Space Planning and Management

Week 3 Lecture by Paul Osmond 9/8/16

Why do we bother with space planning?

Intelligent space planning is flexible and reduces the need for new buildings and major refurbishments. Many people work in different ways – in hubs, rather than in cubicles or in bug groups, in different teams, at different times of day etc. and space planning needs to take all of this under consideration.

Combine good maintenance, adaptability (loose fit) and long life to emcourage sustainability.

Defining the problem: Don’t forget that the biggest cost to an organisation (after human resource) is land i.e rent or martgage!!

We can consider an extreme, followist the “Taylorist” principles of a space emphasising and autocratic beaurocracy:



We now lean toward a more “distributed” workplace, following trends such as “hot deskig”, online collaboration, shrinkage of individual workspaces etc.

Economic aspects:

  • Up to 60% of assigned workspaces are wasted because people are in meetings, on site, not at their desks…
  • align work environment with the needs of the worker; space is reduce while productivity is increased

Efficiency and Effectiveness

  • Efficiency is the ratio of the usable floor area to the overall floor area

  • Effectiveness is the degree to which the actual usable floor area corresponds to the projected usable area
  • Efficiency objective of space planning is to maximise available space for core functions while minimising it for peripheral or noncore functions
  • Effectiveness objective of space planning is to ensure that available space is usable for the performance of designated core functions, with minimum limitation but maximum facilitation by noncore functions (Ilozor & Ilozor, 2001)

Balancing efficiency and effectiveness: the more open the space, the more flexible and therefore the more efficient but not necessarily nore effective. The target is to achieve an equilibrium between these 2 components.

Environmental Aspects: redesigning workspaces can shrink the ecological footprint of an organisatio, reducing the square metres per employee; reduce materials, less space to heat/cool/light/maintain

“As work spills out into the street, into homes, and into cafes, restaurants, hotel lobbies, and airport lounges, the networked office transcends individual office buildings”

-Duffy (2007) in O’Donnell & Wagener

Data collection: when undertaking space planning, consider both exisitng conditions as well as opportunities and constraints.

Data Analysis

  • Adjacency matrix – depicts which spaces need to be close to each other (topology)
  • Square meterage chart – shows areas and relative proportions of different space types (geometry)
  • Functional diagram – bubbles represent spaces, lines indicate relationships

Flexibility and Adaptability

  • Flexibility = ability of a space to inherently accommodate different uses
  • Adaptability = ability of a space to be reconfigured to accommodate different uses

“The best buildings of the 21st century will provide ecosystems of spaces that can be fluidly and dynamically occupied rather than being rigid realizations of old-fashioned space-usage programs”

-Mitchell, W. (2007


Further References

  • that-anyone-can-understand/#42e8e3076828

    Ilozor, B.D. and Ilozor, D.B. (2001). “Understanding concepts of efficiency and effectiveness in architectural facilities space planning and design”, Journal of Architectural Engineering 7(4): 126-131.

    Musau, F. and Steemers, K. (2007). “Space planning and energy efficiency in laboratory buildings: The role of spatial, activity and temporal diversity”, Architectural Science Review 50(3): 281-292.

    O’Donnell, K. and Wagener, W. (2007). Connected Real Estate: Essays from innovators in real estate, design, and construction, Torworth Publishing, Kent.

    Steiner, J. (2006) “The art of space management: Planning flexible workspaces for people”, Journal of Facilities Management, 4(1): 6-22.

    Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association, (2009). Space Planning Guidelines, 3rd Ed., TEFMA, Australia.



Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 7.34.58 PM


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s