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Cornell University

Facilities Inventory: Room Definition

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ROOM = A covered area found within a building with a ceiling height of at least six feet, enclosed on all sides with walls or architecturally defined imaginary boundary lines where a wall does not exist. 

Clarifications and special situations:

1. Storage cages are captured as rooms.

2. Typically moveable furniture such as landscape partitions (used to create cubicles and offices) and bathroom stalls are not considered room delimiters.

3. The edge of a room with a sloping ceiling, such as an attic, ends at the location where the height reaches six feet.

4. Exterior walkways, porches, or loading docks under a cantilevered upper floor or roof are considered rooms.

5. An exterior loading dock with a phone is identified as a room in order to assign a room number to the phone jack.

6. Support spaces such as changing areas and separate toilet rooms housed within a bathroom are assigned the same room number as the bathroom.

7. Lactation rooms can be delimited as their own room within a larger bathroom.

8. Shafts are not rooms unless a shaft contains a door and an interior platform; the platform space is measured and assigned as a room.

9. Stand-alone exterior generators are equipment and not rooms, even if they have doors and a ceiling at least six feet high.

10. Elevated water towers are tracked as utilities and do not have rooms.

11.   The top of a tower may have a room if it has a roof. The Hoffman Challenge (5100) Course platform is a room because the platform has a roof.  Shackleton Point is not a room because it has no roof.

12. A room must have permanent or “fixed” access.  2965A Cascadilla 770,Univ Whse has a mezzanine that is only accessible via a rolling stair.  This is not a room.

13. Regarding tunnels:

   a) A tunnel must be enterable and meet the six-foot height requirement in order to be drafted as room.

   b) Access to spaces less than six feet high shall be indicated on the drawings as “crawl space”.

   c) Pedestrian tunnels should be drawn in their entirety, for example, between Barton and Teagle and between Plant Science and Weill Hall.

   d) Tunnels terminating in a mechanical room are drawn in their entirety as well as the mechanical room.

   e) Tunnels terminating in a crawl space will be drawn up to the crawl space with an indication of what kind of opening is at the end.

   f) Tunnels that are not part of a building or connected to a building would not be drawn.

Reference:   Postsecondary Education Facilities Inventory Classification Manual 2006.  A covered contiguous area enclosed on all sides by walls, or imaginary boundary lines referred to as “phantom walls” where a wall does not exist; it may consist of one or more spaces.  Covered play areas, covered patios, and covered walkways are exceptions to the enclosure criterion.


Last updated: 9/4/15 v4 jbv