1. Overview

Stanford University uses the iSpace system to track the occupancy and use of all the rooms in Stanford on campus buildings and in off campus buildings leased for use by Stanford organizations. In addition to tracking the academic campus, we upload all the student housing/dining buildings and the Stanford Hospitals and Clinics buildings (due to the overlapping occupancy by the School of Medicine).  

Every two years Stanford conducts an official Space Inventory to update the database for new space, renovated/re-purposed space, demolished space and department moves around the campus. The inventory is a full census of every room during which each department must review and update the information related to the occupancy and use of their space during the fiscal year. This process is known as “Updating and Certifying the Space Inventory”.

The data is of great importance to many groups on campus. Much of the analysis of space is for internal use.  For example, the School of Medicine (a formula school) uses the data in their annual budgeting process and in space planning. And, of course, EH&S, PMO, and many others depend on the accuracy of the data in accomplishing their work.

Perhaps, more importantly, the data supports negotiations with the Federal Government of the indirect Cost Rate that is applied to sponsored projects. A large portion of the indirect cost recovered by the University depends on the Space Inventory. The Cost and Management Analysis group (CMA) utilizes the room level functional use data in the allocation of building related costs that will impact the recovery of millions of dollars to Stanford University

As a department Space Coordinator, the information you provide during this inventory of campus space is an integral part of the process for understanding how our space is being used. Therefore, the accuracy of the coding, as updated by you, is of crucial importance.  Feel free to ask questions if anything in here is unclear.

This document describes the policies and procedures for coding individual room usage in the Space Inventory. In addition to department occupancy and type of room, we need to know how the room is being used and track usage with Function Codes. Although not all Function Codes are relevant to all users, everyone should understand which codes apply to your department. If you have any questions about which sections of the Space Inventory Instructions are relevant to your area, please contact CMA.

The Space Inventory has several steps to be completed by the Space Coordinator: 

  1. Reviewing and updating the room data
  2. Providing for documentation as needed
  3. Certifying completion of the inventory

All space coding must be reviewed and updated as required. Changes may have occurred in your rooms that affect room coding in iSpace for the current inventory process.

2. Working with the Cost and Management Analysis Group

CMA has increased its participation in space coding now and in the future to ensure the highest possible level of accuracy. This participation will differ depending on the type of your department: academic vs. administrative (including auxiliaries and non-Stanford entities).

A. Academic

CMA will focus its review of departmental entries primarily on the following items (versus a full census review of each department):

  • space coded in iSpace to Organized Research
  • sponsored research and cost sharing accounts with expenditures

B. Administrative

Prior to the archive of the iSpace data, CMA will review the functional coding reported by each department to ensure its appropriateness. Once all updates are made, each department is required to certify per the instructions below.

3. Documentation

Sufficient documentation to support the coding of your space must be maintained, primarily for space coded to Organized Research (OR). Documentation is important to support coding decisions in the event of audit by Internal Audit, external auditors, the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), and/or sponsoring agencies. See Appendix C: Organized Research Documentation for detailed guidance on requirements.

Electronic Principal Investigator Lab Use Survey (ePLUS) has been designed to standardize the collection/reporting of the documentation required to support the coding of Organized Research space. Completion of documentation in ePLUS for all space coded to OR will assist CMA in its review of each department’s space. In the event of a DCAA audit, this form will reduce the impact on a department’s faculty and staff by providing written documentation. See Appendix C: Organized Research Documentation for more information about the OR documentation form.

4. Certification Process

The certification is an acknowledgment by the department Space Coordinator that the Space Inventory was updated in accordance with the requirements set forth in these Space Inventory Instructions. Please be sure you understand these Instructions before updating your space inventory. Upon completion of your space inventory update, certify its completion (to the best of your knowledge) as follows:

  1. Print a Certification Report from iSpace for your department.
  2. Review the report to insure that all changes are reflected.
  3. If all changes are not reflected, make the necessary changes and repeat step 1.
  4. If all changes are reflected, review the changes with the Department Administrative/Financial Manager. (For SoM, Department Business Manager)
  5. After the review, sign and date the report, managers may also sign. (For SoM, Department Finance Administrator (the DFA) will sign and date the report.)
  6. You must retain the signed report in your file in the event of an audit.  This is the only evidence of certification accepted by Internal Audit and the Government.
  7. Send your certification to CMA via e-mail that your space inventory update is complete.  Please attach a copy of the signed Certification Report (scanned or electronic).  (For SoM, Department Business Manager will do notification and cc: to SoM Office of Facilities Planning & Management (OFPM) and to Department Chair)

5. Deadline and Notification Details

Send notification of completion and certification by:
September 30 (30 days after fiscal year close)

Send notification of completion to:
For All Departments (incl. SoM): ORA-CMA-SPACE@STANFORD.EDU

6. Changes and Key Points

Policy Changes

There are no major negotiated policy changes affecting space that have significantly changed these instructions from the prior issue.  As always, due DCAA audit, accuracy and documentation are of the utmost importance.   Please review the following items to insure the accuracy of your space coding.

Academic Office Space Clarification

Clarification of exceptions to Academic department’s office space (Room Type Codes 300 to 399) coding to Departmental Administration, Function Code A.

Desk Space in Labs

Use of desk space in research labs for various activities has been identified as an item of concern by the Government. Stanford has historically been coding many research labs acknowledging non-research activities (including desk use) where the activities are a measurable level of use. We are not changing the methodology for functional coding of the research labs in this Space Inventory. 

Idle Space,  e.g., Renovations and Inactive Space

Idle space is comprised of the following situations: (1) space that is inactive, or (2) space out of service (under renovation).  An important question in the decision on how to functionally code idle space is "how long the space was/will be idle?"

  • If the space was/will be idle for 3 consecutive months or less, the space coding is dependent on the normal "activity" in the room.
  • If the space was/will be idle for longer than 3 consecutive months, the space should be coded based on the idle situation - which is either Inactive (Function Code E) or Out of Service (Function Code X).

Please see the detailed discussion in the Function Code sections on how to code Inactive or Temporarily Unassignable space.

7. Why Is Space Inventory Required?

University Tracking of Space

The primary purpose of the Space Inventory is to maintain accurate information about space owned or rented by the University. The data is of great importance to many groups on campus and is used for a variety of purposes (see Other Uses).

Predominant, is the calculation of the Indirect Cost Rate that is applied to sponsored project expenditures.  The Space Inventory provides a basis for the allocation of selected indirect costs, including building and equipment depreciation costs and some operation and maintenance (O&M) costs.

Recovery of Indirect Costs

The Federal Government requires accurate calculation of the University’s Indirect Cost Rate. The calculation is performed to determine the costs of accommodating sponsored projects at Stanford University. These overhead costs can be reimbursed to Stanford by the government and other sponsors.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) "Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards",  provides the guiding principles and procedures for determining the costs applicable to work performed by colleges and universities under grants, contracts, and other agreements with the Federal Government and other sponsors.

Additional guidance for Space Inventory classifications is provided by the "Post-Secondary Education Facilities Inventory and Classification Manual, 2006" (the Manual) published by the National Center for Education Statistics. Topics addressed in the Manual include Assignable Square Footage and Room Type Codes and definitions. These items are discussed in greater detail later in these Instructions.

Thus, the allocation and reimbursement of building and equipment depreciation and O&M costs, a major portion of total indirect costs, is directly affected by how departments code their space. It is crucial that you be as accurate as possible in updating the space inventory so that Stanford complies with its obligations under the applicable Federal Regulations.

Other Uses and Users

The iSpace database contains information about buildings used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Scheduling and assigning space
  • Facilities planning by the University/schools/departments
  • Departmental tracking of space use
  • Energy Conservation Incentive Program
  • School of Medicine (a formula school) annual budgeting and space planning

The user groups include the following:

  • Capital Planning and Management
  • University Property Administration
  • Communications Services
  • Environmental Health & Safety Office
  • Facilities Project Management
  • Federal agencies - FEMA/DOE/NSF
  • School of Medicine Facilities
  • Medical Center Accounting
  • Network for Student Information
  • Operations & Maintenance
  • Public Safety
  • Registrar's Office
  • Risk Management
  • Fire Protection Services

Given the wide range of use of iSpace data, some information requested as part of the Space Inventory is necessary to update the database but is not used in the calculation of the University’s Indirect Cost Rate. All iSpace data fields are discussed in the iSpace Reference Manual.

8. Assistance

It is not expected that everyone will understand fully all aspects of the Space Inventory Instructions. Assistance is readily available, and we encourage you to use it.

Room Numbering, Room Measurements, Floor Plans:
University Departments: Dobie Howard (650) 723-3289 or EM: DOBIE@STANFORD.EDU 
School of Medicine: Byron Mau (650) 497-4928 or EM: BMAU@STANFORD.EDU and Diana Beck (650) 724-9578 or EM: DMBECK@STANFORD.EDU

iSpace Access:
University Departments: Dobie Howard (650) 723-3289 or EM: DOBIE@STANFORD.EDU 
School of Medicine: Byron Mau (650) 497-4928 or EM: BMAU@STANFORD.EDU

Space Coding and Other Problems/Issues:
Paula Quintero (650) 250-3806 or EM: PAULAQ@STANFORD.EDU