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Guidelines for Existing Buildings

The Capital, Space and Amenities Group considers requests from departments for additional space on the basis of the Space Management Guidelines, taking into account the affordability of recurrent costs for departmental space, suitability of space for a proposed function and strategic objectives and priorities of the University. The below provide guidelines for how much space should be allocated to different categories of staff and students, in order to assist departments when allocating space within their footprint.

Staff and Students
Non-staff Accommodation
Useful Information

Academic Staff

Full-time members of academic staff appointed to the level of Assistant Professor and above may be allocated an office for his or her sole use. A Head of Department may choose not to allocate sole occupancy offices to academic staff, in particular in cases where:
• there are significant space pressures in the department;
• the nature of the activities undertaken by the staff means that shared office space is more appropriate; and/or
• the building design and layout is better suited to offices being shared.
Staff who are affiliated to a University research centre in addition to their principal affiliation to a department, or staff who are jointly appointed by two departments, may only have one sole occupancy office. However, where the centre/departments are located in buildings at a significant distance from one other, staff with joint affiliation may be provided with access to shared hotdesking facility in the secondary centre/department, where a presence in both areas is needed to ensure that an appropriate level of research collaboration can take place.
Single occupancy offices should normally be no larger than 15m2 and departments will be challenged by the CSAG to reallocate office space where larger offices are occupied by only one individual.

Research Staff

Research staff in non-experimental, non-laboratory roles may, on occasion, be allocated offices for sole use, but this will be dependent on space pressure, the type of activity being undertaken by individual staff, and the building design and layout, rather than grade level. Provision will be made for laboratory-based research staff to have access to a non-laboratory study area in accordance with health and safety regulations.
Where space requirements form the basis of a grant, the CSAG must be made aware of the specific wording of the grant terms at the bid stage through the FP14 form, so that necessary preparation can be made to identify suitable space.

Teaching Only Staff

Full-time teaching only staff may, on occasion, be allocated offices for sole use but this will be dependent on space pressure and the type of activity being undertaken by individual staff, rather than grade level. It is expected that the majority of teaching only staff will be required to share. Departments should consider enabling small rooms to be booked for tutorials/private meetings with students, or using locally managed or centrally timetabled teaching rooms for this purpose.

Professional Service Staff

All support and professional service staff will normally be expected to share office accommodation or to be located in open plan space.

Part-time Staff

Part-time staff are expected to share offices. The extent to which sharing desks is possible, particularly for academic staff, may depend on the member of staff’s FTE and scheduling constraints.

Study Leave Arrangements

There is no automatic right to the sole use of a room by a member of staff if he or she is on study leave or leave of absence, though access to a working area should be facilitated where required. The Capital, Space and Amenities Group will take into account the number of staff on study leave in a department when considering bids for additional accommodation, and departments are expected to list those staff for which study leave accommodation is necessary in their annual bid. Where a room is allocated this will normally, but not always, be the member of staff’s existing office. Offices of staff on study leave should be used to meet accommodation needs where possible, for example to provide temporary accommodation for visiting fellows, PhD students or tutorial/meeting space.

Postgraduate Research Students

The allocation of space for the use of PGR students will be informed by utilisation data, but as a general principle postgraduate research students should be provided with standard size desks on a hot-desking basis at a ratio of two desks for every three FTE research students. Departments are expected to make efficient use of space by allocating larger rooms and offices to multiple-occupancy rooms for PGR students.
Departments are required to inform CSAG of students requiring specific computing or laboratory facilities to undertake their research, where this exceeds the ratio of students to desks outlined above.

Visiting Fellows and Emeriti Professors

There is no automatic right to the use of a room, or part of a room, by Visiting Fellows, Honorary and Emeriti Professors. Access to office space will usually only be supported where the individual is externally funded and/or makes a substantial contribution to teaching, research or other activities core to the University’s mission output. It is expected that where office accommodation is required departments will find it within their existing allocation of space or make arrangements with other departments in the first instance.

Common Space

The University encourages departments to take a collaborative approach to common space where possible. Departments are encouraged to utilise common space for other activities such as departmental meetings or informal teaching to ensure efficient use of space.
When allocating space and considering departmental bids for space, CSAG will note comparative common space data between departments, particularly for areas where pressure on space is great.

Access to adequate kitchenette facilities will be provided to all departments and CSAG will assess the suitability of facilities for the number of staff. Kitchenette facilities are not departmental resources and as such adjacent departments may be required to share access to these spaces.
Local Teaching and Meeting Rooms
Allocation of local teaching and meeting room space is made on a case-by-case basis and the CSAG reserves the right to allocate additional rooms to the Central Timetable as required.
Where a departmental bid or capital development plan incorporates a centrally timetabled teaching room, an alternative location for the teaching room of equal or larger capacity must be identified. If this alternative location is within another department’s allocation, the department posing the request must have written agreement from the Head of the Department that is currently allocated the room.

Faculty Space
Space will be allocated to faculties on a case-by-case basis depending on the requirements of the faculty and the availability of suitable space. Where possible, faculties are encouraged to manage local spaces such as teaching and meeting rooms to facilitate increased utilisation.

Laboratory and Specialist Space
Due to the specialist nature of laboratory space requests for changes or additional space are made on a case-by-case basis to the CSAG. If the proposed change is not externally funded, the request for additional or change in space must be supported by an academic case to be considered by the CSAG and FGPC.

Commercial Outlets
Whilst the allocation of space to commercial outlets is the responsibility of the CSAG, decisions about the viability of commercial facilities such as restaurants and cafés are the responsibility of the Campus and Commercial Services Group.

Storage and Corporate Records
Departments should ensure that they request sufficient space to accommodate all of their storage needs, while seeking to make as efficient use of space as possible, such as using store rooms for other purposes where appropriate. Rooms suitable for use as offices should not normally be used solely for storage.
The nature and location of any stored items should be reviewed to ensure that storage is for the appropriate length of time and in an appropriate location. Departments are required to keep clear records of any stored items.
Departments must ensure that they have sufficient storage for any records that need to be kept as part of the corporate records policy.

Leased Space

Arrangements for external organisations to lease University space cannot be authorised at a departmental level and must be agreed in accordance with Financial Procedure 20 (

Change of Use of Space
Any proposed change of use beyond a simple reorganisation of furniture* needs to be approved by the CSAG. This includes changes in the nature of the activity taking place in a space or any change that requires reconfiguration of the space and/or utilities.

The CSAG will only approve a change of use where:
(a) The proposed use is appropriate;
(b) The proposed use meets all necessary Health and Safety requirements;
(c) The change of use provides a net benefit to the University.

The Estates Office will not proceed with a project request to change the use of a space if authorisation has not been granted by the CSAG.