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Postsecondary Education

NCES 2006-160
May 2006

5.2 Required Data Elements

As referenced in chapter 2, this manual outlines two broad categories of facilities inventory data: required data elements and optional data elements.

If an institution is assembling a facilities inventory database for the first time or re-inventing and overhauling one that has become obsolete, please refer to chapter 1 for practical tips on how to begin this process. This manual recommends first collecting at least the four required data elements. It also recommends that if a room is divided into several spaces for either assignment or architectural use purposes, data for each space should be provided.

Table 5-1 presents the four types of required data. They are the minimum necessary to provide unique identification to a given room or space. Together, they serve as the foundation upon which other data may be added to suit the needs of each institution.

Table 5-1. required data elements

Unique Space or Room Identifier A code assigned by the institution to identify every specific room or space, whether assignable or nonassignable. This code should incorporate a unique building, floor, and room number for each space.
Organizational unit An institutionally determined name or code to identify the organizational unit(s) to which the space is assigned at the time of inventory (e.g., school, department, division).
Area The floor area of every specific room or space, measured in square feet or meters, whether assignable or nonassignable. For a specific space, it is the area assigned to or available for assignment to an occupant or specific use. If the space is prorated, the area should be proportionately allocated. Floor areas are defined in chapter 3.
Space Use Category Code indicating the classification of every specific room or space based on primary use or activity that occurs in the space at the time of the inventory. It may be a space use name, a numerical code, or both. The standard classifications of space use are defined in detail in chapter 4.