Guidelines for Coding Spaces





When a room serves several purposes or users, it is often necessary to prorate and allocate the square footage between two or more space Types, Functions, or organizational units.  Proration based on multiple Functions (e.g., sponsored research, instruction, department administration) accurately identifies the activities in each space.  Other cases may require the recognition of (1) two or more distinct Types within a space (e.g., a large space comprising both a waiting area and a separate, partitioned staff work station), or (2) the sharing of an office by two or more departments.  Proration can be done either on the basis of the relative time expended on each activity or on the basis of the room's physical area (square footage) dedicated to each activity.  The resulting information is used for utilization studies and institutional planning.



As noted above, space that has been assigned one room number may be prorated if any or all of the following conditions exist:

  1. Two or more types of space are identified within the larger area.
  2. Two or more functional uses exist within the larger area.
  3. Two or more departments occupy a space.

A space meeting one or more of these criteria will be displayed with multiple lines carrying the same room number, and each prorate will have a sequential number (1, 2, 3...) in the "Prorate" field.

Note:  When prorating rooms that have stations associated with them, do not duplicate the number of stations by listing the same stations in each prorate. If the same person or people are in both prorates (i.e., the space is prorated because of multiple Function Codes or unit allocations), show the station(s) in one prorate only. However, if different people occupy the prorates, you can list the stations associated with each prorate.

For example,

Graduate student office with 3 work stations, 3 graduate employees, and 2 Function Codes (2 GEs conducting research; 1 GE teaching):

  • Prorate 1 is Function Code "Sponsored Research (41)":  2 Graduate Employees (research / 2 stations)
  • Prorate 2 is Function Code "Instructional Support (05)":  1 Graduate Employee (teaching / 1 station)

Faculty office with 1 work station, 1 academic employee; and 2 Function Codes:

  • Prorate 1 is Function Code "Sponsored Research (41)":  Professor Mel Jones (1 station)
  • Prorate 2 is Function Code "Instructional Support (05)":  Professor Mel Jones (0 stations)


All space used for research that is funded by separately budgeted and accounted for grants or contracts must be so designated. These records would have Function Codes of "41 Sponsored Research," "42 University Research," and "61 Sponsored Public Service."

Step 1: Work with your unit's grants/contracts staff to determine employees who receive separately budgeted and accounted for sponsored research support ("Principal Investigator" or "P.I.") and to identify the projects and grants providing funding for the sponsored research activities.  Once identified, all of the appropriate spaces allocated to the Principal Investigator(s) and used to conduct the sponsored research activities must be Function Coded  as "Sponsored Research (41)."  That code will determine how much of the employee's assigned square footage is appropriated for sponsored research activities (work may be conducted by the P.I., grads, post-docs, research assistants, etc.).  (If you have questions about specific grants and their applicability to research space, contact Sponsored Projects Services.)

Step 2:  Identify the spaces used in the conduct of the sponsored research. Verify building, room number, room type, and approximate square footage.

Step 3:  Identify the occupants of the space:  Enter ALL occupants who are active within the space.  If any occupants are not paid employees (e.g., undergrad students), identify them in the "Custom Type Information" field.

Step 4:  Functionalize the space:  Identify all activities (Functional Use Code) within the space. If any occupants are not being paid by the grant(s), some of the square footage must be coded as a function other than Sponsored Research (for example, "Department Research (40)" or "Instructional Support (05)".  Assign a percentage to each activity ("Percent of Effort"/POE), with a total of all activities in the room equaling 100%. The Principal Investigator, primary research associate, or lab manager should be able to provide this estimate.

In assigning percentages to the activities, use increments of 1%.  A room/lab should be considered 100% sponsored research only if everyone in that room is fully funded from Sponsored Research grants for work performed in that room* and no other activities are performed in the room[If the research activity is not funded, or the funding is not separately budgeted and accounted for, this activity should be treated as "Department Research (40)".]

*Note:  An employee's work may be partially funded from sources other than a sponsored research grant, but if that non-SR work is performed elsewhere (say, a faculty office), then his/her grant-supported research in the research lab can be considered as fully "Sponsored Research (41).")

Ultimately there should be a reasonable consistency between the amount of space associated with sponsored research activity and the amount of research dollars associated with that activity.  While the ratio of space to dollars may not be a one-to-one relationship, it should be reasonable.  For example, two research assistants share a lab, each spending equal amounts of time in the lab. One is fully funded by Sponsored Research grants @ $75,000; the other is funded by department or start-up funds @ $50,000. Because they share the lab-time equally, the space would be coded 50% Sponsored Research and 50% Department Research, even though the funding ratio would be 60% SR and 40% DR ($75,000:$50,000). This space-to-funding relationship would be reasonable. Alternatively, if the two activities within the lab are completely, physically separated, a proration based on actual square footage could be used.

There are defensible cases in which the ratio between space and dollars is large. For example, a research assistant is the sole occupant of Lab A.  The lab is used for research funded by two research awards, each of which pays for 25% of the RA's salary (i.e., 50% of the RA's total salary and, theoretically, 50% of the RA's time).  The remaining portion of the RA's work is performed in Lab B on activities funded by departmental operating funds.  Lab A should be coded as 100% Sponsored Research because the only activity performed in that lab is Sponsored Research, and the RA's work there is fully funded by the Sponsored Research grants.


Coding for graduate students working in Sponsored Research labs:

  • Space utilized by graduate employees can be considered as Sponsored Research space only if the graduate employee is funded from Sponsored Research projects.
  • If any graduate employees are conducting research in lab space and are being funded through departmental funds, that portion of the space (percent of effort) should be coded as Department Research.
  • If any graduate students are utilizing lab space and not being paid, that portion of the space should be coded as Instructional Support or Department Research, depending on the activity of the student.
  • If a graduate employee is housed in research labs and does not have a separate office, part of that room should be coded as Instructional Support to account for the time s/he spends on coursework; it can be minimal, but should be recognized.
  • Graduate employees who work on sponsored research should be distinguished from graduate employees with teaching responsibilities; spaces used by the latter should be coded as Instructional Support.

Lab Support Rooms (equipment rooms, supply rooms, environmental control rooms, etc.):

  • Use the same percentages for sponsored research as used for the lab they support. Support rooms serving many labs may be coded by averaging the use of the labs being served.
  • In research centers and institutes, support spaces like break rooms, etc., generally should be coded "Department Administration (11)"; conference rooms or the like may be prorated as part-time research, but it is very difficult to prove that such spaces are never used for non-research activities.

Coding work stations/desk spaces for researchers/students/staff assigned to non-class research labs:

  • If office space is NOT separated from the lab space (i.e., if the working space is a lab/research station that serves both functions OR if the researcher has a desk/phone/PC near the lab work station), type-code the entire space as a non-class lab.
  • If office space used for research activities is physically distinct--walled off with a separate room number--the office should be type-coded as an office.

"Sponsored Projects Administration":

  • Space in an academic department or research center used to administer sponsored projects (grant accounting) should be coded as "Departmental Administration (11)" rather than "Sponsored Projects Administration (13)."

Unpaid courtesy appointments or unpaid student workers:

  • Some labs may have many unpaid undergrad students during the year; they will not appear in employee lists.  If you want to track unpaid workers, you may refer to them in either the "Custom Type Information" field or the "Add notes" field in the edit form — for example, "3 unpaid students; 1 courtesy appointment".



Offices that are unoccupied during an active hiring process:
If an office has no occupant (such as during an active search), use the check-box ("Pending occupant") to indicate the vacancy will be filled soon and use either the "Custom Type Information field" or the “Add note” function in the Edit form to indicate the anticipated fill date or to provide other relevant information.

Exception: "Sponsored Research (41)" and "Sponsored Public Service (61)" can be used only for offices currently occupied by personnel who either are fully or partially supported by sponsored research or sponsored public service funding or are engaged in sponsored research activities under the direction of a Principal Investigator.

Offices that are unoccupied with no immediate plans for filling a position:

Use the customary Type and Function codes.  Provide information using the "Add note" function in the Edit form to explain why an office currently is vacant or inactive.

If a room is permanently inactive for some reason, provide an explanation by using the "Add note" function. 

Spaces undergoing remodel/renovation or other construction rendering them unusable for programmatic activities:

  • Type code: "Construction (594)" **
  • Function code: "Construction (99)"
  • In the "Custom Type Information" field, provide anticipated allocation (e.g., "Smith Lab") and completion date, if known.  More lengthy information may be added using the "Add note" function in the Edit form. 

** Unit editors, at their discretion, may elect to use a Type Code describing the intended use of a space under construction (e.g., faculty office, non-class lab).  Regardless of the Type Code used, spaces under construction should carry the Function Code "Construction (99)".

Questions? Contact UO Spaces Data Administrator, Campus Planning, at


Unit editors cannot change the "Assigned/Loaned" field, so units that are borrowing space from another unit initially will not see that space on their inventory.  To gain access to the room record, contact the UO Spaces Data Administrator at
Assigned (Loaning) Department:  The room record and its utilization data will appear in the assigned unit's list of allocated rooms, but the assigned unit will not have access to the edit function.  If the room has been returned and is no longr loaned out, contact the UO Spaces Data Administrator at to regain access. 
Borrowing Department:  If your unit is temporarily using a room that is officially allocated to another unit and that does not appear on your unit’s room list, contact the Data Administrator.
All rooms or spaces designated as "on loan" must have a Memorandum of Agreement approved according the policy of the unit's school, college, or administrative vice-president and provided to the Data Administrator for recording in the inventory database.