Space Management Principles Overview

In conjunction with the OSU’s mission, the following principles help guide its work in developing university space standards.

  • The Oregon State University Board of Trustees has ownership and control of all facilities belonging to or controlled by the university. Ultimate responsibility for the assignment of reassignment of space resides with the President, upon recommendation of the Provost and Vice President for Finance and Administration.
  • Allocation of space does not imply permanence, but rather a commitment based upon continued program justification and to changing program priorities. Allocation of increased square footage depends upon a demonstrated campus-wide need. 
  • Space vacated by a physical move, renovation, or new construction is allocated back to the common university reserve.  Likewise, space vacated due to a reduction in program size, reduction in workforce, or program elimination is also allocated back to the common university reserve.
  • All university space, particularly classrooms and class labs, will be managed to ensure effective and efficient utilization. The university will conduct annual classroom and class lab utilization studies to ensure optimum utilization of the spaces.
  • All space data, analysis and reports are in the public domain and available for inspection.
  • The preservation of department or operating unit integrity is a high priority.  The university will make a concerted effort to locate members of the same department, office, or unit close to each other whenever possible and will only split units on an interim or as necessary basis.
  • OSU Construction Standards are to be used by all architects, engineers (A/E), and other design and construction professionals under contract to do work at and for OSU.  The standards are also a resource for staff and faculty in determining appropriate use of allocated space.  Specifically, space use must comply with Section 01 10 02:  Accessibility Best Practices for OSU in support of OSU’s commitment to universal accessibility.

OSU Space Inventory and Survey

Each year, the Space Management Team works with colleges, departments, programs and units across campus to facilitate the OSU Space Survey.  The survey is conducted between February and June, allowing time in the summer for completing any necessary field verifications.

The purpose of the survey is to ensure OSU’s space inventory is accurately represented and managed. Accurate and timely space allocation and usage data supports effective facilities planning and budgeting activities, including indirect cost recoveries, space allocation, and capital planning. 

Working collaboratively with the designated Space Contacts across campus, the Space Management team verifies the following data and updates the OSU Space Management Database accordingly.  Data verified in the Survey includes the following.

  • Square footage of each room/space on campus
  • The Organization (college, department, program, unit) to which a space is assigned
  • Assignment of the appropriate Facility (room) Type Code for each space
  • Assignment of the correct Functional Space Use Code for each space

FICM Standards

In 2015, OSU Space Management updated and revised space codes to align with FICM standards.  The Postsecondary Education Facilities Inventory and Classification Manual (FICM) describes standard practices for initiating, conducting, reporting, and maintaining a postsecondary institutional facilities inventory. 

Facility Type Codes

Facility Type (room type) Codes identify the primary use of the room and how it is used. In addition to unclassified spaces, such as circulation areas, restrooms, or building service areas, these codes include:

  • Classrooms - (Category 100):  General purpose classrooms, lecture halls, recitation rooms, seminar rooms, and other spaces used primarily for scheduled non-laboratory instruction, including classroom service areas.
  • Laboratory Facilities (Category 200):  Rooms or spaces characterized by special purpose equipment or a specific configuration that ties instructional or research activities to a particular discipline or a closely related group of disciplines. This includes classroom, open and research/non-class laboratory facilities (dry, computer, wet, and individual study labs, environmental control rooms, student practice rooms and lab service spaces)
  • Office Facilities (Category 300):  Offices and conference rooms specifically assigned to each of the various academic, administrative and service functions. This includes staff, faculty, administrative, student offices, office service spaces, conference rooms and conference services areas
  • Study Facilities (Category 400):  Study rooms and study service spaces, stacks, open-stack reading rooms and library processing spaces.
  • Special use Facilities (Category 500):  Military training rooms, athletic and physical education spaces and locker rooms, media production rooms, clinics, demonstration areas, field buildings, animal quarters, greenhouses, and other room categories that are sufficiently specialized in their primary activity or function to merit a unique room code.
  • General Use Facilities (Category 600):  Assembly rooms, exhibition space, food facilities, lounges, merchandising facilities, recreational facilities, meeting rooms, child and adult care rooms, and other facilities that are characterized by a broader availability to faculty, students, staff, or the public than are special use areas.
  • Support Facilities (Category 700) Computing facilities, shops, central storage areas, vehicle storage areas, and central service space that provide centralized support for the activities of a campus.
  • Health Care Facilities (Category 800 Series) Facilities used to provide patient care (human and animal)
  • Residential Facilities (Category 900 Series) Housing facilities for students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus.
  • Unclassified Facilities (Category 000) Inactive or unfinished areas, or areas in the process of conversion

Functional Space Use Codes

Functional Use Code represents the function or activity that occurs in this space.  Functional Use Codes are vital in determining indirect cost recovery of Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs associated with sponsored agreements. Accurately tracking and maintaining costs associated with building and equipment depreciation and building O&M Costs is a mandatory requirement by the Office of Management and Budget.

  • Instruction
  • Organized/sponsored research
  • Other sponsored activities
  • Libraries
  • Departmental administration
  • Student Services
  • General Administration
  • Operations and maintenance of plant
  • Other institutional activities
  • Service centers
  • Unoccupied space



CPD:  The Space Management unit is housed within the Department of Capital Planning and Development (CPD)

Gross Square Feet – gsf (also called bgsf-building gross square feet) - GSF is the total area of all floors of a building. This includes the area within the outside faces of exterior walls and floor penetration areas, however insignificant. GSF also includes all building structural, mechanical and other infrastructure systems, all building circulation space, and all support space such as public toilets, lobbies, etc. An interesting issue for Stanford is that this can include building arcades, which represent a significant area of space on the campus, particularly in areas such as the main quad. Gross area also includes space located above and below grade (basements.)

Net Assignable Square Feet – nasf (also called nsf or asf -net square feet or assignable square feet) NASF refers to the space inside a room, as measured from interior wall to interior wall, including “nooks and crannies” which may exist in older buildings. It does not include building circulation, or areas such as restrooms, elevators and stairs. This is the space that is available for assignment to an occupant or for a specific use. The space guidelines are presented in terms of “nasf.”