Space Utilization Analysis Helps Seattle Pacific Improve Scheduling

Space Utilization Analysis Helps Seattle Pacific Improve Scheduling

Combined space utilization analysis with facilities assessment data



Space utilization improvements of over 30%



Classrooms renovated to address deferred maintenance backlogs


Challenge: Uncertainty Around Classrooms and Scheduling

Faced with a growing demand for academic square footage, Seattle Pacific University (SPU) enlisted Gordian to answer three core questions: Were SPU’s teaching space configurations consistent with its programs? How effectively were the teaching spaces being utilized? And how did the conditions of teaching spaces compare to peer schools? Gordian’s analysis focused on three core analytical efforts: A field assessment of each classroom and its components, a space utilization analysis and a review of SPU’s institutional scheduling policy.

Solution: A Truly Comprehensive Space Utilization Analysis

Gordian interviewed faculty and students on campus to evaluate the changing expectations and requirements of classrooms. These focus groups revealed needs and uncovered best practices for classroom designs and layout. Gordian then helped SPU reconcile these insights with a review of course scheduling and a physical inventory of each classroom. Utilization was assessed on the basis of both room usage – the frequency that a particular room was occupied – and position usage – the rate at which desks within each classroom were occupied.

Result: Combining Data Studies to Enhance Classroom Experiences

Based on Gordian’s recommendations, SPU made significant changes to the scheduling process, releasing hidden value in their teaching spaces. The initial study indicated that the vast majority of courses were scheduled in rooms larger than needed to accommodate enrollment. To align their room inventory with enrollment, Gordian recommended that SPU add more teaching spaces with a capacity of 20 students to support smaller classes and more efficiently utilize square footage. To make better use of funds, the changes recommended by Gordian were placed in the context of a facilities condition assessment. This enabled SPU to strategically prioritize their space utilization renovations with rooms that had higher backlogs of needs, effectively addressing two issues in one plan.

The changes recommended by Gordian were placed in the context of a facilities condition analysis. This enabled SPU to strategically prioritize their space utilization renovations with rooms that had higher backlogs of needs, effectively addressing two issues in one plan.

Aside from the physical recommendations, Gordian’s space utilization analysis provided SPU’s administration with the data needed to reorganize and improve their block scheduling process. Armed with a better understanding of actual capacities and faculty preferences, more classes were scheduled at peak times, making the scheduling process significantly more efficient for the administration and less burdensome for the faculty. As a result, SPU saw an increase in space utilization of over 30%.

Gordian

About Gordian

Gordian is the leader in facility and construction cost data, software and services for all phases of the building lifecycle. A pioneer of Job Order Contracting, Gordian’s solutions also include proprietary RSMeans data construction costs and Sightlines Facility Intelligence Solutions. From planning to design, to procurement, construction and operations, Gordian’s solutions help clients maximize efficiency, optimize cost savings and increase building quality.