Background

Our campus is situated on the skyline of the City of Bath, a UNESCO world heritage site. The core campus is surrounded by the Bath Green Belt, and is sited within, or immediately adjacent to, the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Whilst our Campus Masterplan 2009-2026 indicates how the campus can be developed further, we are conscious of the sensitivity of the site we occupy and are committed to optimising the use of our existing physical estate.
The Space Management Policy is one of three key documents which outline our approach to the development, maintenance and effective utilisation of our physical estate, the other two being the Campus Masterplan 2009-2026 and the Estates Strategy. Our Environmental Policy describes the environmental aims that we have set ourselves in developing, maintaining and utilising our physical estate. This is underpinned by a detailed Landscape and Ecological Management Plan (LEMP).

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose

The main aim of the Space Management Policy is to ensure the efficient and effective use of space in order to meet the demands of our planned growth and deliver our University Strategy.

1.2 Scope

The Policy applies to all space within the existing space envelope managed by the University.

1.3 Objectives

The Space Management Policy provides the framework for:

  • aligning space allocation with strategic priorities, developments in pedagogy, research and IT, benchmarked norms and good practice.

  • identifying priorities for strategic capital investment to enhance the capacity, sustainability and quality of our space.

  • managing space effectively and efficiently in order to achieve optimal utilisation of a finite resource.

  • maintaining accurate records of departmental space allocations, and types of space, in order to inform the resource allocation model and provide accurate space drivers in various costing tools.

  • ensuring that the provision of both generic and specialist teaching and learning space is appropriate to enable students to achieve the learning outcomes of their programme of study.

  • identifying performance targets for space management against which achievement can be monitored.

  • reviewing space allocations on an annual basis to respond to changes in institutional priorities, competitor analysis, supply and demand.

1.4 Responsibilities

1.4.1 The University’s governing body, Council, is responsible for approving the University Strategy, the Campus Masterplan and the Estates Strategy. It is also responsible for approving major capital investments, on the recommendation of Finance Committee. Council is responsible for monitoring performance against a range of Key Performance Indicators, including utilisation of general teaching accommodation (GTA) and condition of space.

1.4.2 The Vice-Chancellor, supported by two advisory committees, the Vice-Chancellor’s Group and Executive Committee, is responsible for determining the priorities for strategic capital investment. Executive Committee is responsible for the approval and periodic review of the Space Management Policy and for considering an annual report on space management activities and performance.

1.4.3 The Vice-President (Implementation) has operational responsibility for identifying space requirements, allocating space on the basis of institutional priorities and ensuring effective utilisation of space. Space allocation is part of the Vice-President (Implementation)’s wider business efficiency role. He is supported by the Space Management Group which he chairs. As Co-Chair of the University Planning Team, the Vice-President (Implementation) has oversight of emerging demands for space across campus.

1.4.4 The Office of Policy and Planning (OPP) is responsible for advising the Vice-President (Implementation) on options for responding to new space requirements, priorities for space allocation, identifying possibilities for improving space usage and project managing space efficiency initiatives. OPP works closely with the Estates Department to ensure that the wider space implications of new capital programmes are identified and addressed. OPP is responsible for the development of business cases to support capital investment in institutional, rather than departmental, initiatives, and for drafting the annual report to Executive Committee on space management activities and performance. The Director of Policy and Planning attends the Academic Programmes Committee which receives the resource implications pro forma for new academic programmes and provides the link back to the Space Management Group. One of the Senior Policy and Planning Officers is tasked with acting as client representative for institutional capital projects.

1.4.5 The Asset/BIM team in Estates is responsible for maintenance of space information and the records of the estate. The Asset/BIM team make space information available to all departments through a web based Space Management system. The team is also responsible for ensuring that non-GTA space allocations are reviewed and confirmed annually. The Asset/BIM team prepare the University’s Estates Management Statistics (EMS) return, which is verified by OPP before submission to HESA.

1.4.6 The Deans and heads of professional services are responsible for the efficient and effective management of space within their space envelopes, for seeking approval to re-purpose space (e.g. by altering the fabric of the building or making a significant investment in new fit-out) and for identifying emerging space requirements through the planning process. Departments are responsible for checking the accuracy of the data held on the web-based space management system for their departmentally-held space. Academic departments are responsible for ensuring that their GTA bookings are on a demand-led rather than contingency basis. Heads of department are responsible for ensuring that submissions to the Staff Vacancies Review Group for new staff appointments clearly identify any additional space requirements.

1.4.7 The Central Timetabling Office (CTO) is responsible for the allocation of general teaching accommodation, in response to requests from departments, giving due consideration to the quality of the student experience in constructing individual timetables. The CTO is responsible for undertaking audits of GTA space utilisation. Whilst the CTO is responsible for optimising the use of GTA during the academic year, the GTA resource is subject to a different room booking system in the summer, run by the Sales and Events team of Accommodation and Hospitality Services.

1.4.8 Accommodation and Hospitality Services are responsible for the efficient and effective management of the University’s residential accommodation on and off campus. Accommodation and Hospitality Services report to the Director of Finance and Commercial Services and are responsible for optimising room occupancy. The University has a rolling investment programme for refurbishing GTA space (£1 million per annum, reviewed annually). The refurbishment schedule is the priority for GTA utilisation over the summer. The residual GTA is allocated between academic activities and conferencing/events. Utilisation of GTA by the Sales and Events team ensures that the University can optimise its income from GTA throughout the year. In the event of a disagreement over prioritisation, the Vice-President (Implementation) is responsible for the final decision. The Edge Business Operations Unit manages The Edge, reporting to Accommodation and Hospitality Services. The Vice-President (Implementation) has oversight of these activities as Chair of The Edge Governance Group.

1.4.9 The Director of Finance and Commercial Services is responsible for the management and allocation of commercial space on campus. Contracts with commercial users of campus space are maintained by the Estates Department, with financial and legal support from relevant professional services.

1.4.10 The Staff Vacancies Review Group is responsible for identifying any additional space requirements arising from the approval of new posts.

1.4.11 The General Teaching Accommodation Working Group is responsible to the Space Management Group for advising on the maintenance and enhancement of the University’s general teaching accommodation.

1.4.12 The Equalities and Diversity Committee is responsible for commissioning periodic access audits to inform the University’s programme of accessibility investment.

2. Policy

2.1 Space management and strategic space allocation decisions will be informed by reference to the following principles:

  • All space is institutional space and faculty/departmental space allocations are subject to review by the Space Management Group to respond to changing demands and institutional priorities.

  • Strategic space management should facilitate the expansion of core activities, without presupposing a commensurate increase in the size of the physical estate or its operating costs.

  • Space allocation should support business efficiency by co-locating related activities, subject to constraints and timescales imposed by legacy allocations.

  • Space allocation, wherever practicable, should reflect zoning of academic, learning support, administrative, commercial and residential use.

2.2 Implementation

2.2.1 Space management and allocation is a continuous process, at departmental and institutional level. Deans and heads of departments are responsible for ensuring that they have procedures in place for identifying under-utilised space within their departmentally-held space envelopes and for re-allocating it or seeking approval from SMG for re-purposing the space. OPP utilises a range of data sources to brief the Vice-President (Implementation)/Space Management Group on developments that may necessitate, or provide the opportunity for, transfer of space between departments. This data includes requests for space through the planning process, grant applications and the Staff Vacancies Review Group, the quarterly staffing reports from Human Resources and ad hoc space audits.

2.2.2 The planning process plays a key role in space allocation and space management as it provides an opportunity for departments to highlight potential changes to their space requirements. The direct involvement of the Vice-President (Implementation), Director of Finance and Commercial Services, Director of Human Resources and Director of Policy and Planning in the planning process, through membership of the University Planning Team, ensures that departmental plans inform space planning. This is supplemented by informal information gathering methods and a broad working knowledge of institutional developments within the OPP team.

2.2.3 New programme approval processes (QA Statement 3) require space resource implications to be addressed at the planning stage. This includes the identification of any additional requirements for teaching space or specialist accommodation and an assessment of implications on GTA for timetabling purposes e.g. where patterns of delivery vary from the standard semesterised profile. Likewise proposals to amend existing programmes (QA statement 4) require any additional resourcing requirements including teaching space to be identified and considered. The Director of Policy and Planning attends the Academic Programmes Committee that considers these space implications and raises any potential constraints directly with the Vice-President (Implementation).

2.2.4 New research activities can create demand to accommodate new/enlarged research teams or additional equipment or may require adaptations to make rooms functionally suitable for the new activities. There is an expectation that departments will manage priorities for the research space within their existing space allocation or will liaise with the Vice-President (Implementation) if they are unable to find space for the equipment or staff needed for a new project before submitting a grant application. Research application submission through the RIS is subject to confirmation by the Head of Department that related resource issues have been fully considered. Before an award is accepted specific assurances are required that the work can be undertaken within the space available to the department and that no adaptations or additional services are required except where the costs have been built into the project finances or approved as part of an institutional matched funding package.

2.2.5 New staff appointments have to be assessed by the University’s Staff Vacancies Review Group, chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor. A standard proforma is used to provide key data to support the approval of posts and this requires confirmation that space for new posts has already been allocated or for any additional resource needs to be specified. SVRG has the right to defer approval of a new post if space cannot be made available within a departmental space envelope. The DVC can then work with OPP to identify solutions to the space constraint. Quarterly reports on staffing levels highlighting any changes which may release or require space are provided by the Department of Human Resources to VCG. As with research space the Vice-President (Implementation) becomes involved only if a department cannot find suitable space for a new member of staff or where there are cross-institutional space issues such as those arising from the launch of research institutes.

2.2.6 Where space falls vacant, for example as a result of the termination of externally-funded activity, and there is no like for like replacement, the availability of the space must be reported to the Space Management Group by the space user. The Space Management Group will then consider the priorities for re-deployment. The assumption is that vacated space will become available for reallocation by the Vice-President (Implementation) on the termination date of the contract.

2.3 Targets

In implementing the space management policy, the University has identified a number of targets:

  • proportion of space with functional suitability grades of 1 and 2 above 80%;

  • a frequency use of general teaching accommodation (EMS) of around 70%;

  • the provision and allocation of residential space sufficient to meet our commitment to provide residential accommodation for all new students applying by the published deadline.

2.4 Monitoring and Evaluation

2.4.1 The Space Management Group will produce an annual report to Executive Committee on space management activities and performance. This report will include details of GTA booking efficiency.

2.4.2 Council will monitor GTA utilisation annually as part of the report on Key Performance Indicators.

DOCUMENT CONTROL INFORMATION
Owner: Space Management Group
Version number: 3
Approval Date: 11 May 2016
Approved By: Executive Committee
Date of last review: July 2015