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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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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
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?
Benchmarking a manual for Australian Universities
DEET Higher Education Division, February 2000
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
“… 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