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Facilities and Premises Guidelines - Space Management

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This guideline supports the Facilities and Premises Policy and sets out the rules, expectations and responsibilities in relation to Charles Sturt University (the University)’s facilities and premises. 

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

(3) The guidelines are intended to:

  1. support standardisation of types, sizes and quality of facilities to promote equity and consistency across organisational units and campuses,
  2. ensure effective and efficient utilisation of University space resources, and
  3. form a basis for the Facilities and Premises Procedure - Space Management to be followed in relation to the assignment of space and the relocation of staff.


(4) Refer to the Facilities and Premises Policy and Facilities and Premises Procedure - Space Management.

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Section 2 - Policy

(5) Refer to the Facilities and Premises Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedure

(6) Refer to the Facilities and Premises Procedure - Space Management.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

Office and workspace allocations

(7) Workspace allocations for academic, professional/general employees and research students are based on the following table:

Employee/student type
Normal workspace allocation
Full time academic staff
An enclosed office, although it may be necessary for some staff to share offices.
Associate lecturers
Shared or individual office accommodation, either enclosed or open-plan, except where an associate lecturer, by virtue of duties and responsibilities, has a demonstrated need for individual office space.
Academic staff on fractional appointments
Shared enclosed office or workspace as appropriate to their working hours, tasks and duties, or hot desk arrangements.
Academic staff on fractional appointments below 0.5 FTE
Where possible, will be provided with access to shared office facilities as appropriate to their working hours, tasks and duties.
Casual academic staff
May be given access to a hot desk, or other workspace if required and appropriate to their work.
Emeritus professors and adjunct staff
No allocated workspace. May be provided with access to a hot desk if required and appropriate. Exceptions may be made where they carry out work of significant and assessable value to the University or are subject to a previous agreement, either of which is endorsed by the Executive Dean.
Full-time professional/general staff
An allocated workspace in open-plan areas, or may be allocated an individual office if it is appropriate to their task and there is a demonstrated need.
Part-time professional/general staff 
An allocated workspace in open-plan areas.
Higher degree by research candidates, postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers
As required, lab space, shared office accommodation or write-up space where circumstances allow or where a previous agreement is in place.
Honours students
No allocated workspace. 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.

(8) 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 that require quiet space away from open-plan areas.

(9) 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 organisational unit should ensure personal effects are removed from the site or stored at an appropriate location for the duration of the absence.

(10) 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.

Office and workspace types 

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

Enclosed space 

(12) Enclosed space refers to a workspace for one or more individuals that is suitable for activities that are confidential, demand a lot of concentration, or include many small meetings.

(13) 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

(14) Open plan spaces provide a flexible space layout where 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. 

(15) Open plan spaces can accommodate multiple occupants at workstations and should be supported by adjacent breakout rooms to support quiet working as required.

Hot desks

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

(17) 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

(18) Allocated research spaces should be shared between faculties/schools or disciplines where possible.

(19) New and refurbished spaces allocated for research purposes should, where possible and appropriate, be flexible, adaptable and well-utilised to achieve higher occupancy rates.

(20) 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 through consultation with faculties and schools.

Shared and support space types

Meeting rooms

(21) Meeting rooms will generally serve an office complex and are used primarily for staff meetings and organisational activities including public functions.  Adequate meeting rooms shall be provided for all staff based on demonstrated need.

(22) Meeting rooms are typically equipped with tables and chairs and may contain basic audio-visual equipment and administrative video conferencing facilities. Meeting rooms may be configured similar to classrooms in terms of furniture but are generally not equipped with teaching technology and infrastructure that is present in dedicated teaching spaces. Meeting rooms should not be used for learning and teaching activities as they may not provide a positive student experience.

Quiet space

(23) Quiet spaces are normally a small, non-bookable meeting or work area to support working by staff, students and visitors normally located in open-plan spaces. These spaces may also be used as a hot desk.

Video conferencing spaces (learning and teaching/administrative)

(24) Adequate space for video conferencing facilities will be provided for both learning and teaching (interactive video teaching) and administrative use (administrative video conferencing). The Division of Information Technology will determine the requirements for video conferencing technologies.

Print spaces

(25) Adequate copying and printing facilities will be provided for staff, based on demonstrated need and business case. Where possible, these facilities will be shared and will not be located in an otherwise usable space such as an office.

General storage space

(26) Organisational units will generally have access to limited storage space in their geographic area and should manage the storage of items within these spaces.

(27) Organisational units must ensure that document storage spaces adhere to the Records Management Policy if applicable, and should seek to implement processes and practices to minimise the need to retain physical documents.

(28) 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.

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

(30) Where additional storage space is required or where an organisation unit wants to increase storage space by conversion of an otherwise useable space, such as an office, the Facilities Management (FM) must be consulted.

Parenting rooms

(31) The University will take reasonable steps to provide dedicated parenting rooms. These will be dedicated spaces and while they may be utilised infrequently, cannot be altered or used for other purposes without prior discussion with and approval by FM.

Staff rooms

(32) Access to kitchenettes will be provided for groups of staff and postgraduate students as appropriate. Depending on the size and layout of existing buildings, different groups of staff, students and tenants 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.

(33) Lunchrooms, 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

(34) 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 group/s.

Toilets, showers and changing facilities

(35) In new buildings, all toilet facilities (including accessible facilities) will be:

  1. provided in accordance with the National Construction Code (NCC) (formerly BCA), and
  2. shared by all building users. Separate facilities for staff will not be provided unless deemed appropriate based on function and requirement.

(36) 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, research, student and social spaces

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

(38) 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. Refer to the Timetable Policy and associated information.

Lecture theatres

(39) Lecture theatres are stepped floor or tiered spaces used for learning and teaching. They are equipped with fixed tables and chairs or chairs with tablets and are generally not tied to a specific subject or discipline.

(40) These spaces may:

  1. be identified as lecture theatres, lecture halls, lecture rooms or auditoriums,
  2. include a podium, stage, backrooms, control room, breakout rooms and other support spaces,
  3. contain standard to high-end multimedia/audio-visual equipment, lecture capture and/or interactive video teaching (IVT) equipment to deliver a consistent student learning experience, and
  4. be used for other activities such as University or community seminars and conferences, although they are generally reserved for learning and teaching purposes.

Flat floor teaching spaces

(41) Flat floor teaching spaces are rooms or spaces used primarily for learning and teaching that are not configured for a specific purpose and are not stepped or tiered.

(42) Flat floor teaching spaces include rooms or spaces generally used for timetabled learning and teaching activities that require no special, restrictive equipment or configuration. These spaces may:

  1. be identified as lecture rooms, seminar rooms, general purpose classrooms or tutorial rooms,
  2. be equipped with tablet arm chairs, table and chairs, or similar type of seating,
  3. contain standard multimedia equipment and lecture capture or IVT equipment used to deliver a consistent student learning experience, and
  4. 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

(43) Computer laboratories are 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.

(44) Computer Laboratories are timetabled general or specialist spaces for groups or individuals that require access to a computing environment. These spaces may be:

  1. general computing spaces configured with benches or tables with computers and standard multimedia equipment and lecture capture or IVT equipment used to deliver a consistent student learning experience, or
  2. specialised computing spaces with non-standard hardware configurations, specialised or customised software, or space needs that are not provided centrally.

(45) Outside of timetabled hours, general computing spaces are open for individual or group work on a non-scheduled, walk-in basis.

Specialist laboratories

(46) Specialist laboratories are spaces used by regularly scheduled classes that require special purpose environments and/or equipment for student participation, experimentation, observation or practice in a field of study.

(47) 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 (e.g. pharmacy, medical imaging, dentistry, human movement), field buildings (e.g. shearing shed, greenhouse, equine arena) and sporting facilities (e.g. gymnasium, oval, aquatic centre).

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

Studio and performance spaces

(49) Studio and performance spaces are spaces specially equipped and/or designed for use for individual or group experimentation, observation, practice or study in a particular field of study.

(50) These spaces are used for media production (e.g. TV, sound, photo multimedia and radio studios), visual arts (e.g. fine arts, textile and design studios) and performing arts (e.g. drama studios, theatre and playhouses).

Learning commons, informal learning space and social space

(51) Shared multi-purpose informal learning 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.

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

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

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Section 5 - Glossary

(54) This guideline uses terms as defined in the Facilities and Premises Policy and Facilities and Premises Procedure - Space Management.