Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Process and Model

Responsibilities and rights of the university

Space ownership

All space is university space

Although space is allocated to faculties, departments and specific users, all space is owned by the university, represented by the Vice President, Administration and Finance and the university Provost.

TRU’s Facilities Department (FD) and Integrated Planning and Effectiveness Department (IPE) are the co-agents exercising the rights and responsibilities of the university with respect to space with responsibility for space planning and management of physical assets. FD and IPE must be provided with the capacity to give professional advice and analytical services in order to assist faculties, departments, and service units to meet their responsibilities with respect to space use.

Allocating space

The university has the responsibility to allocate blocks of space to faculties or service units for their use. The university has an obligation to provide space for academic staff, administrative staff and students that is appropriate and sufficient to support activities that are part of the university’s mandate, according to the university’s space standards.

The university can reallocate space, at its discretion, to meet changing needs and priorities.

Space is allocated to users for certain lengths of time with the allocations to be reviewed periodically. For example, classrooms are allocated for one to three hour time slots in contrast to offices and research spaces which are allocated for longer periods of time, not exceeding five years per allocation. Space use will be reviewed periodically and space assignments reconfirmed accordingly.

Needs-based allocations and space standards

For all users and all categories of space, space standards will be used to allocate space based on assessed need. These space standards may be adjusted in accordance with the total amount of space available. In this way, an overall space shortage or surplus can be resolved fairly. In many cases, existing uses and space assignments may not meet the standards and will not face an unfair imposition of these standards. However, any reallocation, renovation, or provision of new building space shall conform to the university space standards as closely as possible.

Suitable space

Space provided shall be suitable in terms of size, quality, and location. Where space is to be renovated, the university will ensure that the designated space is adequate and appropriate for the intended use.

Uses of a similar nature, or uses which are functionally related, will be allocated in proximity to one another wherever possible. In particular, university departments, whenever practical, will have their special facilities (such as laboratories), offices and support spaces located contiguously.

Access to appropriate space

Users will be provided with the space required to support their activities.

Using space effectively

All space allocated to a department or service unit must be used efficiently. It is the responsibility of the user to seek opportunities to introduce compatible, approved university uses to maintain utilization at a level which is consistent with university standards.

Resolving space issues

It is the responsibility of the user to address changing and emerging needs for space by optimising the utilization of the space they currently occupy. The first response to a perceived need is to identify space resources already available to the user that can meet the need.

Identifying opportunities

It is an obligation of users to identify underutilized space and provide for improved space use.

Sharing space and functions

To avoid duplication of space, equipment, and staff services, and to avoid unnecessary costs, as much space as possible should be shared among departments. This applies especially to meeting rooms, office work rooms, staff lounge areas, technical support work areas, and storage areas. Where there are multiple users, protocols shall be developed to establish responsibilities and priorities for use and management of the space.


It is the right of users of space to be consulted on matters of space allocation and utilization.

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