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Customer Guide to Space Planning

Please reference this guide for complete information on the space planning process.

  • Introduction

    The Commissioner of Administration is granted authority for leasing real property for agency use in accordance with Minnesota Statutes 16B.24, Subdivision 5(e) for state owned buildings and 16B.24, Subdivision 6 for non-state owned buildings. The responsibility for leasing space is delegated to Real Estate and Construction Services (RECS), a division within the Department of Administration. Within RECS, the Space Management team is responsible for space management functions.

    Space management is the process by which administrators and managers are provided with information on space utilization and space needs to make significant facility planning-related decisions in a cost effective manner. Specifically, space management is the systematic method of inventorying, allocating, planning, designing and maintaining space, equipment and furniture for general or special purpose facilities that are subject to such needs as flexibility or an accommodation for future growth. Flexibility, functionality and efficiency require an effective space management system, for which space planning is an effective tool.

    This guide is intended to define workplace standards that will help improve productivity, help leverage real estate assets, help reduce workplace expenses and help align workplace functions with space types, technology and workstations. The complexity of variables that can be adjusted to help improve workplace productivity is dependent on the resources and composition of each work group as well as the management practices and workplace standards that establish the right setting.

    The purpose of this Guide is to provide state agencies with a useful tool for space planning and to define the working relationship between the requesting agency and Admin. Admin's Leasing and Space Management teams will coordinate the necessity and extent of space planning needs on a case-by-case basis. Space management staff ensures efficient and effective use of space in the most economical manner while meeting the agency’s space requirements.

  • Preliminary Estimate of Space Needs

    When an agency needs to determine a budget for a potential program or move, the following process can assist in determining the preliminary square footage necessary along with the associated lease costs. Once the decision is made to go forth with the project, the agency should complete the space planning process as outlined in the next section.

    1. Determine the number of Resident Employees* – employees who work in the office and require assigned dedicated workspace (# of people).  A Full Time Resident Employee has an FTE value of 1.0

    2. Determine the number of Mobile Internal Workers* – employees who work in the office without a need for dedicated workspace (# of people).  A Full Time Mobile Internal Worker has an FTE value of 1.0

    3. Determine the number of Mobile External Workers* – employees who work outside the office 1-3 days per week without a need for dedicated workspace (# of people).  To determine a Full Time Equivalent value, complete the following equation: 

    4. (number of hours employee works in the office per week) / (40 hours/week)

    5. Determine the total amount of support space needed. Support space consists of areas such as workrooms, reception areas, copy/printer areas, files, conference space, libraries, mail, etc.

      • 125-175 square foot per person - low support space needs with high # of mobile workers

      • 175-200 square foot per person - average support space needs with balance of resident workers and mobile workers

      • 200-230 square foot per person - high support space needs with high # of resident workers

    6. Multiply the average number of people working in the office on a daily basis (steps 1-3) by the square foot per person (step 4).

    7. (# of people) X (sf/person) = total useable square footage required

    8. Contact RECS Lease Supervisor for the current market rates to determine rental budget.

    * Recommend collecting data through observation, surveys and discussions with potential mobile workers.

  • Space Planning Process for State Owned Buildings

    For small scale space planning projects in state owned buildings involving space programming and furniture reconfiguration, the agency must contact the Department of Administration Materials Management Division at to contract with an interior design consultant.

    If remodeling and/or renovation is necessary, the agency must contact Gordon Christofferson with the Department of Administration, Real Estate and Construction Services at for design and project management.

    Dependent on the size and complexity of the project, it may be subject to the Predesign Requirement as set forth in Minnesota Statutes 16B.335, Subd. 3. Predesigns are also coordinated with Real Estate and Construction Services (more information).

    All space programs for all of the above processes must comply with the Space Guidelines, Appendix A. Admin's space management team will review for compliance.

  • Space Planning Process for Non-State Owned Buildings

    The space planning process for non-state owned buildings involves communication between the requesting agency and Admin's space management team. In order to assure a timely process, priorities and good communication need to be established from the beginning of the project. The estimated time frame for each project varies on a case-by-case basis, depending on such variables as the amount of square footage, the number of employees the project will encompass, and the response time for reviews and requests for information.

    A. When a decision is made to commence with a space planning project, the requesting agency should send a written request to the director of Admin Real Estate and Construction Services, including the following:

        1. A statement as to why the request is being made. The following are some reasons space planning is needed:

    • A significant increase or decrease in personnel;
    • Work flow/operations/programs have changed;
    • Additional space is required;
    • Internal traffic is restricted or congested;
    • Overcrowding of personnel or equipment;
    • Relocation;
    • Merger/consolidation/collocation;
    • New Program;
    • A lease is due to expire;
    • Current space condition does not meet program needs.
    • Implementation of Flexible Work Environments

        2. The agency’s objectives.

        3. The agency contact for the project, including telephone number and email address.

    B. Concurrently, the agency needs to determine how to approach the process internally. Space planning can require a significant amount of agency involvement. The agency needs to determine what its decision making process will be, how the internal communication will work and what the participation involvement will entail. At this point, the agency should concentrate on the conceptual process rather than people to accomplish this. Once the internal process is determined, the agency should assemble an internal agency team.

    C. Once the agency internal process and team is determined, the agency needs to appoint one main agency contact. This individual will serve as the coordinator between the internal agency team and Admin's space management team.

    D. Admin's space management will meet with the agency contact to determine the course the project should follow. Space management staff will collect and evaluate a variety of data and will suggest solutions to meet the agency’s space needs. The agency and Admin will generate a schedule to determine timeframes and responsible party for each phase of the project.

    E. Data Collection:

        1. Information regarding an agency’s operation is needed to develop a space plan. The gathered data will present an overall picture of office operations. RECS Space Management will     determine whether initial information will be collected through the interview process, the use of forms and/or surveys, or a combination of both. Information gathering includes, but is not limited:

    • Goals and objectives of the agency
    • Agency organizational chart
    • Existing floor plans
    • Current and projected staff requirements, functions and tasks including historical data
    • Current and future equipment and furniture needs
    • Individual and work group adjacency requirements
    • Work flow progression
    • Office operations
    • Requirements for shared support areas within tenant space: conference rooms, reception areas, file areas, machine rooms, shared work areas, storage areas, etc

        See Appendix C for the Space Analysis Form and Appendix D for a variety of Survey Forms that will assist with the data collection. It is encouraged that these survey forms be shared with employees     as appropriate to determine work styles and space needs. It is recommended that a manager or the design team observe the existing work styles in coordination with the review of the completed     survey forms to further understand the opportunities for improved space and productivity efficiencies.

        2. Site visits are conducted to examine the existing space and potential new space, if applicable, to determine the condition of the space and feasibility of the project.

    F. Space Guidelines

    The Department of Administration developed space guidelines to assist in space planning. By establishing these guidelines, workspaces are designed to be flexible and adapt to the position and job function. By being flexible, any type of reconfiguration should be minimal resulting in less economic impact.

    See Appendix A for the full Space Guidelines and Appendix B for the associated workstation and private office layouts.

    G. Programming

        1. Once all the information is gathered, Admin's space management team will use it to define the space requirements.

    • The survey forms will allow space management staff to determine the square footage for workspaces, all support spaces and any special areas, i.e. laboratory, library, Emergency Operation Center (EOC), etc. When there is a question on the Survey forms, space management staff may contact the agency for clarification.
    • When more than one unit is involved, the Space Analysis and interviews with the agency contact will also allow space management staff to determine potential space savings with sharing of support spaces.
    • A space program will be developed for each work group and take into account all associated spaces, shared spaces and circulation. See Appendix E for a sample space program.

        2. The space program will determine the square footage necessary to accomplish operations and assist in developing floor plan layouts.

        3. The space program will contain a recommendation relative to the Space Analysis, interviews and other agency criteria based on the application of the Space Guidelines.

        4. The program is then reviewed with the agency.

        5. If the program needs revision, Admin's space management team will adjust it accordingly after another review with the agency representatives. This process may take several reviews in order to     assure all space needs are met in the space program. This is an interactive and timely process for both Admin's space management team and the agency. The agency needs a conceptual     understanding of what the space program states.

        6. Once the final space program is determined, a decision can be made as how to proceed. Alternatives are reviewed in context of the space program, cost, market availability and other agency     criteria. Admin's leasing and space management staff will assist in reviewing the alternatives. Alternatives include:

    • Reduce existing space
    • Expand the existing space
    • Relocate to another facility
    • Remodeling/Furniture reconfiguration
    • Implementation of Flexible Work Strategies

        7. Once the decision is made on how to proceed, Admin's leasing and space management staff will coordinate the application of the space program with the determined alternative.

  • Design, Construction, Remodeling and Move-In for Non-State Owned Buildings

    Once the space program and location are determined, there are several steps before the space can be occupied. The space program may require one or all of the following steps depending on the status of the facility or if relocation is required. The timing of the project is dictated by the size of the project.

    Admin's Leasing team should be notified of any remodeling requirements. See the Leasing Guide within the remodeling section for assistance on how to proceed.

    Admin Leasing and Space Management will be responsible for the coordination with the Lessor. The Lessor will be responsible for hiring its own certified architect to design the building layout as determined by the state’s space program.

    For smaller projects requiring only furniture reconfiguration and no remodeling or construction, the agency may need to hire a certified interior design consultant. Admin Leasing and Space Management will assist in determining this on a case-by-case basis.

    Once a certified interior design consultant is hired, they will meet with the agency contacts, the Lessor and Admin Space Management to determine the process for the design layout and become familiar with the space to be designed. This is an interactive process between the certified interior design consultant, the agency, the Lessor and Admin Space Management.

    The following steps may be required dependent on the project scope:

    A. Schematic Design: Preliminary floor plans based on the space program. It is typically in the form of block diagrams and begins to define areas within the building. The layout needs to be approved by the agency and Admin Space Management before it can proceed to the design development phase. The block diagrams may focus on many different aspects, such as:

    • Organizing the agency (s)/major work groups within the base building configuration and are based on the approved space program. The block diagrams can also be used in a multi-story building, placing the work groups into a vertical relationship within the building. Primary circulation patterns are also established.

    • Organizing the space defined for work groups into individual work areas and special areas as determined in the space program by permanent wall locations. Circulation patterns are further developed.

    B. Design Development: The block diagrams from the Schematic Design are further developed to determine a final plan on which to create construction documents. These final plans must meet ADA and Building Code compliance as well as locate all personnel, furniture, equipment, permanent walls, electrical, voice/data, etc. The final design development plans must be approved by the agency and Admin Space Management before they can proceed to construction documents.

    C. Construction Documents: Detail exactly how the space will be built and describe how the finished space is to function and appear. Depending on the complexity of the project, the construction documents will include, but are not limited to, plans showing:

    • Hard wall/partition location, types, and openings;Room finish schedules with finish selections;
    • Door and hardware requirements;
    • Interior elevations and details;
    • Millwork design and elevations;
    • Reflected ceiling plans for light fixture and locations
    • Electrical, including light switch, receptacle, voice/data outlet locations;
    • Mechanical and plumbing
    • ADA and Building Code compliance

    D. Furniture: Furniture design is coordinated by the agency. This includes the specifications and installation of using new or existing furniture. The project management of the furniture installation is also the responsibility of the agency. This can include, but is not limited to: coding and tagging of furniture to be moved, overseeing the installation of new or reconfigured furniture, transfer of existing furniture, boxes and personal property. RECS Space Management will provide oversight when necessary. See section I: Move In below for further move related issues.

    • Existing Furniture: If the agency will be maintaining their existing furniture, it must coordinate the design, reconfiguration, moving, cleaning and installation.
    • New Furniture: If the agency will be purchasing new furniture, it must be designed, specified and priced. The agency should contact their respective contracting entity to ensure whether the new furniture and designer is on state contract. The furniture designer will use the approved space program to layout the new furniture and provide pricing information. When the design is complete and approved by the agency, it needs to determine the ordering, shipping dates and installation of the furniture to coordinate with the move and/or remodeling of the space.

    E. Finish Selections: These are chosen by the agency from standard sets or building standards. This is typically accomplished while the construction documents are being developed. Typical finish selections are floor and wall finishes, miscellaneous finishes of countertops, doors and frames, millwork, and furniture.

    F. Cost Estimates: Cost estimates are gathered to determine the project budget. Prior to commencement of construction, a final cost estimate is obtained for the entire project based on costs of the following:

    • Construction Cost: The cost to build out the space. It includes, but is not limited to: mechanical, electrical, hard walls, doors, built in cabinets, floor and wall finishes, etc.
    • Design fees: The cost for architectural or interior design services. It can include, but is not limited to: collecting and compiling the space program data, developing schematic, design development and construction documents, furniture layouts, assisting in material selection and project management.
    • Furnishings: The cost to furnish the space. It can include, but is not limited to: any new furniture, existing furniture to be reupholstered or refinished, accessories and artwork.
    • Miscellaneous: The cost of any additional equipment, etc. to complete the project based on the construction documents.

    G. Construction Management: The Lessor usually coordinates the construction management. Construction Management involves monitoring the renovation/construction project through to completion including but not limited to: hiring vendors, interior designers or architects, reviewing shop drawings, product data and samples, site inspection and assurance of compliance to the construction and lease documents. Admin Leasing and Space Management will assist in construction monitoring on behalf of the lessee agency.

    H. Walk Through: The Lessor, the contractor, Admin and the agency representative usually conduct the project walk through. It is conducted when the project is complete in order to ensure the project complies with the construction and lease documents, the space has been cleaned and generally meets the approval of the agency. During the walk through, a punch list of items to be completed or repaired is created. The punch list is an agreement between the Lessor, the contractor and the agency representative that certain items need to be completed or repaired. A schedule for completion of the punch list is established. The project is not complete until such time as all items on the punch list are complete. A follow up walk through will be conducted, if necessary.

    I. Move In: It is the agency’s responsibility to contact the Agency Relocation Team (ART) to ensure the smoothest possible move. This should be done at the time the agency commences planning and makes the decision to move. The ART is comprised of the following:

    • Department of Administration, Risk Management Division (651-201-2591) for any insurance needs.
    • Department of Administration, Materials Management Division (651-201-2448) if a contract mover will be required. A requisition containing pertinent information on the move should be sent in sufficient time to obtain bids and award a contract well in advance of the move.
    • Department of Administration, Risk Management Division, Safety and Loss Control (651-259-3830) for any safety or health issue.
    • Office of Enterprise Technology (OET) at (651-201-1051) for any technology issues. OET should be contacted as planning commences to determine telecommunication requirements to be incorporated into the construction documents. Contact RECS Leasing or OET for a copy of Wiring Guidelines for Lease Facilities.
    • Department of Administration, Central Mail (651-296-6802) for mail service at the new location and, if necessary, to permit any rescheduling of mail routes.
    • Other state agencies and public contacts of the agency’s new address and phone number.

    The move may take several days or weeks. The agency may want to develop a phasing plan to assure an efficient move and eliminate the possibility of long “down times”. RECS can assist with the development of the phasing plan. The phasing plan should also be coordinated with the Lessor. On the day(s) of the move, the agency should have one or more individuals who are familiar with the project at both the old and new locations to advise and direct the movers. They will need to be informed of the schedule, what furniture and equipment is moved and where to place it in the new location, and what furniture and equipment will stay at the old location.

  • Definitions
    Agency: In accordance with Minnesota Statue 16B.01, Subd.2., an agency means “Any state office, employee, board, commission, authority, department of other agency of the executive branch of state government…”

    As-Is: The existing condition of real estate, prior to any improvements contemplated under a lease.

    Build-out: Refers to the interior construction of a lessee’s space whether new construction or the remodeling of the existing space. Also referred to as “Leasehold Improvements”.

    Common Support Space within the Building: Space devoted to common support services. Common Support Services are generally not attributed to any one occupant, but provide support for several or all occupant groups. Examples of common support spaces include, conference rooms, training rooms, computer rooms, storage rooms, cafeteria and fitness facilities.

    Demising Wall: The wall, which separates a lessee’s space from another lessee’s space or the building common areas.

    HVAC: Acronym for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

    Individual / Resident Work Areas: Workstations or private offices that an employee (working in the office most/every day) uses to carry out their work. See Space Guidelines, Appendix A.

    Leasehold Improvements: Improvements made to the lease premises for the lessee. Improvements permanently attach to the premises unless they are trade fixtures and they remain within the premises after the end of term of the lease.

    Lessee: The user of the space, often referred to as the “tenant”. The State of Minnesota, Department of Administration, is the lessee, acting for the benefit of a state agency.

    Mobile / Flexible Work Areas: Unassigned workspaces for mobile (internal or external) employees to use when they are working in the office. These workspaces may be workstations, private offices, conference rooms or open collaborative areas throughout the office. See Space Guidelines, Appendix A.

    Partition Wall: A wall constructed within the tenant space to create work areas such as offices or conference rooms within the space, and is distinct from the demising walls that encircle the space.

    Punch list: A list of incomplete remodeling items or construction items, which are unacceptable to the lessee, which upon remedy and completion will usually complete the obligations of the contractor under a construction contract. It is the lessor’s responsibility to satisfy the lessee’s concerns and motivate the contractor to correct all the items on the punch list.

    Rentable Space: All potential leasable floor space in a building. It is the sum of useable and service spaces.

    Service Space: The area for all of the non-occupiable space that cannot be easily reconstructed as another type of space. Examples are common corridors, lobbies, restrooms, copy rooms, mechanical rooms, electrical rooms, etc.

    Shaft Space: Vertical penetrations spanning more than one floor. Such types of spaces are stairwells, elevators, mechanical and plumbing shafts.

    Shared Support Areas within Tenant Space: Spaces that are shared by staff or work groups. They are not part of the individual work areas and can be located in an open area or within walled in areas. Examples are conference room, computer rooms, training rooms, collaborative meeting areas, etc. Size is based on equipment and use requirements of the specific space.

    Substantial Completion: The point during construction at which the contractor is ready to turn the property over to the lessee or client for acceptance and final punch list. Usually occurs upon the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

    Useable Square Feet: Useable square feet is computed by measuring the inside finished surface of exterior walls to the inside finished surface of building corridor and other permanent walls or to the center of wall separating the Leased Premises from other tenant space. If more than 50% of an exterior wall is glass, the dimension is taken from the glass line. Vertical shafts, elevators, stairwells, dock areas, mechanical rooms and utility and janitor rooms are excluded. Restrooms, corridors, lobbies and receiving areas, which are accessible to the general public or used in common with other tenants are also excluded. No deductions are made for columns, pilasters or other projections to the building if each is less than four (4) square feet.
  • Attachments