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How we measure space usage and why Garry Bradley, Manager Space Management, RMIT University AAPPA Space Revisited Workshop, 17 March 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "How we measure space usage and why Garry Bradley, Manager Space Management, RMIT University AAPPA Space Revisited Workshop, 17 March 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 How we measure space usage and why Garry Bradley, Manager Space Management, RMIT University AAPPA Space Revisited Workshop, 17 March 2003

2 A brief history of utilisation Concept was developed after WW2 particularly in California Manual for Studies of Space Utilisation in Colleges and Universities by Russell & Doi published in USA 1957 – set out procedures / first major study University Space Planning by Bareither & Schillinger published in USA 1968 – introduced numeric method for analysing space usage and requirements In 1968 University College in London established the Unit for Architectural Studies. It was to study the use of space and ways that use could be improved.

3 California Legislature established the Strayer Committee, 1948 a) Are existing facilities in institutions of higher education being used to the maximum degree consistent with good educational practice? b) What is the maximum number of students that can be accommodated at each campus with existing facilities without overcrowding classes, limiting the curricular offerings, or overextending the school week? c) Are the present college and university facilities properly proportioned as to number of each type of laboratory and general classroom or have shifts in student interests caused a condition of unbalance? Amongst the questions pursued by the Strayer Committee were:

4 A brief history of utilisation - Australia In mid-1970s some Australian universities and then colleges of advanced education started to conduct utilisation studies In 1980 a survey of 67 colleges of advanced education found that 70% claimed to monitor utilisation on a regular basis First major published study in Australia was in Efficiency & Effectiveness in Higher Education a report by CTEC in 1986 In 1992 the Victorian Office of Technical & Further Education published Space Guidelines for TAFE Accommodation which included specific space utilisation rates for TAFE facilities

5 Generally the development of procedures, standards and the dissemination of information on utilisation has been slow. It has lagged behind the development of other facilities related systems and standards AAPPAs Space Planning Guidelines published in September 1998 – Edition 2 has been published this year Benchmarking – A Manual for Australian Universities, DEET Feb 2000 includes as Benchmark 5.12 Space Utilisation A brief history of utilisation - Australia

6 Some not-so-basic standards - what is a day ? Length of a day: an international survey conducted for RMIT in the late 1990s noted a range of between 32 to 70 hours per week being considered as a standard week AAPPA standards have a typical University week being 67.5 hours but note there is no standard typical day McKinnon benchmark 5.12 assumes an availability of some 70 hours per week Very hard to externally benchmark without prior agreement on standards

7 There has been a discernible increase in utilisation standards for general learning spaces since the earliest literature was published in the 1960s, rising from a total planned utilisation of 35% to between 50% & 60% today There has been a less discernable increase in standards for specialised learning spaces with utilisation increasing from below 30% to be between 30% & 40% today These increases have occurred at the same time as the progressive reduction in average weekly contact hours. 30 years ago, this was typically 25 or more hours compared with about ½ of that today Utilisation rates

8 Indicative Space Utilisation Rates 1 Space Type 2 Target Room Frequency Target Room Occupancy Target Utilisation Lecture Theatres -large (250+ seats) -medium ( seats) -small ( seats) 75% 56% Teaching -large flat floor teaching areas (non-theatre) -classrooms -tutorial rooms 75% 56% Computer Laboratories 3 75% 56% Laboratories 4 50%75%37.5% Workshops 4 -engineering, metalwork, woodwork, psychology, childrens studies 50%75%37.5% Studios -architecture, painting & drawing, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, printmaking, dance, drama 75% 56% Practice Rooms -dance and music 80%75%60% Meeting Rooms 5 45%75%34% AAPPA Guidelines – Edition.2. (2003)

9 From: Benchmarking a manual for Australian Universities DEET Higher Education Division, February 2000

10 Factors affecting utilisation rates Physical nature of the space, eg. Condition, location, supply of similar facilities, capacity, technological obsolescence, …. Flexibility- the wider range of options on offer in many programs increases difficulty in timetabling space Staffing – sessional or specialist staff availability reduces timetabling options Teaching patterns – these vary by Institution, eg. Practical placements, block delivery of a course on one day, ….

11 Different ways of measuring utilisation There are three main methods for collecting utilisation data: 1. Asking staff members to fill in a form for each teaching period indicating space used and the number of students present 2. Using a timetabling / room booking system to provide class data linked with enrolment data from student admin systems 3. Undertaking a physical audit – normally on the hour check for room use and occupancy over a full week

12 What about office & admin areas ? Some universities have conducted Time Utilisation Surveys of office and administrative areas These surveys are often part of a wider study of the work environment Much of the current thinking is borrowed from the commercial world, particularly from workplace studies of professionals such as lawyers

13 The traditional…

14 Capacity based analysis


16 Drive for greater use to continue.. … the apparent inactivity on university campuses in the summer months has struck some observers as a serious under- utilisation of expensive public facilities. The desire to optimise the use of these facilities, at a time of significant constraints on public funding of universities, has already seen a considerable expansion of summer schools in Australian Universities and proposals for more radical forms of year round teaching.. It is clear the trend towards year-round teaching in Australian Universities will continue. From: The Organisation of the Academic Year. Trends implications and issues, May 2002

17 Where to next ? Universities will increasingly focus on the strategic use of knowledge – knowledge management Transforming information into knowledge – not just information processing but knowledge development – knowledge that supports decision making We will see the merging and increased inter-connectivity between university systems – FM systems with, scheduling & timetabling systems, with student administration systems, with finance systems

18 How we measure space usage and why Garry Bradley, Manager Space Management, RMIT University AAPPA Space Revisited Workshop, 17 March 2003

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