Design, Education, Preliminary Design Stage Series

Episode 8: Space Analysis and Schedule of Accommodation

All spaces are designed to revolve around the human being. The design of spaces is derived from how the user interacts with his environment. The human body is a unique design on its own that works within a unique ratio and proportion, therefore, the design of the surrounding environment is inevitably planned to be functional and compatible with the user. Space analysis is a tool that helps architects assign measurements to proposed spaces in order to achieve functionality in design.

How are these measurements achieved?

Fig. 1 Basic Human Dimensions

These measurements are achieved by analyzing the space needed for basic and comfortable movement, the objects to be placed within the space, and how the user will interact with those objects. For example, in a bedroom, there will be movement from the entrance of the bedroom to the bed, closet/wardrobe, drawers, tables etc. There will also be movement from some objects to another, and movement caused by interacting with an object within the bedroom like using the closet, sitting at a table etc. Below is an example of some basic dimensions:

Fig. 2 Bedroom Dimensions
Fig.3 Furniture Dimensions

From these dimensions and the dimensions of furniture and fixtures, we are able to assign appropriate sizes to spaces in a building. All these dimensions and sizes are then later inputted into a document called Schedule of Accommodation.

A schedule of accommodation is a list of accommodation facilities and provisions required by the client or user of a building project. It is usually developed during the preliminary design stage by the architect. The preparation of a schedule of accommodation helps to determine the minimum space requirements for the building.

It may include:

  • Room reference number.
  • Room location (for example, building name / floor).
  • Room name.
  • Room type / description.
  • Room size (i.e. floor area, and sometimes dimensions, which may include height).
  • Number and type of occupants.
  • Relationships between rooms and groups of rooms.
  • Furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) requirements.
  • Environmental conditions required (i.e. temperature range, humidity, air movement, acoustic conditions, lighting levels and so on).
  • Total areas.
  • Exclusions (such as circulation spaces).
Fig. 4 Bedroom Space Analysis

Fig. 4 shows the analysis of a bedroom space for one occupant. The minimum dimensions for a bedroom is 3m by 3.6m which is proven above using the basic spaces required for the user to interact with his/her space and the area of the furniture provided. These dimensions help in the planning of space more adequately.

Using these simple standards, the dimension of a space can easily be obtained by the architect. Thank you for reading and stay tuned!