Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do you mean by “Primary Use”? This room is used for a lot of different purposes.
  • Primary, or predominant use is a key principle of room classification. The focus is on the actual primary use of the room. The room’s intent, design, the equipment in it, and the department using it do not wholly determine the classification. Evaluate the use of the room in terms of time and the human activity element that focuses on use, rather than characteristics of the space. These days, departments are creating rooms that are actually used for many different activities simultaneously: there is a conference table, media equipment, desks for single users, possibly even eating space. Contact our office if you have one of these rooms and we will help you decide how to classify it.

  • One of our rooms isn’t showing in our inventory. What do I do?
  • Go to the Building module, select the Building in which the room is located, and click on “Space Inventory” next to the photo of the building. This will take you to the room list. Check that the upper right corner selection box shows “Compete Listing”. Find the room number and click on it to open the room record.

    If it is listed under another department, it could be that a change was made in the past and the database was not updated. Work with the appropriate people in your department and the other department to confirm that the room should be updated, then make any necessary changes in FacilitiesLink.

  • How do I decide if a room should be classified as a Seminar Room (130) or a Conference Room (340)? What is the difference?
  • Some departments use “Seminar' room because the room is being used for student/grad/faculty seminars. However, this is not what “seminar” means in the Facilities Inventory Guide (FIG) context.  Seminar Room refers to a room (generally relatively small) where (a) regularly scheduled classes meet, (b) it is equipped with a large table surrounded by chairs or the equivalent; and (c) it is not set up specifically for a particular discipline. Finally, it is based on predominant use.

    Both Seminar Rooms and Classrooms are assigned to and scheduled by the Registrar's Office with very few exceptions. Most of the exceptions are in the general campus (non-health sciences) professional schools like School of Management and Law where they schedule their own classes.

    If a room is classified as a Seminar Room and is not being used for scheduled classes, the seats/stations in the room must be counted. However, with no student contact hours being recorded, the room utilization rate will be low. This will negatively impact the overall Classroom Utilization statistics for the campus.

    For rooms where scheduled classes take place that are not controlled by the Registrar, Conference Room (340) can be used. We collect weekly student contact hours for classes that are taught in these rooms, but they are not reported to the Office of the President because conference rooms are excluded from the analysis.

    Questions to consider: How is the room set up? Do you report contact hours or is the room use very informal?

  • What is the difference between an Open Lab (270), Class Lab (260), and Special Class Lab (261)?
  • Class Lab

    A class lab is predominantly used for formally scheduled classes. We use weekly student contact hours to calculate utilization rates for this type of room because it is “standard space”.

    Special Class Lab

    The Facilities Inventory Guide defines this room type as “a room used primarily for regularly or formally scheduled instruction for student participation, observation, experimentation, or practice in a field of study, but for which the configuration, set-up or equipment makes its use unsafe, expensive or otherwise inappropriate for use by courses that do not require such equipment or set-up”. If there are any lab sections scheduled in the room, it should be a classified as a special class lab. We calculate utilization rates for this type of room because it is considered “Standard space”.

    Open Lab

    This classification is used for: (a) drop-in computer labs; (b) departmental computer labs with specialized software; (c) all Performance Arts class labs (required); (d) informal, individual or unscheduled instruction. Because an Open Lab is non-standard space, any weekly student contact hours generated by scheduled classes in the room are not part of the overall classroom utilization rates (although they are still calculated).