Space Allocation

Introduction

Decisions regarding the allocation of space should be neither arbitrary nor capricious, thus the need for well defined guidelines to assist in these difficult decisions. In order to provide space that meets the teaching, research and service mission of the institution, UAF must ensure that university space is used in a manner that is consistent with a well-defined set of guidelines.

UAF supports the practice of de-centralized space management, in the belief that individual units can best manage their day-to-day space needs. However, assignment of space is neither permanent nor does it confer ownership of space. Reassignment of space and/or buildings may be necessary at any given time in order to better serve the university mission. Senior administration can re-allocate space to meet programmatic, fiscal or other needs.

The university is also committed to establishing functional adjacencies for units whenever practical and feasible. Specific examples include engineering programs housed in the Duckering Building and rural and Alaska Native programs in the Brooks Building. Maximizing the effective use of space is an overarching goal, with shared use and multipurpose rooms becoming increasingly common.   Conversely, dedicated spaces are being reduced when a single use or user is unnecessary.

Administrative responsibility for space management is housed under the Office of the Provost, assigned specifically to the University Planner (UP). In addition to maintaining the facility database, the unit is responsible for long range space planning, responding to and prioritizing space requests, temporary space assignments related to building projects, monitoring space use, campus master planning, and similar tasks. The UP is not responsible for academic and non-academic scheduling. The Registrar’s Office and the Wood Center Scheduling Office carry out this function, respectively.   The UP does not manage off-campus leases although may be directly involved in discussions about units moving off campus.

Good stewardship of UAF space is the responsibility of every individual and unit that uses this valuable resource. All faculty, staff and students must abide by current fire and building codes. Inappropriate or non-compliant use of space can result in closure of specific areas and/or space re-assignment.

Space Standards
Space standards are intended to serve as a guideline for determining current and future utilization. Given the wide variations in building design on campus, it is impossible to impose a one-size-fits-all standard. Space standards provide a purely quantitative measurement that can be used to determine space allocations, particularly for new buildings. Using space standards alone to determine functional adequacy of space is inappropriate. Functional adequacy must be determined through qualitative analysis that involves both the current condition of the space, the appropriateness of the function to the available space, and the assigned user’s requirements.   In recent years, UAF has used the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) “Space Planning for Institutions of Higher Education” when planning new construction.

Space Assignment

Virtually all space on campus is assigned to specific units, with the exception of areas under construction, renovation, or out of service. All common, non-assigned space is overseen by Facilities Services (ex. corridors, lavatories, shaft space, stairways). Space assignments are based on a number of factors, including but not limited to: programmatic requirements and special functions; faculty, staff and student headcount; funded research projects; and adjacencies to units with similar functions.

Individual units are expected to utilize their assigned space effectively and efficiently, adhering to the basic guidelines as set forth in this document. Assignments within designated space are the purview of each unit. However, periodic space audits (in addition to the Functional Use Survey) may be carried out by the University Planner to ensure that best practices are being followed. Any physical modifications to assigned space must go through a two-part process that begins with the submission of a Space Request Form as well as the Facilities Services Electronic Work Order Form ( EWORF ) prior to any work being conducted.

All units with assigned space are required to complete the Functional Use Survey that is conducted by UA Statewide on a biennial basis. This survey involves completing all information related to the unit’s assigned space, including use and classifications of the space, occupant, fiscal code assigned to the user(s), functional use percentages, and any changes related to the categories since the last survey.

Major changes in space allocation or configuration, such as closing a building, new construction, or programmatic focus of a building’s users, require review and comment by the appropriate school or college dean/directors, senior administration and the Master Planning Committee.

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