Facilities Planning, Design, & Sustainability
 The University of Georgia

UGA studies
show that
the built 


attitude, productivity, and


Where students learn matters more than you think!

About SDPL
Planning activities require a wide range of knowledge, skills, patience, and a genuine concern for people that use a facility.  The School Design and Planning Laboratory (SDPL), since 1997, has served as an International information source, encouraging the involvement of a broad community base in planning for educational facilities. One major success has been the involvement of UGA graduate students in training and the practice of planning and designing facilities.  The influence and success of this program has extended beyond UGA.

One special extension and success has been for graduate students at Johns Hopkins University.  As visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Tanner applied  Focused Strategic Planning methods in facilities development that was conceptualized and tested at UGA.  One noteworthy success of the SDPL and Johns Hopkins collaboration was led and inspired by a graduate student from Florida that proposed "Green Design for Schools",  The result was special changes at Saint Andrew's School, Florida.

Historically, the Primary Purpose of of the SDPL was to promote effective, unbiased leadership in all focused strategic planning and design activities for public and independent school systems and public agencies. Our aim was to minimize error in forecasting, planning, and design through current technology, research, and client participation. 

The SDPL had its beginning in 1997 through a grant funded by the Georgia Board of Regents. One purpose was to expand educational facilities planning courses at UGA by utilizing new media and Internet technology, while providing a source of research and training regarding how the physical environment influences behavior and attitudes.  Another purpose was to conduct data-based research on how the physical environment influences behavior and attitude of students and school personnel. 

The SDPL is closing its public support component in 2015 after 18 years of service.  We urge people to seek out the Educational Facilities Clearinghouse, CEFPI, and International Society for Educational Planning for school facilities services.  Dr. C. Kenneth Tanner may be contacted personally for recommendations.