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Space Management Guidelines

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) These Guidelines outline the University's definition of space types, categories and allocation standards. They are to be used to inform of new developments, refurbishments and opportunities for change.

(2) The Guidelines are intended to:

  1. support standardisation of types, sizes and quality of facilities to promote equity and consistency across functional units and campuses;
  2. ensure effective and efficient utilisation of University space resources; and
  3. form a basis for the procedures to be followed in relation to the assignment of space and the relocation of staff.


(3) These Guidelines are only applicable to Australian premises of the University and apply to all built space resources within University owned, controlled or leased buildings and spaces, whether on campus or off-campus.

(4) These Guidelines are highly applicable to new buildings and should be consulted to assist in the planning and design process. It is recognised that applicability to the current as-built environment at the University is significantly less however these Guidelines should be consulted where realistic for refurbishments of existing buildings and spaces.

(5) The exceptions to this are those spaces allocated to Residence Life deemed as the accommodation assets of Residence Life, the CSU Farm and CSU Winery.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(6) For the purposes of this Guideline:

  1. Agreed Allocation - means the space(s) assigned by the Division of Facilities Management to particular Faculties, Schools, Divisions, Offices, Centres and Enterprises and third parties to support work, research, learning and teaching activities. Agreed Allocations are subject to the responsibilities required to adequately manage the space as outlined in this Guideline and the Space Management Policy, Space Management Procedure and facilitate use of space by the Division of Facilities Management to meet organisational needs.
  2. Breakout Space - is a small, non bookable, meeting or work area to support working by staff, students and visitors normally located in open-plan spaces.
  3. Computer Laboratories - are defined as spaces designed for and equipped with computing equipment / infrastructure for the purposes of information-technology driven participation, experimentation, observation or practice in a field of study.
  4. Enclosed Space - refers to an enclosed work space for person(s), suitable for activities which are confidential, demand a lot of concentration or include many small meetings.
  5. Flat Floor Teaching Spaces - are defined as a room or space used primarily for learning and teaching and which is generally not tied to a specific subject or discipline by equipment in the room or the configuration of the space. By definition, Flat Floor Teaching spaces are not tiered or stepped spaces.
  6. Functional Unit - refers to a Faculty, School, Division or Unit. In terms of space management, Functional Units may be divided into manageable groups (ie by campus).
  7. Hot Desk - means a desk that is not assigned to a particular staff member, but rather is available for use and can be utilised by a visiting staff member whenever they are required to be in the office.
  8. Lecture Theatres - are defined as a stepped floor or tiered space used for learning and teaching and which is generally not tied to a specific subject or discipline and equipped with fixed tables and chairs or chairs with tablets.
  9. Meeting Rooms - are spaces generally serving an office complex and used primarily for staff meetings and organisational activities including public functions.
  10. Open Plan Space - means a flexible method of space layout where divisions between separate areas are implied by easily movable elements (such as screens and skeletal construction components, and modular furniture) instead of being defined by permanent walls and fixed shape furniture.
  11. Primary Custodian - is when a built space is occupied by more than one group (Faculty, School, Division or Unit) and the group with the largest representative presence shall be deemed the Primary Custodian.
  12. Relocation - refers to the process by which a person, group or activity is moved from one location to another. It can include associated activities such as space reassignment, modification of space or spaces to suit the new user/use, changeover of communications services (telephone and data), and physical movement of room contents.
  13. Space - means a potentially exploitable area controlled wholly or partly by the University that supports the strategic direction of the organisation.
  14. Space Audit - means the process by which data is collected/updated either by a physical count or desktop exercise. The information collected as the product of room audits may include information on room type, room use/function, current occupants, capacity, etc.
  15. Specialist Laboratories - are defined as spaces used by regularly scheduled classes which require special purpose environment and/or equipment for student participation, experimentation, observation or practice in a field of study.
  16. Studio and Performance Spaces - are defined as spaces specially equipped and/or designed for use for individual or group experimentation, observation, practice or study in a particular field of study.
  17. University Premises - includes any land which is owned, controlled, managed or occupied by CSU together with any building, construction or facility of any kind (whether permanent or temporary) on that land and also includes any other building, construction or facility which is under the control, management or occupation by the University.
  18. Utilisation - is the measurement of the use of a particular space which takes into account number of students, number of seats available and the hours of use per week.
  19. Write-up Space - means non assigned workspace for the purpose of writing up as part of the research process.
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Section 3 - Policy

(7) Refer to the Space Management Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedure

(8) Refer to the Space Management Procedure.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

Office and Work Space

(9) New developments should facilitate increased utilisation and should ideally incorporate a mix of work spaces to reflect changing work practices and patterns. These may include areas for collaborative work such as casual meeting areas, co-located workstations and group work tables, and areas which support contemplation or concentration, such as enclosed breakout rooms for individual work tasks or small group meetings.

(10) No staff member is to be allocated the use of more than one designated individual office space. Staff having responsibilities on more than one campus or functional unit must nominate their 'base campus' or 'home building'. Subject to availability, and the allocation standards detailed in this guideline, an office space will be allocated for their use only on the nominated campus. At any other campus, these staff may use a hot desk or shared workspace facility in an area designated for that purpose.

(11) Upon appointment to an alternate role for a fixed term e.g. Head of School, a member of staff may move into the office or space designated for that position; his/her previous office would then be vacated and available for re-allocation for the period concerned.

(12) Full time academic staff will normally be provided with an enclosed office allocated to that individual, although it may be necessary for some staff to share offices.

(13) Associate Lecturers will generally have access to shared or individual office accommodation, either enclosed or open-plan, the possible exception being in those cases where an Associate Lecturer, by virtue of duties and responsibilities, has a demonstrated need for individual office space.

(14) Academic staff on fractional appointments may be required to share an enclosed office or workspace as appropriate to their working hours, tasks and duties, and may be required to Hot Desk.

(15) Academic staff on fractional appointments below 0.5 FTE will be, where possible, provided with access to shared office facilities as appropriate to their working hours, tasks and duties.

(16) Casual academic staff may be given access to a hot desk, or other workspace if required and appropriate to their work.

(17) Emeritus Professors and adjunct staff will not normally be provided with an individually assigned office or workstation, unless they carry out work of significant and assessable value to the University or are subject to a previous agreement, but may be provided with access to a hot desk if required and appropriate.

(18) Senior professional/general staff may be provided with an individually assigned, enclosed office if this is appropriate to their task and a need is demonstrated. Other professional/general staff will generally not be provided with an individually assigned office unless a need is demonstrated or the current building configuration supports this. Confidentiality of conversations or material will be taken into consideration but may be able to be addressed through other means than individual cellular offices.

(19) Full time professional/general staff will normally work in open-plan areas, but may be allocated an enclosed office if appropriate.

(20) Part time professional/general staff will generally be required to share office space.

(21) Where staff are required to work in open-plan offices, small bookable or non-bookable 'breakout' rooms shall be provided adjacent to the open-plan space for the purpose of small group meetings or to support work tasks which require quiet space away from open-plan areas.

(22) Staff on research, study or extended leave for a period of up to six months must release their office space for use by others while they are absent from the University. The staff member and their Functional Unit should ensure personal effects are removed from site or stored at an appropriate location for the duration of the absence.

(23) Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates, postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers will have access to appropriate space, i.e. lab space, shared office accommodation or write-up space, where circumstances allow or where a previous agreement is in place.

(24) Honours students will not normally be entitled to office space and will be expected to utilise those shared study spaces provided on campus through Learning Commons and other initiatives. However, students in a laboratory-based discipline may be provided with access to a shared write-up space outside of a laboratory environment subject to availability.

(25) Offices will generally not be provided with space for private meetings or tutorials. It is expected that staff will use bookable meeting space for this purpose where available.

Enclosed space

(26) Enclosed and partially enclosed spaces are surrounded on all sides by full-height or part-height walls. Enclosed offices may be allocated to an individual or shared between two or more staff, depending on size and the nature of working patterns, tasks, etc.

Open plan space

(27) Open plan are spaces with no or few internal dividing walls and which can accommodate multiple occupants at workstations. Some definition or demarcation of space may be achieved through movable screens or partitions or by furniture layout. Open plan office accommodation should be supported by adjacent breakout rooms to support quiet working as required.

Hot desk

(28) Hot desks are generally a reserved allocation of workstations or offices, attached to a particular functional unit or as part of a larger commons, which are not allocated to an individual, but which are available on a casual basis for use by part-time and visiting staff.

(29) Hot desks are ideally used in places where not all the employees are in the office at the same time, or where they are not in the office for long periods of time, which would otherwise mean individually assigned offices would be vacant for a considerable percentage of the time, consuming valuable space and resources.

Research space

(30) For research purposes, the sharing of space between Faculties/Schools or disciplines will be encouraged where possible.

(31) New and refurbished space for the purpose of research should, where possible and appropriate, be flexible, adaptable and well-utilised to achieve higher occupancy rates.

(32) Research laboratory space allocation is a complex issue and depends on a range of factors outside of the scope of this Guideline. These spaces will be assessed on an individual basis though consultation with Faculties and Schools.

Shared and Support Spaces

Meeting rooms

(33) Adequate meeting rooms shall be provided for all staff based on demonstrated need.

Video conferencing spaces (learning and teaching/administrative)

(34) Adequate space for video conferencing facilities will be provided for both learning and teaching (Interactive Video Teaching) and administrative use (Administrative Video Conferencing). Provision of video conference technologies will be aligned with the University strategy for Video Conferencing managed by the Division of Information Technology.

Print rooms

(35) Adequate copying and printing facilities shall be provided for staff, based on demonstrated need and business case. Where possible, these facilities should be located in a dedicated reprographic room or area and not in an otherwise usable space such as an office. Current technology no longer requires printers to be in a secure space.

General storage space

(36) Functional units will generally have access to limited storage space in their geographic area, and should manage the storage of items in accordance with the University policies referenced in this Guideline to ensure these areas are correctly managed.

(37) Efficiency of document storage space, through adhearance to the Records Management Policy if applicable or by other initiatives, such as compactus storage systems which require less floor space than traditional filing cabinets, is encouraged.

(38) Commonly accessed documents, books and periodicals should be stored in central areas such as staff common rooms, but not necessarily in a dedicated room or space.

(39) Functional units should attempt to manage storage centrally as opposed to multiple smaller spaces where circumstances allow.

(40) Where additional storage space is required or where a School or Division wants to increase storage space by conversion of an otherwise useable space, such as an office, the Division of Facilities Management (DFM) must be consulted.

First aid rooms

(41) All campuses will, in accordance with University policy, have a first aid room. This will be a dedicated space and while it will be utilised infrequently, it cannot be altered or used for other purposes without prior discussion with and approval by Division of Facilities Management (DFM).

Parenting rooms

(42) In accordance with University policy, a dedicated parenting room for breastfeeding and related activities will be provided upon request. This will be a dedicated space and while it will be utilised infrequently, it cannot be altered or used for other purposes without prior discussion with and approval by the Division of Facilities Management.

Staff rooms

(43) Access to kitchenettes will be provided for groups of staff and post graduate students as appropriate. Depending on the size and layout of existing buildings, different functional groups may be required to share kitchenettes. Normally, there will be one shared kitchenette per building, but this may vary with circumstances. The provision of cooking equipment such as toasters and toaster ovens will only be permitted in suitable spaces where dedicated exhaust ventilation is provided.

(44) Lunch rooms, staff rooms, common rooms or similar passive recreation spaces may be provided for academic and professional/general staff in certain circumstances to achieve agreed University objectives.

Multi-faith and prayer rooms

(45) The University will endeavour to provide a multi-faith and prayer room on each campus for the use of both students and staff. Given the constraints on space within the University, these rooms will not be for the exclusive use of one, or some groups.

Toilets, showers and changing facilities

(46) Toilets, including accessible facilities, in new buildings will be provided in accordance with the National Construction Code (NCC) (formerly BCA).

(47) In new buildings, all toilet facilities will be shared by all building users. Separate facilities for staff will not be provided unless deemed appropriate based on function and requirement.

(48) Showers and changing facilities are to be provided on each campus. These will be shared facilities to support a particular precinct or zone on campus and may be located in a recreation facility such as a gymnasium, or as part of a bike storage complex.

Learning and Teaching Space, Research Space and Student and Social Spaces

(49) New and refurbished learning and teaching space should, where possible, be flexible, adaptable and well-utilised to achieve higher occupancy rates where appropriate.

(50) All learning and teaching spaces should be centrally timetabled so that utilisation can be measured. Some spaces may be booked only by selected groups based on specialisation. Please refer to the Timetable Policy and associated information.

Lecture theatres

(51) Learning and teaching space specifically configured in stepped or tiered floor-plan and fixed furniture. These spaces may be identified as lecture theatres, lecture halls, lecture rooms or auditoriums and may include a podium, stage, backrooms, control room, breakout rooms and other support Spaces. These spaces will contain standard to high-end multimedia/audio-visual equipment, lecture capture and/or Interactive Video Teaching (IVT) equipment used to deliver a consistent student learning experience. Lecture theatres are generally used for general learning and teaching, but may be also used for other activities such as University or community seminars and conferences.

Flat floor teaching spaces

(52) Includes rooms or spaces generally used for timetabled learning and teaching which require no special, restrictive equipment or configuration. These spaces may be identified as lecture rooms, seminar rooms, general purpose classrooms or tutorial rooms. A flat floor teaching space may be equipped with tablet arm chairs, table and chairs, or similar type of seating. These spaces will generally contain standard multimedia equipment and lecture capture or Interactive Video Teaching (IVT) equipment used to deliver a consistent student learning experience. A flat floor teaching space may be furnished with special equipment (e.g. music equipment, reconfigurable furniture, interactive technology) appropriate to a specific area of study, if this equipment does not render the space unsuitable for use by classes in other areas of study.

Computer laboratories

(53) Computer Laboratories are timetabled general or specialist Spaces for groups or individuals that require access to a computing environment. Typically configured with benches or tables with computers and standard multimedia equipment and lecture capture or Interactive Video Teaching (IVT) equipment used to deliver a consistent student learning experience. Outside of timetabled hours, general computing spaces are open for individual or group work on a non-scheduled, walk-in basis. Specialised computing spaces typically provide non-standard hardware configurations, specialised or customised software, or space needs that are not provided centrally.

Specialist laboratories

(54) A class laboratory is designed and/or furnished with specialised equipment to serve the needs of a particular area of study for group instruction in regularly scheduled classes. The design, environment and/or equipment in such a space normally precludes its use for other areas of study. Included in this category are spaces generally referred to as teaching laboratories, clinical spaces (pharmacy, medical imaging, dentistry, human movement, etc), field buildings (shearing shed, green house, equine arena, etc), sporting facility (gymnasium, oval, aquatic centre), etc.

(55) The sharing of laboratory space between schools or disciplines will be encouraged where possible.

Studio and performance spaces

(56) Includes spaces used for media production (TV, sound, photo multimedia and radio studios) and visual arts (fine arts, textile and design studios) and performing arts (drama studios, theatre and playhouses).

Meeting rooms

(57) Meeting rooms are typically equipped with tables and chairs and may contain basic audio-visual equipment and administrative video conferencing facilities. The space is generally used by a specific functional unit or office area and/or for general purposes such as community or campus group meetings not associated with a particular functional unit. Meeting rooms may be configured similar classrooms in terms of furniture but the majority are generally not equipped with teaching technology and infrastructure that is present in dedicated teaching spaces. It is therefore recommended that reeting rooms are not used for learning and teaching activities as they may not provide outcomes aligned with the student experience.

Learning Commons, study space and social space

(58) Shared multi-purpose study and social space for undergraduate students, postgraduate students and staff is generally provided through Learning Commons initiatives and is to be considered for inclusion in other capital works projects.

(59) Where possible, spaces, either formal or informal, should be provided which are suitable for students to work, meet and socialise together.

(60) Where possible, the spaces identified above should be attached to a particular functional unit or primary custodian through agreement or delegation. This will encourage custodianship and appropriate management to achieve greater utilisation.

Places of Design (PODs) to support Learning and Teaching

(61) Facilities where Division of Learning and Teaching staff and academics can work together on planning design and development of educational resources and for professional developments particularly around educational technology.

(62) The PODs are bookable by any University staff member through the email system for learning and teaching design work.