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Space Allocation Guidelines

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) These guidelines provide the University's process for allocating and reallocating space and relocating.

(2) The guidelines are to be read in conjunction with relevant University policies, including the Space Policy.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) For the purpose of these guidelines:

  1. activity-based spaces - may be non-territorial spaces, where people occupy spaces 'on demand'. These spaces may also be allocated to individuals or institutional 'departments.' These spaces may take many forms dependent upon organisational purpose and efficiency. Such configurations could be:
    1. research spaces which have the primary purpose of research or supporting research.
    2. specialist spaces - configuration and design is not suitable for general use.
    3. generalist spaces - configuration and design is suitable for general use.
    4. diverse spaces - configuration and design of a space will allow a variety of work styles.
These spaces include but are not limited to laboratories, workshops, open spaces and/or enclosed spaces.
  1. capital plan- is funding allocated for capital works projects and comprises four key activity categories: Capital Projects; Infrastructure Renewal; Relocation Projects; and Backlog Maintenance.
  2. common teaching space- is general, non-specialised space used for teaching and related activity. All common teaching spaces are timetabled on Syllabus Plus. Typical examples are lecture theatres, lecture rooms, tutorial/seminar rooms. Subsets of common teaching space are computing and information technology laboratories.
  3. conventional closed space - an enclosed space within which 1 to 4 people can work.
  4. entities- are University controlled entities.
  5. external organisations - are separate entities that are not part of the University whose engagement with the University supports the Securing Success 2015-2020 Strategic Plan objectives 6.9 "Build a competitive, efficient and financially sustainable organisation that strikes a balance between quality and affordability in a deregulated higher education market" and 6.11 "Build organisational capacity by leveraging land holdings to increase income and develop new income streams that build on multi-campus and regional advantages".
  6. flexible open spaces - may be non-territorial spaces, where people occupy spaces 'on demand'. These spaces may also be allocated to individuals or institutional 'departments.' These spaces may take many forms dependent upon organisational purpose. Such configurations could be:
    1. workstations which may be partitioned by panels of various heights;
    2. workstations clustered together or separated by open space;
    3. open space.
  7. minor relocations - are relocations that have little or no impact outside the requesting unit and place no demands on the University's capital plan. A minor relocation has the following characteristics:
    1. involves movement within a specific site, and
    2. no change to the function of rooms, and
    3. involves only an individual or a small number of persons or rooms; and
    4. falls within space controlled by a Vice-President or Deputy Vice-Chancellor; and
    5. involves only minor or negligible associated building alterations or refurbishments that are fully funded by the requesting unit.
  8. relocation - is the process whereby a person, unit or activity is moved from one location to another. It includes associated activities such as space reassignment if necessary, modification of space or spaces to suit the new user/use, changeover of IT and telephone, and physical movement of room contents. This activity may place demands on the University's Capital Budget, and may require an Education/Sponsors Brief to be completed and endorsed prior to the relocation taking place.
  9. removal - is the process whereby the contents of a room/workspace (i.e. computer, files, personal library, etc.) are physically moved to another room/workspace.
  10. space assignment - the process whereby custody of space is given to a custodian (Dean, Director, or Entity Head).
  11. space reassignment - the process whereby custody of space is transferred from one space custodian to another on the University's space database.
  12. space usage agreement - is a general term to describe sections of a contract, tenancy agreement, Memorandum of Understanding or similar document that stipulates the conditions whereby an entity is assigned use or control of University space. A space usage agreement must cover all privileges and costs associated with the space assignment, including identification of dedicated and common spaces involved, terms of agreement, responsibility for maintenance, etc.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Refer to the Space Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Custody and Control of Space

All Space

(5) The University's space inventory database is the recognised source of authoritative information on each room/space in the University.

(6) Assignment requests are to be endorsed by the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice-President or Dean in conjunction with the Executive Director, Estate and Commercial. The request shall be submitted to the Vice-President, Finance and Resources for recommendation, followed by submission to the Vice-Chancellor and President for approval. [See the Flowchart]

(7) Units to which space is assigned must use space for its intended purpose. Proposals involving functional or structural change to the space (e.g. cutting openings; or altering the surfaces of walls, ceilings or floors) may only be undertaken if coordinated and approved by Office of Estate and Commercial.

(8) Upon termination of a space assignment, the space will revert to the "unassigned space" inventory unless re-assigned. Space assigned to a unit or group that has been restructured or ceases operation will revert to unassigned space. Reallocation of said space will go through the process of seeking endorsement from the Vice-President, Finance and Resources and then approval from the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(9) A space that is used infrequently or inappropriately may be reassigned to others.

(10) To avoid duplication, space is to be shared to the maximum extent possible. This principle applies to laboratories, storage areas, meeting rooms, centralised facilities, common areas and other functional areas where sharing is practical.

(11) Units may designate space within their space assignment as "hot workspaces" to ensure that their staff travelling between campuses and their part-time or casual staff are satisfactorily accommodated. The Vice-President, Finance and Resources may request evidence periodically that designated "hot workspaces" are being appropriately utilised.

(12) The Executive Director, Estate and Commercial will periodically review the utilisation and distribution of available space and may, at his discretion, recommend re-distribution of space to the Vice-Chancellor and President via the Vice-President, Finance and Resources.

Common Teaching Space

(13) Custody of space designated as 'common teaching space' is assigned to the Office of the Chief Student Experience Officer and is scheduled for use via Syllabus Plus. (Refer Timetabling Policy)

(14) All requests to transfer space to or from Common Teaching are considered as standard space reassignments, and must be made on the appropriate forms and are endorsed by the Courses and Timetabling Manager.

Space Assigned to Entities

(15) All space that is assigned to an entity or an external organisation must be documented in a written "space usage agreement" such as a lease or memorandum of understanding setting out in detail the spaces involved (including use of common teaching space if applicable), the terms of the arrangement, and responsibilities of the parties. Such agreements include recovery of utility costs and other agreed costs.

(16) Space Usage Agreements must be authorised by the Vice-President, Finance and Resources, Office of Estate and Commercial and the Office of General Counsel, and approved in accordance with the Delegations (Administrative) Policy.

Circulation Space

(17) Circulation space is any foyer, corridor, stair, lift or other similar area for the movement of people or goods within a building. Space that is defined only by furniture or workstations is considered to be part of the primary space.

(18) All circulation space is to remain clear of obstruction and available for free access by all authorised users in accordance with relevant legislation and guidelines.

Part B - Changes in Space Use and Assignment

(19) Custodians of space must report to the OEC within one month of any change in the way a room is used (e.g. from a store room to say an office) both to maintain the integrity of the University's space database, and to ensure that the change has no statutory and legal implications that may pose risk to the University.

(20) Prior to any space reassignment requiring movement of staff, Deans, Directors, and Entity leaders are responsible for ensuring that risk management and adequate consultation with affected staff takes place.

(21) Requests for changes to space assignment must be progressed, with appropriate justification, through the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice-President or Dean.

(22) Space assignment or reassignment will be routinely recorded by the OEC in conjunction with approved capital works projects that involve changes to custodianship. The assignment or reassignment will be effective from the agreed handover date of the new, refurbished, or reconfigured space unless a prospective custodian negotiates an alternative date.

(23) Space reassignment may also occur as a result of a capital works project, or in association with an approved University restructure program. The effective date for space reassignment in such cases will normally be the relocation date.

Part C - Maintenance of University Space and Contents

(24) The Executive Director, Estate and Commercial has overall responsibility for the maintenance of buildings, grounds and services infrastructure, and all non-habitable floor areas such as passages, toilets, plant rooms, etc. where such buildings are solely owned by the University.

(25) Custodians of space have overall responsibility for administration of all space that is assigned to their unit and reporting matters of maintenance to the Office of Estate and Commercial.

(26) Other units are responsible for specific components of University space infrastructure, e.g. Information Technology and Digital Services for computing and audio-visual equipment.

(27) Responsibility for Maintenance of University Space is a guideline that outlines the responsibilities of units for maintenance of different aspects of university space and its content.

Part D - Funding of Relocations and Alterations to Space

(28) All alterations to space and other costs associated with a relocation or space reassignment will be charged to the requesting unit or entity unless they are associated with an approved University restructure program or are part of a project funded from the capital plan.

(29) Where partial or total funding from the Capital Plan is sought, the proposal will be assessed in accordance with the procedures governing that funding source; and may include assessment against the principles of the Securing Success Strategy contained in the Education Brief Form.

(30) For University-initiated projects including those as a result of a University restructure, all building and fit out works (e.g. partitions, IT and telephone connections, floor coverings, new ceilings, painting, fixed cupboards, kitchens, amenities, fixtures and the like) will be funded from the Capital Plan. In such projects, new furniture, if considered required, will also be funded from this budget.

Part E - Use of Assigned Space by other than Western Sydney University Students and Staff

(31) Use of university space by non-university persons or external organisations exposes the University to costs and to risks for which it may not be insured.

(32) All events and activities involving non-university personnel whether commercial or non-commercial in nature are to be appropriately insured and bookings appropriately documented.

(33) All contract arrangements with external organisations are to appropriately document insurance arrangements. (Refer Space Hire Policy)

Part F - Transfer of Space

(34) The process whereby custody of space is transferred depends on whether the transfer occurs in association with a capital works project or an approved University restructure program, or whether it arises from a request independent of those processes. Approval of a capital works project or a University initiated project is deemed to include approval of all associated space re-assignments and relocations, and the space re-assignment and relocation takes effect when the associated project is handed over.

(35) Where a request for transfer of space arises independent of projects or university restructure, the procedure for transfer of space custody depends on whether the proposed transfer involves a Minor or a Standard space relocation and associated space assignment or reassignment.

  1. A flowchart depicts the approval process of independent space requests. Space Allocation, Re-allocation and Reloaction Request Flowchart
  2. A Space Management Hierarchy outlines the endorsement and approval levels for space requests.
  3. Request forms can be accessed from the University's Capital Works and Facilities web page under the "Forms" sub-section.

Part G - Additional Space

(36) Requests for assignment of additional space are to be made through the submission of the relevant Space Request Form or, for larger or more complex requests, an Education/Sponsor's Brief.

(37) If additional space cannot be found in existing university facilities, the construction of new space is subject to the annual capital planning cycle and is subject to the usual principles and procedures governing the Capital Plan.

Part H - Standard and Minor Relocations

(38) Requests for relocation are to be made through the submission of the relevant form. If the proposal impacts on Common Teaching space, a Teaching Space Impact Statement must also be attached.

Part I - Management of Relocations and Removals

(39) All relocations requests must be made through the relevant Manager, Campus Delivery and will be managed by the Office of Estate and Commercial, which will assign an appropriate manager to the relocation depending on the size and complexity of the task.

(40) The Office of Estate and Commercial will likewise arrange and manage all removals.

(41) The Office of Estate and Commercial will coordinate final clean up, refurbishment, maintenance, IT and Communications and movers for all relocations and removals.

(42) Removal costs that are related to an approved University restructure program will be funded from the relevant University-wide restructure account and will cover the removal of unit equipment and individual staff member's computer, files and library only. The requesting unit or entity will fund removal costs that are not related to an approved University restructure program.

(43) Units are responsible for managing and informing their personnel of moves and ensuring that space being vacated is fully packed and ready for movers in accordance with the program established for the move.

(44) Personal effects of individuals may be included in removals if so desired by the staff member at their own risk. The University accepts no responsibility for personal property of individuals during the removal process.

(45) University assets and their locations are to be recorded by the vacating unit prior to relocation, removal or disposal irrespective of whether the asset is to be retained, relocated, or marked for disposal.

(46) All space vacated by individuals or units is to be left in a state appropriate for final clean up.

Part J - Space Assignment

(47) The size and nature of space assigned to Schools, units or to individuals will be governed primarily by the availability of existing space in the locations sought. Subject to the above, when new space is created, either by reconfiguration of existing space or by new construction, it will be configured on the basis of the University Space Standards and the Architectural Design Standards approved by the Executive Director, Estate and Commercial. Contact Capital Works and Facilities for information on these standards.

(48) Teaching space is comprised of centrally supported common teaching spaces and unit-supported specialised teaching spaces.

(49) Employees will be assigned a workspace appropriate to the requirements of their role. A workspace may be a conventional closed space, a flexible working space or an activity based space in accordance with the minimum space allocation standards. An employee is not entitled to more than one dedicated workspace for his or her exclusive use, unless otherwise approved by the Vice-President, Finance and Resources.

(50) Adjunct, visiting and emeritus appointments maybe assigned a workspace.

(51) Research postgraduate students may be assigned a workspace.

Part K - Information and Contact

(52) Enquiries related to this policy can be directed, in the first instance, to the Senior Manager, Strategic Asset Planning of the Office of Estate and Commercial who has responsibility for detailed planning of University facilities.

Part L - Associated Documents

University Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

(53) Space Hiring Policy

Other Documents