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Military Stack Planning: A Top View of Space Allocation

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

Like commercial and municipal facilities, military facilities benefit from a clear, top-down understanding of space allocation. To achieve this, administrators need to rely on military stack planning. Stack planning offers a clear and concise overview of all the space accounted for—whether it’s a small military facility or an entire military base. This information gives space managers the foresight they need to understand where and how military officials and employees utilize different spaces.

The key function of stack planning is to ensure available space meets demand in military facilities. This is especially important due to the specific nature of operations on-base or within high-security facilities. When the need for space arises, it tends to come with inflexible demands by nature. Stack planning ensures total available space fulfills demand.

What is military stack planning?

Stack plans offer a top-down view of space allocation within military facilities. This serves to show total representation of space by the determined criteria. How much of a military base’s total square footage do barracks and housing occupy? How much of a secure facility is delegated to Level II clearance and above? What is the cost associated with space allocated to fixed-use spaces on-base? The answer to these questions often exists within the stack plan.

Beyond understanding military space allocation, stack plans also help to shape that space to meet the needs of people using it. Stack plans bring together the context of spatial constraints and the need for space. For example, a stack plan might indicate that there’s 2,000 square feet of classroom space available on-base, split between three rooms, perfect to house data intelligence classes four days per week.

At the highest level, military stack planning is the concept of seeing space as a whole: how and where it’s allocated.

The benefits of stack planning for the military

From a military standpoint, stack planning is an essential tool in ensuring space is allocated appropriately among the many groups who need it—and the applications they need it for. This often means contending with very specific needs and ensuring there’s adequate space for groups to be productive within. Approached tactfully, stack planning offers several key benefits to building and base administrators:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of military personnel
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities, to streamline accessibility

Stack planning insights offer the baseline for smarter decision-making about military facilities. Is there enough space to accommodate X, Y, and Z operations? Does the percentage of space allocated to A, B, and C justify their cost and utilization? The broader the understanding of total military facilities and their allocation, the more administrators can do to optimize space around the needs of groups and maximize the benefit they get from that space.

How does military stack planning software help?

The sheer complexity of planning space at military facilities necessitates the use of military stack planning software. Coordinating between the many groups, space types, activities and cost centers present in military settings takes software and digital intelligence to bring everything together accordingly.

Automated insights and stack planning data are perhaps the most important benefits afforded by software. The ability to quickly bring up a current stack plan and assess it through a variety of different lenses is instrumental in making quick decisions about important scenarios. Moreover, the sandboxing offered by stack planning software shows how those decisions play out at a macro level before administrators make any real changes.

Software is also quick enough to keep pace with the real-time changes occurring at military facilities. Moreover, the ability of facility managers to understand space dynamics at a glance trickles down into better management of facilities and bases on a day-to-day basis. For example, knowing that a certain type of space is over- or under-utilized can pave the way for a quick decision about where to house an activity today vs. where to house that same activity tomorrow or next week.

Above all else, stack planning software provides military space managers with the top-down, encompassing view of facilities they need. In a setting where every decision has an impact on total operations, macro stack insights are invaluable.

Optimize space allocation by understanding it

It’s important to remember that stack plans work both ways. Not only do they show the current allocation of space, they also represent opportunities to reconfigure and reallocate it to better serve the people using it. This enables administrators to make adjustments to space that better-support facility operations.

Should you turn the utility building on base into a new barracks to house recruits? Does the security building need more six-person conference rooms for intelligence briefings? The more facility managers understand demand for space, the more valuable a stack plan becomes.

Keep reading: Military Space Planning: Organized Administration for any Branch

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Enterprise Stack Planning: Allocate Space Where It’s Needed

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist
SpaceIQ

Enterprise-level companies do everything on a grand scale. Yet, even something as large as enterprise stack planning for a campus with thousands of workspaces needs a refined level of attention to ensure it’s done right. This is because often, enterprise success comes from the sum of the contributing parts. That means space efficiency, utilization, and optimization all hinge on the ability of facility managers to create a cohesive stack plan.

Stack planning at the enterprise level is a daunting task that takes tremendous foresight to the variables involved. What types of workspaces are available to you? How many employees are there in each business unit? What’s the breakdown of space by floor, building, or location? Figuring out these variables is a significant effort in and of itself—and putting them together in a stack plan can be even more arduous.

Why go through all the trouble? Because enterprise-level companies rely heavily on their facilities as an asset. When employees can interact with each other and the workplace in an effortless way, their results have the potential to be exceptional.

What is enterprise stack planning?

Enterprise companies have multiple business lines, each requiring space to ensure they’re able to contribute to the company’s operations. Accounting, Legal, Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Executive, and dozens of other teams need space to call their own—and each department needs different space for different purposes. Stack planning offers a top-down view of the entire enterprise’s space allocation.

Enterprise stack planning is the simplest way for facility managers to understand space at a high level. 30% of space belongs to the sales team. Marketing’s facilities span floors three and five. There are nine shared conference rooms across three floors in Building C. These broad types of insights lend themselves to everything from operations planning to decision-making about how to best-use facilities. Facility managers have access to macro information at a glance, which allows them to make specific decisions about space in context.

The benefits of enterprise stack planning

Stack planning for enterprise companies offers significant benefits when approached correctly. On the surface, it translates into providing each business unit with the space it needs to function effectively. Beneath the surface is where the true benefits emerge. Some of the most prevalent include:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of employees
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities to streamline accessibility

Consider that the largest overhead expense for many enterprise companies is facilities and it quickly becomes apparent how beneficial stack planning is. Not only can efficient stack planning maximize the capability of facilities for bottom-line savings, it can also promote more efficient work for top-line growth.

Finally, one of the intangible benefits of effective stack planning is the effect it has on company culture. When employees in each business unit have space to work and be productive they’re more apt and able to collaborate—and to enjoy their time in the office. This translates to a better standard of work and a reduction of friction between employees, workplace, and the work itself.

How does enterprise stack planning software help?

The sheer scope of work associated with enterprise stack planning makes orchestrating space a monumental task. Enterprise stack planning software makes it easier. Software provides readymade analytics and integrations that bring together relevant information to promote useful insights. For example, software can provide utilization rates against different space allocations, allowing managers to see where space is underutilized, or where there’s demand for more.

Stack plan software also helps provide a truly macro view of enterprise space allocation. This means being able to see space distribution across a building, campus, or even multiple locations, for a complete and comprehensive picture of how space pans out. This drives better decision-making from portfolio managers as well—it’s easy to see where space efficiency can lead to cost savings through better portfolio management.

The ability to quickly assess and understand space is also a boon for facility managers. This aids in preparation of reports for executives, coordinate facility costs across different cost centers, and orchestrating facility operations around space constraints. Initiatives like hoteling or expansion/consolidation of facilities need a data-driven approach, and enterprise stack planning offers context for important decision-making about space.

A top-down view of commercial space allocation

Looking at the big picture is extremely important for enterprise companies. Yet, it’s also important to have a clear visual of the individual parts and pieces that make up that bigger picture. This is why stack planning is so important. At a grand scale, facility managers have a clear representation of the total space allocation of the company. In probing deeper, they can see the details necessary to orchestrate that space to meet demand.

Enterprise companies rely on their offices, buildings, campuses, and global locations to give them the competitive edge. To live up to this expectation, it’s vital to distinguish demand for space and allocate it accordingly.

Keep reading: Do You Need Enterprise Facility Management Software?

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Military Space Planning: Organized Administration for any Branch

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist
SpaceIQ

There’s a finite amount of space on military bases and in military facilities. These spaces need to accommodate very specific activities and applications, which means tremendous emphasis on military space planning. Facility managers need to not only understand the nuances of everyday operations, but the demand for space and amenities that come with them. You can’t send soldiers to the mess hall for range training, just like you can’t conduct an intelligence briefing in the cafeteria. Space needs to meet demand.

The inflexibility of many military applications makes space planning a difficult endeavor. How do you ensure everyone has exactly the space they need to fulfill a specific activity, while orchestrating numerous other (equally as specific) opportunities around them? It comes from a clear and present understanding of what space is available, what demand exists, and the path of least resistance for joining the two together.

What is military space planning?

Military space planning is the act of orchestrating space with purpose in mind. It takes into account the complete scope of base operations and ensures everyone has the space they need to accomplish a specific task. To do this requires a comprehensive understanding of both facilities and demand for them.

Take something like a five and dime (commissary). The base needs a specific place to house this building, and the building needs to have enough space to accommodate inventory and the number of people browsing it. This requires no small amount of planning and space allocation. The same goes for just about anything else, from a shooting range, to the base’s hospital facilities, to the armory and more.

The benefits of space planning for the military

Space planning is a complex process because it needs to balance space allocation with demand. Just because you have 8,000 square feet to dedicate to a new guard post doesn’t mean you need to devote all of it to that application. Instead, space planning involves looking at whether that’s the most efficient use of space and what other demands exist for it. Striking a balance between allocation and application results in a number of benefits:

  • Base facilities become more accessible to constituents
  • On-base personnel have the space they need to do their jobs
  • The cost to taxpayers drops as facility efficiency conserves funds
  • Fewer overlaps and interruptions ensure smoother base operations
  • Enhanced safety, security, and privacy in well-orchestrated spaces
  • Easier navigability and wayfinding on a well-organized base

Ultimately, the benefits of good space planning manifest themselves in smoother base ops. Whether it’s employees doing their job, visitors to the base, or enlisted servicemembers going about their day, well-planned space supports the ever-active environment that is an army base.

How does military space planning software help?

Military bases are sprawling, with dozens of facilities and thousands of individuals relying on them daily. Coordinating everything with cohesion isn’t a manual process. Space planning software is essential in allowing base administrators to recognize need, review opportunities, and create space that bridges the gap.

For example, a base might be considering a new on-premise research facility. That facility needs 20,000 square feet to function. Space planning serves an important role in approaching the decision to adapt existing facilities or build a new building. Software makes it easy to understand available space and opportunities for new construction, and to plan for either option accordingly. Such is the case for any situation involving demand for space—or the opposite: repurposing space to create future opportunities.

The true benefit of military space planning software is in data readiness. Digital insights allow for better decision-making about facilities and space, with quantifiable insights behind them. It puts base administrators in a position to think quickly and act decisively, which is especially important for military space that could see rapidly changing demand. Software provides agility where and when it’s needed, without compromising solutions.

Stringent space governance at all times

There’s little-to-no margin for error in military facilities. Government employees need exactly the right space to conduct specific business, and they’re relying on the facilities around them to meet those needs. For barracks for soldiers to sleep, to briefing rooms where officials exchange sensitive information, to correctional facilities to deal with insubordination, every unique space plays a role. It’s up to facility managers to plan for these spaces, so they meet demand.

Beyond having the right facilities available, stringent governance is essential. This is more and more why military administrators turn to space planning software. The ability to plan, govern, and understand the finite amount of space available to military personnel results in optimizations that improve utilization. The result? Better efficiency and reliability where they’re needed most.

Keep reading: Military Space Utilization – No Square Foot Left Unused

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Military Space Utilization: No Square Foot Left Unused

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

Military bases are beehives of activity at all hours of the day and night. They’re home to a variety of individual buildings, from administrative facilities and hospitals to housing and commissaries. Bases need to support a broad array of activities within the confines of these spaces, which makes a focus on military space utilization imperative. After all, the bounds of the base only stretch on so far.

Thinking about base operations as an ecosystem sets the tone for military space utilization. Everything needs to happen within the confines of the base, which means it is important to maximize the accessibility, usefulness, and availability of buildings. With different groups utilizing different facilities at different times—and for different purposes—it becomes imperative to ensure spaces are well-orchestrated to support all facets of base operations.

What is space utilization?

Space utilization is the practice of using a space in an optimal fashion. It’s juxtaposed against availability. If a briefing room is available 12 hours a day and is in-use for six of those hours, it has a 50% utilization rate. The goal is space efficiency: to determine the optimal utilization rate and to strive for it as often as possible.

In military applications, the concept of space utilization goes beyond occupancy. Cost also factors in. Does the cost of facilities justify the benefit they bring to base ops? For example, if more soldiers live off-base than on-base, does it make sense to have two barracks at 40% occupancy or one barracks at 80% occupancy? The question becomes: how much does it cost to maintain space factors while considering usage and purpose?

Utilization is all about making the most of space. In applications where space is precious, costly, or dynamic, it becomes an important metric for governance. On military basis, it’s all three.

The benefits of space utilization for the military

Tracking and optimizing space utilization on-base is a cornerstone of effective operations. Unused or under-utilized space represents waste, which not only stunts efficiency, it also takes away from other, more deserving applications. On the flipside, optimal utilization confers a wide range of benefits to everyone from the personnel using the space, to the leadership managing it. Some of the benefits of tracking utilization include:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of base occupants
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of the base, to streamline accessibility

Monitoring and managing utilization across all spaces on-base clues administrators in on how to make the most of it. As different needs for space arise or the dynamic nature of base ops changes, it becomes easier to plan for and allocate space, without up-ending what already works.

How does military space utilization software help?

Military bases are home to multiple groups of people and a multitude of spaces to support them. Software helps organize and contextualize the many spaces on base and their relationship to these groups. The result is better a better balance between space and use.

For example, administrators can track the utilization rates of the shooting range and coordinate range time between training groups, specialists, and open slots. If the range is 60% occupied during the week, with 90% occupancy occurring at 1100 hours, facility managers can coordinate the space around those who need it, without disrupting other groups. Software makes it easy to not only observe these trends, but to plan solutions alongside them.

Military space utilization software also helps to contextualize space in the context of cost. It’s easy to pull up the annual costs for a specific facility or segment of base ops and see if the spaces dedicated to these operations justify their costs. If the Hangar B is only 22% occupied but accounts for a full 16% of the base’s available space, it’s a sign of cost inefficiency. Again, software makes these figures readily available and can help contextualize a solution to improve utilization and cost efficiency.

Put space utilization at the forefront of base operations

Military bases need to be everything to everyone on them—whether it’s providing living facilities, research work, recreational activities, or medical care. To fulfill these lofty expectations takes emphasis on space utilization. How can base administrators ensure each building serves its role?

Moreover, a military base needs to be the pinnacle of efficiency. With people flexing into and out of spaces for different reasons and at different times, the burden of support shifts to individuals managing these facilities. Identifying demand and planning for utilization takes foresight, which is why utilization software has become a core standard for on-base facilities management.

Keep reading: Military Space Planning – Organized Administration for any Branch

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Healthcare Stack Planning: Patient-Focused Space Allocation

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

It’s easy to think about a hospital in terms of its individual units. Oncology is on the fourth floor and urgent care is on the first floor. Even nurses and physicians tend to reduce the hospital ecosystem to wherever they’re staffed or what a patient’s current need is. The holistic sense of the hospital ecosystem can get lost in the moment—you’re not thinking about radiology when your patient needs hematology. Nevertheless, it’s important for facility managers to have a top-down view of the hospital to show how these seemingly compartmentalized units come together in healthcare stack planning.

Seeing the hospital from the view of a stack plan sets the stage for better patient care and general healthcare administration. Radiology isn’t just a space on the second floor—it’s adjacent to orthopedics, to ensure injured patients get results quicker. Access to oncology is far away from the infectious disease unit to protect those with compromised immune systems. The stack plan brings clarity to the hospital ecosystem—it recognizes individual business units as part of a continuum of patient care.

What is healthcare stack planning?

Stack planning is the practice of allocating space for different purposes within facilities. This happens at a high level, and a stack plan shows the general distribution of space by type, floor, department, use, or other values that make it easy to categorize. For example, a stack plan might show that patient waiting areas account for 23% of the hospital’s total space. Or, it might show that radiography occupies space on three different floors.

Healthcare stack planning is an opportunity for facility managers to take a top-down look at facilities and make sure the current space distribution meets the operational needs of the people relying on them. By itself, a stack plan offers quick information about facilities and how they’re used. In conjunction with other metrics like space utilization, it provides context for everything from cost-savings initiatives to efficiency improvements.

Would it be smarter to switch the oncology department with pediatrics, so it’s closer to hematology? Where in the hospital is there room to put a new respiratory therapy station? Is there an opportunity to consolidate optometry into the ophthalmology department? Stack plans make it simpler to gain an understanding of space at a high level, to drive better decision-making about where and how to use precious space in healthcare facilities.

The benefits of healthcare stack planning

A keen understanding of space distribution within facilities paves the way for optimization improvements on both operational and cost fronts. Above all, it also enhances the ability of physicians and facilities to deliver a higher level of patient care to those who need it. Some of the many benefits associated with thoughtful stack planning include:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of patients and physicians
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities, to streamline accessibility

Stack plans shed light on essential space distribution and ensure these spaces serve their intended purpose. Is there ample waiting room for concerned family waiting for a patient in surgery? Where is it in context to the surgical suite? How many post-op beds are there, and what allocation of them is nearest to that specific surgical suite? Stack planning brings patient care and the patient experience together, cohesively.

How does healthcare stack planning software help?

In healthcare facilities, stack planning is an important part of keeping up with demand. Between census changes, demand for different services, and the cost of maintaining different business lines, stack plans illuminate how effective healthcare facilities are at tailoring space to deliver patient care. Stack planning software brings all of this imperative data into one dashboard, to provide quick access to insights that improve decision-making.

Healthcare stack planning software is also integrative. As healthcare facilities become more and more digitized, the stack plan serves as a backdrop for contextualizing other metrics. A hospital may find that pediatrics accounts for 21% of facilities, but only brings in 8% revenue. Or, the stack plan may show 40 post-op beds at a 29% utilization rate, indicating opportunity to consolidate. Software makes it easy to compare and contrast different metrics to make better decisions about how to organize, orchestrate, and allocate space.

Understand healthcare facilities at a glance

Hospital administrators need access to healthcare stack planning. Not only is it one of the best ways to understand space allocation in a hospital setting—it’s an important tool in space planning and utilization, as well as operations management. When it comes to something as important as the health and wellbeing of patients, facility orchestration can’t be anything less than perfect.

At a macro level, the stack plan drives better decision-making about where and how to ensure patients get the help they need. Whether that’s reallocating space based on census demand or organizing business units to facilitate a smoother patient experience, the stack plan delivers invaluable high-level insights.

Keep reading: Hospital Facility Management Software and the Patient Experience

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Education Stack Utilization: Allocate Space to Learn

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist
SpaceIQ

There’s a lot more to educational facilities than classrooms. From the library to the computer lab, auditorium to the cafeteria, each represents important, purposeful space where students experience enrichment. Schools need to balance the relationship between classrooms and these other learning and recreational environments in order to create harmony within the school. That means looking at education stack utilization.

Stack planning provides school administrators with a quick overview of spaces and their broad allocation within the context of the school. How many classrooms are there and what percentage of total space is allocated to them? What percentage of the school’s non-classroom square footage does the gymnasium represent? These questions factor not only into understanding school facilities, but in tailoring an environment that’s conducive to learning—no matter the subject matter or curricula.

What is education stack planning?

To better-manage different environments within the scope of a school or campus, administrators need to understand space allocation. To do that, they’ll consult a stack plan. The stack plan offers a high-level overview of space allocation by type, location, purpose, and numerous other variables. This information provides the context for everything from utilization rates to operational questions of efficiency.

Say, for example, a high school wants to add a new robotics lab to support its STEM program. The lab needs a full-time space that’s 30’ x 40’ to accommodate students and equipment. Where does the school come up with this space? Facility administrators can look at the stack plan to see several opportunities:

  • Where in the school are there spaces large enough to support this?
  • Which spaces are unused or underutilized that could make way for this new lab?
  • If there are no open spaces, how can administrators rearrange rooms to make space?

Beyond supporting activities through better space allocation, stack planning also provides context. How much of the total facilities does this new lab take up? If it’s part of the STEM department group, how much of facilities do these spaces occupy? Stack plans provide at-a-glance insights about space distribution to pave the way for better decisions about it.

The benefits of education stack planning

In better-understanding space allocation at a high level, education facility managers can adapt it to the needs of students, faculty, and staff. Stack planning provides these insights quickly and with context, to influence decision-making in a variety of ways. Some of the key benefits include:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of learners and educators
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities, to streamline accessibility

Whether it’s a small elementary school or a huge college campus, stack planning offers a top-down look at where and how space exists, and what opportunities are available to maximize it. From adding a new robotics lab to ensuring there are enough dorms to accommodate out-of-state college students, the stack plan makes it simpler to take stock of space and purpose it accordingly.

Better function is only the beginning. Cost efficiency, safety, accessibility, and even compliance standards are all important facets of space planning and allocation. Stack plans are instrumental in ensuring administrators meet these needs and expectations.

How does education stack planning software help?

Few environments are as demanding to manage as educational facilities. The needs of students, faculty, and staff are ever-changing, and expectations for facilities grows with each passing semester. Stack planning software helps take the burden of manual space allocation off of administrators. Moreover, it provides much-needed information about facility usage to drive better decision-making about where and how to create powerful learning environments.

The cost of maintaining and improving educational facilities is consistently on the rise. Stack planning offers an effective tool in avoiding excessive cost due to inefficiency. Instead of building new facilities or adding on to existing buildings, stack planning software can identify unused or underutilized space and opportunities to repurpose it. Moreover, it can also provide context for facility costs according to utilization.

Above all, stack planning software offers insights that administrative professionals simply wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s worth knowing that the computer lab occupies 12% of total space on the second floor or that the science department’s classrooms stretch across four buildings, instead of one or two. These insights ultimately drive better space allocation, distribution, and floor planning.

Understand education space allocation

Stack planning is one tool in a series of space planning and allocation resources school administrators need to use. In the era of flipped classrooms, dynamic facilities, and experiential learning spaces, it’s vital to know how the space breaks down in a school—and how to use it effectively.

From single buildings to entire campuses, stack planning offers high-level insight about space. These metrics trickle down into more granular adjustments that enhance the student experience. By identifying space and pairing it with demand, administrators can adjust the stack plan to create a more cohesive (and inclusive) learning environment.

Keep reading: Facilities Management Software for Schools

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Government Stack Planning: Understand Municipal Space

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist
SpaceIQ

Government buildings tend to serve a specific role: police, fire, courts, motor vehicles, utilities, etc. These municipal functions get delegated to different buildings to ensure they get due attention. But within each need-focused facility, there are a variety of functions that all require different space. As such, government stack planning becomes important.

Consider your friendly neighborhood Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This isn’t just a place to renew your license. Each day, the DMV serves a broad range of purposes from administering drivers’ tests, to registering new vehicles, to title duplication, and more. Different services require different levels of space utilization; as such, a stack plan provides facility managers with a top-down view of available space and how to best-use it.

What is government stack planning?

Government stack planning is a high-level look at different types of spaces and their uses. It’s a simple way of seeing space allocation within facilities by floor, space type, department, and any number of other defining factors. This birds-eye view of space distribution makes it easier to coordinate operations around facilities and vice-versa.

Stack planning is best-used in conjunction with other metrics such as utilization rate or occupancy. For example, consider a stack plan of the local courthouse. It may show that courtrooms occupy 40% of facilities while median rooms take up 20%, and waiting rooms take up 20%, while miscellaneous facilities take up the remaining 20% of space. If mediation room utilization is at 80% almost constantly and waiting rooms hover at 30% utilization, the stack plan makes it easy to identify these inefficiencies and reallocate space.

Beyond recognizing opportunities to improve space function, stack plans also inform floor plan design. For example, if the courtroom decides to turn 10% of waiting room space into mediation rooms, the stack plan may show that the best place to change this space allocation is the third floor—attorneys often migrate from this floor to others looking for mediation rooms.

All in all, the stack plan serves as a high-level look at where space exists and how it’s allocated. It’s useful for influencing workplace operations or shaping facilities around them.

The benefits of government stack planning

Used correctly, a stack plan is a valuable part of a broader facilities management strategy. Combined with utilization metrics, floor plans, occupancy insights, usage trends, and myriad other data, stack plans provide the foundational building blocks for better space allocation. The benefits that follow are numerous:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of government employees
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities to streamline accessibility

Stack plans allow facilities managers to understand government space at a high level. Even in well-defined buildings, it’s important to know where and how space allocation breaks down, and how that affects everything from the cost of facilities to the utilization rate of specific spaces.

With a stack plan in-hand, facilities managers have the context they need to make sense of other facilities data. Whether it’s reallocating space to better-serve employee needs or breaking down space by cost center or usage, a stack plan offers answers to high-level questions about the workplace.

How does government stack planning software help?

Government facilities range in size and the scope of their operations. Many times, this means dealing with dozens of different workspace types, across different groups of people, in facilities with strictly defined parameters. All these variables make it difficult to visualize and allocate space without the help of software.

Government stack planning software brings cohesion to facilities. Whether used alone or in conjunction with other facility software, the stack plan provides a necessary visual for administrators so they can see the breakdown of where and how space pans out. For example, color-coding employee-only areas in red and common areas in green makes it easy to distinguish allocation based on permissions. Or, the ability to group spaces by location in the building can show potential inefficiencies in the floor plan.

Above all, government stack planning software provides data-driven insights. It’s easy to look at a stack plan and see that 36% of your space has restricted access or that the five courtrooms in Building C take up 61% of its total available space. These top-level insights make stack plans useful in both a governance capacity and for future planning and improvement.

Get a clear picture of facilities

Whether it’s a DMV, courthouse, city hall, or some other municipal building, a stack plan is an invaluable resource for seeing total space allocation. A visual representation of space allows facility managers to contextualize operations to ensure they’re meeting demand. Do you have space set aside to fulfill the requirements of the people visiting your government building? The stack plan will tell you.

Government stack planning is an important tool in both understanding and optimizing space—especially at facilities designed to meet a specific constituent need. The ability to facilitate an effortless, accessible experience is the product of using a stack plan to make sure the right space exists to meet demand.

Keep reading: 5 Pillars of Government Facility Management Software

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Healthcare Space Planning: Facilitate a Healing Environment

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

Healthcare environments are incredibly complex spaces to manage. Not only do facilities managers face unexpected levels of demand and varying forms of need, they’re also dealing with mixed spaces. It’s difficult to use an MRI room for anything other than what it’s intended for; meanwhile, a general treatment room can become anything from a triage station to a space for ultrasounds, inoculations, and more. The sheer number of factors in-play make healthcare space planning an arduous, yet necessary task.

How can healthcare facility managers account for the many unpredictable variables present in a hospital, while orchestrating space that’s agile, accessible, and available? It takes no shortage of resources, including healthcare space planning software. Putting the pieces together in a facility that meets the demand of the local population is a full-time job that’s ever-evolving.

The goal of space planning in healthcare facilities? To ensure every patient has access to the medical care they need, when they need it—and that medical professionals can administer that care with as few physical obstacles as possible.

What is healthcare space planning?

Space planning is about purposing space to meet the needs of the people using it. In a hospital, it means allocating space to treat patients, and optimizing that space so physicians can deliver care.

For example, consider a hospital’s oncology wing. How much of the wing does the hospital need to devote to testing facilities? How much to chemotherapy? What percentage of space needs to go to waiting rooms for family and caregivers? Hospitals need to plan for these demands as they orchestrate space. In doing so, they ensure appropriate facilities are always available to the people who need them.

Space planning in healthcare facilities also occurs at the macro level. For example, it might mean putting the radiology department near the orthopedic wing, in order to promote the relationship between these two business units. This also factors into navigability for patients and physicians. The less ground there is to cover between affiliated areas of the hospital, the better.

Even HIPAA compliance and safety factor into space planning. It’s all about controlling the flow of traffic and instituting access points between sensitive areas.

The benefits of healthcare space planning

Bringing healthcare facilities together through thoughtful space planning affords patients and physicians alike numerous benefits. Here’s what good space planning translates into at a practical level:

  • Better availability of facilities to meet the needs of patients
  • Easier navigability for patients, family, and healthcare staff
  • Faster-paced operations that benefit from streamlined layout
  • Physicians have access to facilities that enable better patient care
  • Enhanced safety, security, and privacy in well-orchestrated spaces
  • Fewer overlaps and interruptions in facilities ensure smoother interactions

Space planning effectively makes healthcare facilities accessible. Patients or family visiting will know exactly where to find what they’re looking for, and those relying on the facilities will get the care they need from space orchestrated to support them.

From an administrative standpoint, healthcare space planning makes it easier for facilities managers to optimize space. Hospitals are other healthcare facilities are only so large, which means using precious square footage in the best possible ways. Planning influences execution, which gives managers the baseline they need to govern facilities based on demand.

How does healthcare space planning software help?

Hospitals operate 24 hours a day, with an ebb and flow of need and demand around the clock. Space planning software provides the tools and resources to realize these varying levels of demand in real time. It gives facility managers access to space insights that drive better decision-making, ultimately leading to a better standard of patient care.

Space planning occurs on two levels: proactive and reactive. Proactive planning means recognizing demand for space and tailoring facilities. For example, if the hematology department is overcrowded, it might mean taking over the phlebotomy lab next door and transitioning phlebotomy to a bedside practice. It’s about recognizing the operational demands of facilities and balancing space accordingly.

From a reactive standpoint, space planning is about continuing to meet ongoing demand for space. If the hospital is outsourcing more of its pathology to an off-site lab, the pathology department may become a new dialysis department, to better-support the growing number of patients who require this treatment.

Space planning software enables both proactive and reactive space planning capabilities. Facility managers can use it to sandbox new floor plans, understand space allocation, and contextualize space based on how it’s used. Best of all, software makes space planning agile in hospital environments that are increasingly dynamic.

Enable the highest level of patient care

Well-planned, agile healthcare facilities have rippling effects. Shorter wait times for treatments and tests. Less strain on patients and family as they navigate facilities. Improved safety, accessibility, and HIPAA compliance. It all roots back to how facility managers organize and purpose space, and the governance associated with those spaces.

As demand for healthcare rises and hospitals become more dynamic and agile, even more opportunities for space planning become clear. One space, one purpose still defines some areas of healthcare facilities, but for all others, there are many opportunities to meet patient demand. Planning for agile, multifaceted spaces is the path forward for the future of healthcare.

Keep reading: Healthcare Space Utilization: Caregiving at Capacity

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Healthcare Space Utilization: Caregiving at Capacity

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

The United States’ healthcare system is a $8.45+ trillion industry—and it’s growing larger by the year. As demand creeps higher for everything from dentistry to oncology, more and more facilities are springing up across the country to meet these needs. In major metropolitan areas with larger populations and around-the-clock need, more facilities aren’t necessarily the solution. Better healthcare space utilization in existing facilities is.

The ability to use existing healthcare facilities better unlocks broad potential for meeting need, without the additional (tremendous) cost of building and staffing new buildings. Tapping into the fullest potential of a hospital or other healthcare facility rests heavily on the ability to orchestrate space around sometimes unpredictable demand. That starts with a fundamental understanding of capability and availability.

What is healthcare space utilization?

Space utilization is the concept of maximizing the utility of available space. If a hospital has 30 emergency room beds and the average occupancy of those beds is 15, it has a 50% utilization rate. And while this might sound poor, healthcare space utilization differs significantly from other types of utilization metrics. The reason? Much of hospital space is allocated on a contingency basis. The hospital may not use 30 emergency beds, but it needs 30 emergency beds based on the local census.

Healthcare space utilization goes beyond looking at usage as a static figure. To truly understand utilization takes a mind for all the variables that factor into demand. How many emergency room cases were there last quarter? Last year? Over the past five years? What’s the average time per bed occupied? What percentage of total beds are emergency beds? These factors and dozens more form the basis for space allocation, and also inform the standard for utilization.

While space utilization may be a measure of how often usable space is occupied, it’s also a measure of space efficiency in context. To gauge an accurate measure of both is an ongoing, ever-difficult task for healthcare facility managers.

The benefits of healthcare space utilization

Good utilization in hospitals and healthcare facilities comes down to contextualizing use within the parameters of the ecosystem. Facility administrators who can keep space allocation and utilization balanced help unlock significant benefits for everyone seeking or administering healthcare:

  • Better access to spaces designed to support specific healthcare
  • Specific, purposeful space planning and organization
  • Smoother administration as the result of predictable facility usage
  • Improved comfort and convenience for patients receiving treatment
  • Better clinician support from well-equipped and accessible facilities

Ultimately, moderating space utilization comes down to ensuring facilities are available when they’re needed, to the people giving and receiving treatment. Emergency bed utilization may only be 50%, but that means there are several available to housing incoming critical patients from a multiple vehicle accident, for example. Even in non-emergent situations, utilization matters. You don’t want patients sitting for hours waiting on radiology to x-ray their broken arm—they need attention ASAP, from facilities that aren’t constantly at their limit.

How does healthcare space utilization software help?

The biggest unknown variable affecting healthcare facilities is demand. You never know when someone is going to need care—even with appointment scheduling. Utilization software helps account for this unknown by measuring the known variables, to make figuring out a buffer easier.

For example, if there are 10 beds in the chemotherapy wing, each with a utilization rate of 90%, it’s an indicator that more beds may be necessary. Similarly, if the utilization rate of four ultrasound rooms is only 20%, it may be an opportunity to repurpose one or more of them. Utilization software provides these figures to unlock the potential these insights provide.

It’s also important to consider utilization software from the perspective of tracking and monitoring trends, and aligning them with the business goals of a healthcare facility. Do you really need to build a new hemodialysis treatment center? Or, can you establish this environment in current facilities by consolidating underutilized space in the greater hematology wing? In this way, there are cost and treatment benefits rooted in decision-making, made possible by space utilization software insights.

Orchestrate a superior approach to patient care

Healthcare space utilization isn’t just about making use of facilities to avoid the prospect of building and staffing. Above anything else, it’s about being able to deliver superior patient care and a healing experience for the people relying on those facilities. Anticipating demand isn’t always easy, which means the path to better space utilization starts through space governance.

In the modern era, healthcare space utilization software is becoming a must-have, crucial part of the facility management approach. It allows hospitals to be agile with their space and adaptable to the needs of the census. Moreover, it allows hospitals to understand how efficient they’re being, so they can explore new opportunities to provide better caregiving solutions. The result is better use of existing facilities, which helps avoid adding even more costs to an $8.45+ trillion industry that’s already the ire of many.

Keep reading: Healthcare Space Planning: Facilitate a Healing Environment

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Government Space Utilization: Make the Most of Taxpayer Dollars

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist
SpaceIQ

Every major city has government facilities that are, by and large, taxpayer funded. From public libraries to police stations, courthouses to the local DMV—these are facilities we’ll all rely on at some point in time. Taxpayer dollars are what keep them well-maintained and functional. So, when questions of government spending arise, facility waste tends to be one of the first focal points in shoring up a budget. Attention turns to government space utilization.

Space utilization in government facilities is a difficult prospect to get a handle on. These facilities exist to support the public, but there’s no telling when and to what degree people will rely on them. You can’t always predict when there will be a run on books at the local library or when everyone will decide to visit the DMV to renew their license. For government facility managers, space utilization is always a prospect in flux.

Thankfully, modern space utilization software is making it easier to not only maximize utilization in government facilities, but to also optimize it for demand. You might not know when someone will show up to get married at city hall, but you can keep facilities agile enough to adapt.

What is government space utilization?

Space utilization is the prospect of maximizing the use of a particular space vs. its availability. If the space is open for eight hours a day, five days a week, that’s 40 hours of availability. If it’s occupied and in-use for 30 of those hours, utilization is 75%. It is a simple concept, but difficult to practice.

Demand isn’t consistent in government facilities. For example, there’s likely to be much more demand for access to the County Clerk in the spring, when more people apply for marriage certificates. If the waiting room only supports six people, you’ll need to allocate more space for those waiting patiently to apply. During the winter months, you might use this overflow space for something else. Optimizing space utilization stems from understanding demand for it.

Government space utilization comes down to efficiency: both operational and monetarily. Are you making the most of available space in government facilities? Or, are taxpayers footing the bill for unused, unneeded, or ungoverned space? Efficiency metrics will tell you.

The benefits of government space utilization

While cost control is the most prominent benefit of good utilization, it’s far from the only one. Government facilities that capitalize on space efficiently position themselves to offer a variety of benefits to employees and visitors including:

  • Better access to spaces designed to support government functions
  • Specific, purposeful space planning and organization
  • Smoother operations as the result of predictable facility usage
  • Improved comfort and convenience for individuals utilizing space
  • Cost-efficient use of space, which results in lower cost to taxpayers

Utilization emphasizes the practicality of space. Instead of letting some types of spaces sit idle while demand for others grows, utilization metrics illustrate need. In government facilities, the relationship to how often spaces see use and the demands of people using them is crucial. If people aren’t using your space, it means government isn’t meeting the needs of constituents – or worse, they’re paying for unnecessary facilities.

A focus on utilization is a focus on maximizing the usefulness of facilities, while that the same time optimizing cost. From a front-facing constituent standpoint, this is exactly what people expect from them.

How does government space utilization software help?

As mentioned, unpredictability is a big obstacle standing in the way of high utilization levels in government facilities. How do you maximize the availability of a space when demand remains uncertain? For a growing number of municipal building managers, space utilization software is the answer.

Utilization software offers the benefit of both real-time and historical insights. Real-time space utilization metrics allow facility managers to pair immediate demand with space designed to support specific activities, capacities, and locations. Historical data produces patterns and trends, to help make unpredictable demand slightly more identifiable. For example:

  • If two attorneys and their clients need space for arbitration at the courthouse, real-time utilization metrics will show what’s available.
  • If a facility manager wants to know how much space to delegate to a town hall meeting, they can look at previous utilization trends to plan accordingly.

Utilization software makes it possible to maximize space in an ongoing capacity. Government facility managers can learn about the demand and use of space, and work to shape facilities around anticipated expectations. The result are facilities that better-accommodate employees and visitors, while minimizing the cost to taxpayers.

Optimize the capabilities of facilities

More and more, government space utilization isn’t about optimizing one space for one purpose—it’s about optimizing many spaces for many purposes. The trick is to maintain the accessibility and convenience of public-facing facilities. To do this takes reliance on government space utilization software.

From post offices to municipal buildings, it’s possible to optimize space based on capability to address need. The building will remain the same destination for different services, but the way it meets public demand for those services may change. Utilization is now a dynamic metric, and it’s growing ever more important in facilities that need to operate with mind for budget control.

Keep reading: Government Space Planning: Make the Most of Public Facilities