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Space Management Policy and Procedure

Policy overview

1 Purpose

To effectively plan, manage and control University accommodation and space.

2 Scope

Applies to all University owned buildings and facilities.

3 Policy Statement

All space will be defined as University space

  • Central coordination of space at portfolio level minimising fragmentation
  • Space solutions in accordance with statutory and UniSQ design standards
  • Efficient and cost effective use and management of space to meet the strategic needs of the University
  • Apply sound business rationale to space decisions
  • Space allocation and development will be consistent with (Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (TEFMA) space benchmarks
  • Provide quality learning and working environments that reflect sector current values
  • Create comfortable and safe space environments supportive of study and work modes
  • Space that is flexible minimising churn and user responsive expressing corporate values
  • All space developments, new requests and changes managed by Facilities Management
  • Projects based on demonstrated need aligned with the University's Strategic Plan
  • Identify opportunities for external revenue and wider community engagement
  • Green building principles considered in all new builds and refurbishments
  • Master plan around the central hub concept using key pathways
  • Vibrancy and diversity of open spaces.

4 Procedures

4.1 Space Planning and Allocation Methodology

The starting position for space allocation will be based on establishment and space benchmarks. Allocation higher than the UniSQ rate will be considered for approval by the Executive Director (Facilities Management) based on the business need. The space needs of the University and its organisational units are calculated using a computerised space planning system which draws its inputs from existing data and planning estimates of:

  • Staff (FTE);
  • Student Load (EFTSU);
  • Discipline mix Research activity.

In addition to the above, Facilities Management will consider industry best practice, including open planning, function clustering, space flexibility, and maximising shared use etc.

Space allocation, development and utilisation will be consistent with clearly defined parameters as set out in (TEFMA) Space Planning Guidelines

The Space Planning Model provides an indication of the space needs in the following general categories of space for each organisational unit (as appropriate):

  • Office space for both academic offices and administrative functions. This includes individual office space and open plan office space as well as the support spaces which are associated with these spaces, e.g. utility rooms, tea rooms etc.;
  • Specialist space required by a faculty or division to fulfil its functions. Such space includes specialist teaching space e.g. laboratories, computing spaces, and studios;
  • Research space;
  • Higher Degree by Research (HDR) and post-graduate, non-laboratory space;
  • Common teaching space e.g. Lecture Theatres, Seminar and Tutorial Rooms and Learning Centres;
  • Common meeting rooms;
  • Library space.

The Model also provides for further categories of space according to function and type which go beyond the common categories mentioned above. Space generally falls into two categories for allocation and management purposes.

4.1.1 Assigned Space

Space which is assigned to a faculty/school/department/division (an element) and is operationally managed by that element. This space generally comprises office space, specialist space and research space. Library space is also included in this category, and;

4.1.2 Corporate Space

Space which is retained centrally and which is managed by one or more elements of the University on behalf of all the elements of the University. This space generally comprises Common Teaching Space, Common Meeting Rooms, circulation spaces, corridors and services areas. Space which is vacant and unassigned falls into this category.

4.2 Overall Space Allocation

The Executive Director (Facilities Management) is responsible for the overall assignment of space within the University and will consult with University elements as necessary. Deans, Faculty/Department Managers, Heads of Schools shall manage the Assigned Space under their control in accordance with the performance targets contained within this policy and report to Facilities Management any areas of regular under utilisation.

4.2.1 Office Space for Academic and General Staff

Space for Academic and General Staff Offices will be assigned generally at the Faculty or Department/Division level.

Any reallocation within the Department/Faculty or Department/Division between Schools or Departments will be the responsibility of the Dean or Executive Director/Group Manager (as appropriate). Advice will be available from Facilities Management about relativities in space allocations which exist and possible solutions which might be applied.

4.2.2 Research Space

The allocation of space within research laboratories will be on a time-limited basis, that is, research activities will be assigned the use of the space for a predetermined period which is the expected life of the project or research grant with automatic expiry of the tenancy at the end of the period unless the project receives continuing finance.

Any extension of this period will only be for a further fixed period expressly approved by the Dean after consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation).

A Space Management Agreement should be put in place at the beginning of any period for which space is assigned to a research activity. The Space Management Agreement should include the following:

  • A description of the Project for which the space is assigned or the Research Centre to which the space is assigned;
  • The parties to the agreement including any General Staff Departments/Divisions where appropriate;
  • The period of the assignment and any subsequent extensions and reassignments;
  • The roles and responsibilities of the parties including responsibility for:
    • Security and access;
    • Workplace health and safety and other regulatory compliance within the space;
    • Equipment acquisition and management;
    • Training of users in laboratory/studio procedures.

If a Faculty requires any research space to be upgraded, refurbished or altered because of a change in the occupancy, function or direction, the Faculty shall be responsible for the funding of such work. Funds for these minor works in research space are only available through Faculty funding sources, which might include Faculty or Research Centre income or through the University's Capital Asset Management Plan.

Any requests for such work to be funded through the Capital Asset Management Plan must be submitted to the Executive Director (Facilities Management) no later than end of May for inclusion in the Capital Asset Management bid for the following three year plan. Inclusion in the bid however, does not guarantee that funds will be assigned.

The Faculties should consult with the service divisions as appropriate about services which might be required to be provided to the Research Space.

4.2.3 HDR or post-graduate non-laboratory space

HDR non-laboratory space shall be assigned to the Deans for management across their Faculty. The Faculties shall be responsible for the equipment and resource needs of their Faculty HDR space including the provision of any furniture additional to the original allocation.

4.2.4 Reassignment of Space

All movements are required to be coordinated by Facilities Management. All new general space or vacated space may be “bid for” and such bids will be assessed and allocated by Facilities Management using the guidelines within this policy.

Deans or Executive Directors/Group Managers may reassign space within their Faculty or Department/Division provided that space used for a particular function is not assigned for a different function e.g. staff office reassigned for research laboratory. If a different function is being considered, then any plans should be discussed with and approved by the Executive Director (Facilities Management).

Reassignment of space between elements within the same Faculty or Department/Division must be reported to the Executive Director (Facilities Management) before it occurs. In all cases where major reassignments of space are to occur on any campus, negotiations should involve the Executive Director (Facilities Management), Faculty Deans, Campus Director or Provost so that a University-wide perspective can be developed and maintained.

Facilities Management will retain the Corporate Space but may assign the management of the space to other elements as indicated:

  • Common Teaching Space is assigned by Facilities Management and is timetabled by Student Administrative and Academic Support;
  • Timetabled computing laboratories are assigned to Facilities Management and are managed and maintained by the Division of ICT Services;
  • Common Meeting Rooms are assigned to and maintained by Facilities Management and are managed by Division of ICT Services.

Facilities Management will assume control of any vacated space and will ensure its efficient reallocation. This may include seeking submissions for its use or recommending its reallocation to meet a known need.

4.2.5 Dispute Resolution

Where a disagreement over space allocation or use cannot be resolved through the Executive Director or Facilities Management, the matter may be referred to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise Services).

4.3 Leasing

The University is entitled to lease space to and from external organisations subject to any applicable provisions of the University of Southern Queensland Act

All enquiries regarding leasing, whether as lessee or lessor, are in the first instance to be directed to the Executive Director (Facilities Management) who is responsible for the co-ordination, negotiation and allocation of space.

Where the University is acting as the Lessor, rent levels will normally be based on current market valuation, but may be discounted (subject to any applicable provisions of the Land Act 1994) where there is a definable benefit for the University in having the tenant on-campus. Where it is considered that such a benefit exists then the tenant sponsor should submit a request for rent discount to the Executive Director (Facilities Management), describing the benefit to the University in hosting the tenant.

4.4 Space Performance and Targets

Facilities Management will conduct regular audits of all space to ensure that space is being utilised to its potential and to establish the need for upgrade or modification as may be required. The results of these audits will be provided to element managers with a view to improving space performance. The key performance indicator will be the Utilisation Rate.

The Utilisation Rate target is 35%. This is the product of the Frequency and Occupancy Rates.

The Frequency Rate is defined as the number of hours the space was in use expressed as a percentage of the available teaching week, typically 50 hours. The target for frequency is 60%.

The Occupancy Rate is defined as the number of people using the room expressed as a percentage of the space capacity. The target for occupancy is 60%.

4.5 Procedural changes

All enquiries regarding proposed changes in space utilisation or planned requests for additional space are to be directed to the Executive Director (Facilities Management) using the Space Request pro forma available via the UniSQ Intranet.

Deans and Executive Directors/Group Managers should be aware that even the smallest re-assignment takes time to progress. The creation of new space, if approved, may take up to three (3) to five (5) years.

5 References


6 Schedules

This policy must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Policy Information

Accountable Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise Services)

Responsible Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise Services)

Policy Type

Executive Policy

Policy Suite

Subordinate Schedules

Approved Date


Effective Date


Review Date

Relevant Legislation

Policy Exceptions

Policy Exceptions Register

Related Policies

Hire of Facilities Policy and Procedure

Related Procedures

Related forms, publications and websites


Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Definitions that relate to this policy only


Space management, offices, relocation, renovation

Record No


Complying with the law and observing Policy and Procedure is a condition of working and/or studying at the University.

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