The University of MichiganNews Services
The University Record Online
Updated 8:30 AM April 7, 2008




view events

submit events

UM employment

police beat
regents round-up
research reporter


Advertise with Record

contact us
meet the staff
contact us
contact us

Office space guidelines set for new construction, renovations

As part of the University's multi-year Space Utilization Initiative, U-M is examining how space is used across campus and developing guidelines, resources and tools to support responsible use and management of campus facilities. Effective April 15, new office space guidelines will be available for General Fund units on the Ann Arbor campus.

The effort was developed in response to feedback received from various school and college budget administrators and facilities managers who indicated that campuswide criteria would help provide a more consistent approach to space planning and assignments. Developed primarily for new construction and renovation projects, they also may be used to optimize use of existing office space and to align office assignments with campus norms.

"We want to make sure our use of all space, not only offices, supports the University's academic and research missions. These guidelines are a step in developing a more comprehensive approach to space management and planning that supports this core mission," says Philip Hanlon, vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs.

The new guidelines include recommendations for office space assignments with ranges of square footage for faculty and staff based on job role and needs. They also address special situations, such as assignments of multiple offices, emeritus space and offices left unoccupied for long periods of time.

The guidelines are based on recent construction projects at the University and those used by other universities and in the private sector, and were developed with input from various school and college budget administrators and facilities managers, the Space Utilization Initiative Steering Committee, Office of the Provost, Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Office of the Vice President for Research, Office of the Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations, departments of architecture, engineering and construction, Office of the General Counsel, and Human Resources and Affirmative Action.

"We are all stewards of the University's physical resources and collectively need to promote responsible use of our buildings. Guidelines, such as those developed for office space, ensure that future buildings are designed to meet programming needs in a cost-effective way," says Frances Mueller, project manager of the Space Utilization Initiative.

"The unpredictability and fluctuations in energy costs, state funding and other economic constraints are what led the University to explore how to contain its operating costs related to space," Mueller says. "These types of measures are being examined more closely by many institutions across the country and are becoming a popular topic of discussion in higher education."

The new guidelines are available on the Space Utilization Initiative Web site at

For questions about the guidelines, contact Frances Mueller at 763-5942 or For more information on the Space Utilization Initiative, go to

More Stories