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Space Management Allocation Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure outlines how space is managed and allocated at the University of Newcastle (University) and should be read in conjunction with the Space Management Policy and Interior Design Guidelines.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This procedure applies to the allocation of all University-owned or leased land or buildings and should be complied with when:

  1. requesting and allocating new space;
  2. refurbishing space;
  3. making a request for additional space; and
  4. reviewing existing space allocations.
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Section 3 - Requesting Allocation of Space

(3) All requests for additional space must be made using the Space Assessment Request, which will require endorsement from Head of School / Director (or equivalent) and; in the case of research space, support of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Director, Research Facilities and Infrastructure, or relevant Precinct Management Committees. Endorsed requests will then be subject to approval by the Director, Infrastructure and Facilities Services (DIFS), or their nominee.

(4) The Director, Infrastructure and Facilities Services, or their nominee, will assess each request against the provisions of the Space Management Policy, in consultation with the applicant and impacted stakeholders. The consultative process will consider:

  1. the functional requirements of staff and the size and location of available space;
  2. strategies for work-point sharing as part of flexible working;
  3. utilisation data; and
  4. requirements to enable a safe work environment.

(5) A request for allocation of space that requires capital funding will remain unapproved until the required funding is approved by an authorised delegate.

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Section 4 - Monitoring and Management of Allocated Space

(6) Infrastructure and Facilities Services (IFS) will establish and maintain a register of all University spaces including location, size, use, capacity, and allocation details.

(7) IFS will liaise and consult with Colleges and divisions to undertake periodic reviews of space and to identify spaces that are under-utilised or used for purposes not consistent with the original allocation.

(8) All space to be vacated will require assessment of necessary decommissioning of equipment and facilities prior to departure. IFS will be responsible for re-allocation of vacated spaces.

Research Space

(9) Space resources for research activities are currently allocated at the College or Institute level and managed by the relevant Head of School or Director (or equivalent) who is responsible for the assignment of specialist research space. However, some specialist research spaces, including but not limited to laboratories, workshops, maker spaces, studios and other research-oriented spaces may be subject to allocation by the relevant Precinct Management Committees and/or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) (DVCRI).

(10) Colleges and Institutes will provide an annual report to the DVCRI and the Director, Infrastructure and Facilities Services on the allocation of assigned research space. This report will outline the allocation status of all research spaces, in terms of the relevant Researcher or research team, the expected duration of the allocation and any proposed extensions or new allocations. IFS will provide the template for the research allocation report and ensure that the format of the data is consistent across the University.

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Section 5 - Space Utilisation Benchmarks

(11) The following space utilisation rates outlined in Table 1 are considered a target benchmark for the University to achieve. These targets are considered best practice in the sector and recommended by the Tertiary Education Facilities Management Associate (TEFMA).

Table 1: Space Utilisation Benchmark Rates

Space Type Target Frequency Rate Target Occupancy Rate Target Utilisation Rate
Class and seminar spaces 75% 75% 56%
Computer Laboratories 75% 75% 56%
Laboratories 55% 75% 41%
Workshops – engineering, biology, psychology, architecture 55% 75% 41%
Studios – architecture, painting and drawing, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, printmaking, dance, drama 75% 75% 56%
Practice rooms – dance and music – music 55% 75% 38%
Meeting rooms (including consultation rooms) 75% 75% 56%
Staff work-points 75% 100% 75%
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Section 6 - Terms and Definitions

(12) In the context of this document the following definitions apply:

  1. “efficient” means a measure of space cost per square metre against use;
  2. “target frequency rate” equals the percentage of hours a room is booked in a typical week;
  3. “target occupancy rate” equals the number of people in a room, when in use, divided by the available capacity of that room;
  4. “target utilisation rate” is the product of the frequency and the occupancy rate. Utilisation will be determined by measuring all uses including timetabled activites, ad hoc bookings, events, and scheduled maintenance.