem

Many universities use spreadsheets to keep track of signage. But with staff and venues constantly changing, keeping spreadsheets up-to-date is almost impossible. UTS realised this system was not the future and worked closely with PAM to create a digital ecosystem of physical and digital signs – the first Australian university to do so.

“We welcome thousands of new students every year and enrollments are growing, so taking the stress out of wayfinding is really important,” says Bryce.“We also use PAM to update digital directories – the changes we make online appear on screen downstairs seconds later.”

smart campus

12,000 page views in six weeks

The project’s feature element is a series of 4.5m bright yellow totems, which are dotted across the campus and designed by Frost*Design.

PAM worked with UTS to embed connective technologies inside each totem, using NFCs and QR codes to deliver a cost-effective solution and provide personal wayfinding via students’ own mobile phones.

With over 1,000 users and over 12,000 page views in the first six weeks of the semester in 2017, according to Google Analytics, the popularity of the UTS microsite shows that students are quick to embrace digital wayfinding solutions.

UTS has also utilised maps and data stored in PAM to launch MyUTS – a wayfinding app that guides students around campus from their smartphones.

Live & constantly evolving

Universities are live, constantly evolving environments – it can be difficult for faculty managers to keep signage up to date. With PAM, live mapping makes it easy to identify legacy signs that need to be updated, and new signs can be ordered with a couple of keystrokes. Installers simply upload photos to show new signs have been installed correctly, facilitating the approvals process.

Stephen Minning, Director of PAM Wayfinding says: “We’re proud to say PAM also provides UTS with a host of environmental benefits. Using an online planning and approvals system drastically reduces the paperwork associated with multiple issues of large signage schedules. By allowing stakeholders to collaborate remotely, it limits the number of meetings and travel required.”

If you’re interested in creating a digital ecosystem of signs on your campus, get in touch or sign up for a demo below.

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