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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. A brief history of utilisation. Concept was developed after WW2 particularly in California Manual for Studies of Space Utilisation in Colleges and

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How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

How we measure space usage and why

Garry Bradley, Manager Space Management, RMIT University

AAPPA Space Revisited Workshop, 17 March 2003


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

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.


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

California Legislature established the

Strayer Committee, 1948

Amongst the questions pursued by the Strayer Committee were:

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?


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

A brief history of utilisation - Australia

  • In mid-1970’s 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


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

A brief history of utilisation - Australia

  • 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

  • AAPPA’s 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’


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

Some not-so-basic standards - what is a day ?

  • Length of a day: an international survey conducted for RMIT

  • in the late 1990’s 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


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

Utilisation rates

  • There has been a discernible increase in utilisation standards

  • for general learning spaces since the earliest literature was

  • published in the 1960’s, 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


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

AAPPA Guidelines – Edition.2. (2003)


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

From:

Benchmarking a manual for Australian Universities

DEET Higher Education Division, February 2000


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

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, ….


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

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


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

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


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

The traditional…


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

Capacity based analysis


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

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


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

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


How we measure space usage and why garry bradley manager space management rmit university

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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