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Postsecondary Education

NCES 2006-160
May 2006

4.2.4 Room Name

Room name, whether colloquial or part of a formally applied syntax, can be useful to institutional users of the facilities space inventory. Reliance on local room names, however, can cause problems in applying correct space use categories. Depending on the space it serves, a “balance room,” for example, can take any of three laboratory service codes; likewise, “storage” areas can fall into almost any service code category (including unit storage) for the same reason and are only occasionally limited to the Central Storage (730) category.

The space’s actual use must match the stated definition for an accurate coding to be made. A space that is called the “old physics lab” should be coded as a laboratory only if it is used as a laboratory; if it is used, however, as an office file area, then the space use should be coded Office Service (315). Determination of the actual and current use of a space is necessary for accurate coding.

Local or colloquial room names do, nonetheless, provide useful information for identifying many spaces and their locations, especially for the casual user of a space inventory listing or summary report. Institutions are encouraged to maintain the formal space use code names in this manual as a separate data element or, using supporting software in automated systems, generate the formal names based on the numerical codes (e.g., code 210 automatically generates the use code name Class Laboratory).