Standards for Measuring Overall Space Use Efficiency in Leased Office Space
The goal for office space leased by state agencies is 204 rentable square feet per office worker. Office standards for leased office space are based upon 70% of the BOMA average number of square feet in the Denver area for private sector office space of 291 rentable square feet per office worker. This has been found to be an achievable target to use and affords each agency the freedom to design the space in a manner that best fits their specific programmatic needs. Actual individual space allocations will be determined on the basis of functional space requirements, the priorities of the organization, and the total space and budget available.
1. Category #1 Leases
Category #1 leases are those leases where the amount of square feet leased is less than 70% of the private sector average. Therefore, Category #1 leases are leases where the amount of space leased is less than 204 rsf per office worker. Leases in the category are deemed to be an efficient use of space.
2. Category #2 Leases
Category #2 leases are those leases where the amount of square feet leased is more than 204 rsf per office worker but less than 80% of the private sector average. Therefore, Category #2 leases are leases where the amount of space leased is between 204 and 232 rsf per office worker. Leases in this category are deemed to be in acceptable use of space.
3. Category #3 Leases
Category #3 leases are those leases where the amount of square feet leased is more than 232 rsf per office worker but less than the private sector average of 291 rsf per office worker. Leases in this category require approval of the requesting agency's division director.
4. Category #4 Leases
Category #4 leases are those where the amount of square feet leased is equal to or greater than the private sector average of 291 rsf per office worker. Leases in this category require approval of the executive director of the department for the agency.
If your agency's space requirements fall within categories #3 or #4, when you submit your lease documents to the Real Estate Program for signature, you will also need to include a signed Waiver of Space Standards Form.
Standards for Individual Offices Within Leased Office Space
- Individual Offices Versus Open Workstations. Open office workstations, with their various configuration options, are strongly encouraged. Open offices require less floor space and allow improved heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems. In addition, peripheral circulation (where private offices are located in the center of the building, leaving the window areas open) allows more people to benefit from natural light.
Enclosed offices should be provided on the basis of functional need. By far the most common functional need for privacy is frequent discussion of confidential matters in person or on the phone. Other occasional needs for privacy are as an aid to concentration of for security and for isolation of confidential documents. Need for privacy can also be accommodated by special furniture and equipment on a case by-case basis. Based on functional justification, these enclosed spaces may be single occupant offices, shared conference/meeting rooms, interview rooms, and/or other space types. Managers choosing to allocate a high percentage of private offices will likely find themselves in Category #3 or Category #4 leases, which will require the approval of a division director or an executive director. In order to encourage the use of open work stations (as opposed to individual offices) the approval of the division director or executive director must include a statement indicating the business justification for the individuals who are receiving private offices.
- Office Sizes. In order to encourage the equitable sharing of the total office space with an office suite, the guideline for private offices are a maximum office size of 150 square feet for the head (or heads) of a program occupying the suite, and a maximum office size of 120 square feet for all other individual offices within the suite. Exceptions will require a letter of approval from the agency's division director.