Space Standards

What are space standards?

A documented standard allocation of square footage to each position or function within an organization. It is used as a basis for doing a space requirements projection as well as a tool to control actual allocation of space in many organizations.

Space standards

The provision of sufficient living space within new homes is an important element of good housing design and a pre-requisite for basic living. Potential residents of new homes should be provided with sufficient space for basic daily activities and needs. This will include space for the furniture they need, to store personal possessions, to prepare food conveniently or to socialize with friends and family. If homes are to have a long life, they must offer functional and adaptable spaces that meet the needs of families, children, older people and disabled residents.

Aims of space standards for housing

  • Residential developments should provide sufficient space for everyday activities and to enable flexibility and adaptability by meeting appropriate space standards.
  • Ensure new homes provide sufficient space for everyday activities. Homes can also be used more flexibly and adapted more easily by their occupants to changing life circumstances.
  • Flexibility and adaptability, allowing future modification of use or layout, facilitating future refurbishment and retrofitting
  • Safeguard the amenity of existing development and create a high-quality environment for future occupiers.
  • Create buildings and spaces that are adaptable to changing social, technological, economic and environmental conditions.

Space standards for offices and workplaces

Space should be allocated according to functional requirements – This principle recognizes that the simply allocating office space to people based on their position or rank in an organizational hierarchy rather than the functional needs of their work may result in a less productive workplace and additional costs.

Space should be flexible – This principle recognizes that fewer barriers to change, less disruption when change does occur, and lower costs in money and time can be accomplished by

  • using open space planning whenever practical
  • Reducing the number of different sizes of spaces
  • Standardizing the sizes of as many spaces as possible

Departments should be empowered to plan their office space – This principle recognizes that, if office space is treated as an administrative resource and managers are given the opportunity to plan office space using simplified standards and guidelines, more creative, cost-effective solutions to satisfying office space needs will result.

Standards and guidelines should be simplified – This principle recognizes that simplified, minimum standards and broad guidelines written in non-technical language will enable departments to plan their own office.

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