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Office of Planning and Budgeting

Customer Interactive Space Inventory Management System

It is widely recognized that the availability of space at the University of Washington Seattle campus is severely constrained, and in many instances is the limiting factor to program growth. The Capital and Space Planning Office's ability to manage this scarce and precious resource as efficiently as possible is currently hampered by the lack of a truly shared set of data from which to discuss space needs with the schools, colleges, and administrative units that occupy the space. UIF funding for this project allows the purchase of computer hardware and software, salary support for temporary Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) drafter, training costs, and contract services for hardware support.

The objective of this project is to provide improved management of campus space through faster, clearer response to space requests; better information about how space is used; and a common data set from which to work with the schools and colleges on space analysis, option plans, and assignments. This information will improve communication and allow us to manage our space resources in partnership with the units on campus. This data will have the capability of being viewed and updated on the web. Rooms directly associated with instruction and research will be linked to color-coded, printable floor plans.

The Capital and Space Planning Office (CASPO) is responsible for maintaining an inventory of all space owned or leased by the University of Washington. Currently, the inventory tracks over 16 million square feet of space comprising approximately 44,000 rooms in 370 buildings. The inventory logs general building information and room detail information about location, room size, space assignment and use at the college and department level.

Historically, the room inventory has been a relatively "lifeless" roster of University space, used almost exclusively by CASPO staff. Currently, information about new buildings does not get added to the inventory before the spaces are being designed and assigned, and this is when it would be very useful. The inventory is updated annually through a massive and cumbersome turnaround document-a list of spaces assigned to campus units. Units would take this list and manually mark-up and return a copy, indicating their updates. CASPO staff then perform the laborious task of entering this information into the database.

During the past two years, CASPO has begun to link the inventory database with CAD drawings, allowing the information to be electronically manipulated, and serving as an active analytical, and informative communication tool. This "enlivened" database has been developed for selected buildings to allow specific analyses, and to test various software programs in order to determine the most effective and functional tool for UW purposes, now and in the future.

CASPO staff have evaluated and tested software that links space inventory data to CAD drawings and distributes this information to University colleges and schools. The current proposal is considered to be the best solution with regard to extraction capabilities, usability, accessibility, and expansion capabilities. It builds on existing hardware and software within Planning and Budgeting and provides a straightforward comprehensive tool that will be relatively easy to train others to use with a common web interface. This project will support an additional server, a color printer that allows high quality 11 x 17 graphic production for prints of the database CAD drawings, computer software consisting of an add-on cartridge to Planning and Budgeting's Oracle license, an Oracle Spatial Data Cartridge, contracted ESRI consulting services, part-time student help and CASPO staff training are also included. The proposed system would also provide a platform for:

Because of the importance of having this type of information, many units on campus have developed their own systems for managing spaces assigned to them. Implementation of this shared system will help to encourage a common system and eliminate these shadow systems.

Contacts: Marilyn Cox
Director, Capital and Space Planning Office
  Dan Trythal
Manager, Program Operations
Allocation: $13,895
Date Funded: November 2000