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Facility Utilization

Local governments can make well-informed, cost-effective decisions about their facilities through the process of facility use management, or square footage management. This is simply the process of regularly evaluating and comparing the square footage operated to benchmarks, so an organization or local government can make decisions or plan for future needs and uses. Using this process allows for better control of operating costs and review of staffing needs, as well as informed decision-making on space consolidation/reduction when needed.

The first step involves gathering data on square footage, staffing levels, any anticipated changes to the space or staffing, community input (in the case of consolidation), funding sources and levels (in the case of new construction) and other pertinent information. This information can then become available for review to help guide decision-making processes for future planning, securing funding, evaluating staffing levels, investigating privatizing operational services and other important administrative decisions.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has provided guidance to federal agencies regarding space planning that supports operations. As the GSA eliminated mandated square footage for federal agencies, it conducted a series of case studies to help agencies optimize space and utilization. These case studies, the resulting publications, and various models of space planning, help agencies inventory, design and refine their workplace accommodations.


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