Governing Documents: Operations
Effective Date:
June 1975
Revised Date:
Review Date:
June 15, 2015
Approving Body:
Vice-President (Administration)
Planning Office
Applies to:

All Staff


The calculation of space need for each space classification requires the multiplication of two factors, as follows:

1. The Space Factor

A number equal to an amount of space (e.g. 135.0 net assignable square feet) that represents the "allowance" per user for a particular activity in a space designed for that purpose.

2. The Use Factor

A number specifying for a given Academic Year, one of the following:

a) a number of people to be accommodated (e.g. 10 FTE Academic Staff) or,

b) the amount of a particular activity for which space must be provided (e.g. 1900 Weekly Student Hours in classrooms) or,

c) a number which provides an appropriate proxy related to services or activities for which space is to be provided (e.g. FTE students as the proxy related to total Student Service space).


The space factors and the use factors are used as part of three basic steps in the projection of space needs:

A. Use Factors X Space Factors = Total Space Need

B. Total Space Need - Existing & Planned Space = Space Above or Below Formula

C. Space Above or Below Formula + Special Space Allowance = Total Space Above or Below Formula

The above methodology applied to each classification of space gives a measure of space "above formula" or "below formula". Space "above formula", however, does not necessarily mean that space is unused or even under-utilized. Space "below formula" does not necessarily mean that staff and students are unable to meet and work within the existing buildings.

Assessment of space need also requires knowledge of space use that does not relate to space need calculations. Special circumstances may relate to the quality or configuration of existing space. Certain physical features of space may call for a space "allowance" (Step C). For example, there may be a series of existing offices which are too small for two staff but larger than the office space factor for one staff member. This is a reality of the physical plant which cannot be easily or economically changed to fit a prescribed formula. In such cases it seems reasonable to make a specific adjustment to the calculated space need. These types of assessments will often require discussion with the space users and on-site inspection.

Details of the space factors and the use factors associated with each classification of space are available by contacting the Planning Office.