This site is dedicated to various background and reference topics and resources, including links to various presentations, reports, request documentation, and information relative to each biennium. Instructional guides and reference materials relative to campus physical development policies and procedures, including…

  • energy conservation
  • environmental protection and storm water management
  • facilities planning, construction, maintenance, and demolition
  • historical preservation
  • housing policies

…are organized and located here. A document guide, a glossary of common terms and acronyms, and a writing style guide are available as links in the footer menu titled “Feedback and Quick Links”.

Writing Style

When preparing university documents for submission to the Board of Regents, State Building Commission, and the Division of Facilities Development & Management, consult references such as the Chicago Manual of Style or Turabian’s Manual for Writers.


The first time an acronym is used, the full term must first be spelled out. The Department of Administration (DOA). The acronym may be used subsequently. Using uncommon or lengthy acronyms should be avoided and replaced with a shortened title.


The National Research Center for Disabilities and Other Maladies (NRCDOM), could be subsequently referred to as the research center.


A request for architectural and/or engineering and/or other design and planning consulting services.

A request to the Board of Regents, the State Building Commission, or both to approve an action or actions. Statute and policies determine what actions require which approvals. Agency Requests typically are drafted by the institution, based on standard templates, and completed by Capital Planning and Budget.

A capital project primarily intended to accomplish maintenance-related work. Restrictions on scope and budget based on current enumeration limits and project program policies.

Approval by the Board of Regents and the State Building Commission to construct a project, usually granted after completion of a design report and the submittal of preliminary design documents.

Space that can be used for people or programs. This includes such space as classrooms, labs, and offices, but excludes such space as corridors, stairs, restrooms, and mechanical rooms.

Scheduling classes so that they meet in standard scheduling blocks of time. E.g. a class requiring three contact hours would either meet for one hour at the same time on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or for one and one-half hours at the same time on Tuesday and Thursday. Block scheduling is generally more efficient in utilizing available times and spaces than non-block scheduling.

The ratio of ASF to GSF. A typical classroom and office building would have an efficiency of 66%; a lab building might only be 55%.

A source of cash funding allocated by the State Building Commission. Building Trust Funds – Planning are funds used to pay consultant design fees for GFSB-funded projects prior to authorization to construct, and are replenished by bonding. Building Trust Funds – Contingency are funds that used to fund items such as building demolition, and are not replenished.

The actual number of student stations in a room. This number should never exceed the number allowed by building code, regardless of actual use.

A tool used to calculate the required number of general assignment classrooms needed based on section size, scheduled instructional periods, and assumed utilization. A variation of this tool can also be used to predict required number of instructional labs.

Equal to one hour of student-faculty contact time per week, per term. Traditionally this has actually been equal to a period, which may be more or less than 60 minutes, and has represented time that a student spends in a physical location. Also, practice has been to consider credit hours equal to the contact hours for a given course.

The credits that a given course will provide a student upon successful completion of the course. Traditionally, this has been equal to the contact hours per week over a fifteen-week semester.

A single course that is listed in two or more departmental course catalogues. An example might be a literature course that is listed by the English Department, Anthropology Department, and Women’s Studies. In looking at registration scheduling data, it is important that cross-listed courses only be counted once for space use.

A document produced by the design consultant at the completion of preliminary design.  This document describes the basic scope, budget, and schedule of the project.

Unit within the Department of Administration, empowered to manage capital construction for all state agencies.

Within the budget bill, the allocation of specific amounts and sources of funding for a specific capital project. Typically, individual projects are enumerated, but there is also categorical enumeration for purposes such as All Agency and Small projects. Individual project or categorical enumeration is required for all capital projects, regardless of the source of funding.

The percentage of available student stations occupied. This is typically calculated on a room-by-room basis. Also known as “Student Station Occupancy.”

A set of instructions for classifying and quantifying space for higher education, published by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Educational Sciences, and National Center for Educational Statistics. The definitions and methods described in the manual are widely used throughout higher education.

A method for determining space needs that use formulas that incorporate standard available data (such as Weekly Student Contact Hours, FTE’s, etc.) to calculate required space. These formulas can be very simple, or can be proprietary algorithms developed and used by space planning consultants. Organizations such as the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) also have participated in development of formulas for calculating space needs.

For students this is an enrollment calculation representing one student enrollment at full credit load. Full credit load is typically 15 credits for undergraduates, 12 credits for graduate students, and 7 credits for doctoral or professional degrees. Because FTE is based on full-time equivalency, it will be smaller than the headcount number. Some formulas for calculating academic space needs use FTE numbers. For faculty and staff this is equal to one full-time employee. Some formulas for calculating office and support space use FTE numbers.

General obligation bonds that are issued to fund capital expenditures for facilities that accommodate operations that are funded with general purpose revenue/state funding.

Essentially funding provided by tax revenue and user fees, for operations that by statute and policy are considered state obligations.

The total amount of space enclosed by building walls and roof.  This includes ASF, NSF, and shafts, structural columns and walls.

The number of students enrolled during a term. Since some students are enrolled part-time, the headcount number will be higher than the FTE number. Planning formulas typically use FTE, since it is a standard quantity.

A capital project primarily intended to physically improve a classroom or instructional laboratory either through technology or renovation and remodeling. Restrictions on scope and budget based on current enumeration limits and project program policies.

A capital project individually and specifically enumerated in the biennial budget bill. No restrictions on scope (new construction, demolition, remodeling, renovation, utility expansions and extensions, property acquisitions and transactions) or budget amount.

The total of Assignable Square Feet (ASF) and Non-Assignable Square Feet (NASF).

Non-assignable space include areas such as corridors, stairs, elevators, mechanical rooms, restrooms, etc.

Funds generated from user fees such as parking, recreation, student housing, student unions, and food service.

General obligation bonds that are amortized with Program Revenue (PR) from auxiliary operations such as housing, food service, parking, student centers, and student recreation.

A spreadsheet for estimating the cost of a proposed capital project, formatted to conform with the line item cost breakdown.

A standard form used to request a capital project as part of the biennial capital budget request. It is typically drafted by the institution, and completed by Capital Planning and Budget. Includes All Agency Project Requests, Instructional Space Project Requests, and Major Project Requests.

A block of schedulable time. Most commonly this is 50 minutes with 10 minutes between periods, but could be different depending on institutional needs.

A system of coding published in the Postsecondary Education Facilities Inventory and Classification Manual, under the auspices of the National Center for Education Studies. Also known as “FICM Codes” and “HEGIS Codes.” This system is nationally recognized and widely used in higher education, and has the capability of providing both general and detailed coding categories.

The amount of use of an instructional space, compared to the maximum possible use, typically expressed as a percentage. This is calculated using a room-by-room basis, and then aggregated to provide an overall picture of utilization. Two formulas for calculating utilization are:

  1. Room Utilization = Scheduled Hours x Fill Rate/(Weekly Room Hours X 100% Fill Rate); or
  2. Room Utilization = Weekly Student Contact Hours/(Weekly Room Hours x No. of Student Stations x 100% Fill Rate).

Two or more courses of similar content, but at different levels, scheduled together at the same space and time. In looking at registration scheduling date, it is important that stacked courses only be counted once for space use.

An area necessary to accommodate one student in an instructional space. Space allocations vary by discipline and can range from 14 ASF/student station for a traditional lecture hall with tablet arms to 80 ASF/ student station for some types of engineering and agricultural labs.

The number of possible hours (periods) available for scheduling per week. For UW System this is equal to 35 for general assignment classrooms, and 24 for laboratories.

The number of students per section multiplied by the number of contact hours per week that the section meets in a physical location. E.g. a 30-student section that meets three periods a week would generate 90 WSCH. This metric is often used by space planners as a factor in a formula that calculates instructional space requirements.

Acronyms Commonly Used by Capital Planning & Budget


AAPP   All Agency Projects Program
   All Agency Project Request
ACE   Accountability, Consolidation, & Efficiency Initiative
ACM   Asbestos Containing Material
ADA   Americans with Disabilities Act
AGF#   Agency Funds designator (cash funding)
AGFU   Agency Funds Utility (All Agency funding source)
AHU   Air Handling Unit
AIHA   American Industrial Hygiene Association
ANSI   American National Standards Institute
APPA   Leadership in Educational Facilities (formerly known as Association of Physical Plant Administrators)
AR   Agency Representative
ASF   Assignable Square Feet
ASHRAE   American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers
AST   Above Ground Storage Tank
ASU   Air Supply Unit