Kelsey sees shifts on the horizon in the academic and higher-education segment. He says those changes include "new models of project delivery, a very competitive market for design services, consolidation of the industry with increased numbers of megafirms and increased downward pressure on fees, coupled with greater speed in schedule and project delivery."

SmithGroupJJR recently scored a major higher-education project: the new University of the Pacific dental school campus in San Francisco. The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry's seven-story building on Fifth Street will include a complete replacement of the exterior facade and interior spaces.

Cannon Design's Smith says that public-sector higher-education clients "are looking for new revenue streams to fund essential projects, and we are beginning to see public-private partnership opportunities appear in California. We've gained a lot of experience on that delivery mode in Canada in recent years and welcome this trend." He adds that institutional clients are looking for ways to manage their risks and more of them have been turning to design-build. Smith says that "some of our clients have expressed interest in designer-led design-build, which offers them more active engagement in design decision-making while providing price guarantees."

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