Primary use codes are assigned to rooms to describe its main purpose based upon design and use. Here at the UW, this term is used interchangeably with room type and space use code within the Space Manager and WebSpace systems. Examples of primary use codes include types such as research lab (250), conference room (350) and office (310).  

Assigning a Primary Use Code

A room can only be assigned one primary use. The best practice is to assign primary use based on how time in the room is spent. For example, if there is a research lab that hosts a class once a week but is used to support research on sponsored projects the rest of the week, the room should be coded as a research lab (250) rather than as a lab classroom (210). Primary use codes align with the Postsecondary Education Facilities Inventory and Classification Manual (FICM). A complete list of the University’s primary use codes can be found at the Space Manager room type definitions facilities page. 

Primary use of a space is different than the function. Function describes how the time is spent in the room in terms of organized research, instruction, etc. For example, the lab above would have the primary use code research lab (250) which applies to the whole lab. Within that lab, 80% of the space would be applied to organized research to account for the time spent on sponsored research and the other 20% assigned to instruction to account for the weekly class and other instructional activities that occur in the room. Functional use codes generally describe the University’s missions, and a full list is available at the Space Functional Use Definitions page.  

Space Inventory 

Before functions can be assigned to a room during the space utilization survey, the room’s primary use code should be reviewed for accuracy. Departments need to ensure their rooms’ primary uses are listed correctly before completing the functionalization survey portion. If a space is remodeled to serve a new purpose, its code will need to be updated to reflect this change. Rooms can also change purpose without a remodel such as a department with expanding research repurposing a classroom laboratory to a research laboratory.  

Space Survey

The space survey is performed for specific room types after the space inventory is complete. Those spaces with the primary use codes listed below will require additional information including a principal investigator, occupants, and budget number. This information will be used to complete the space functionalization, a part of the Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rate development process. 

250 Research Lab


BL3 Wet Lab
261 Computational Dry Lab
262 BL2 Wet Lab
263 Specialized Dry Lab
264 Specialized Wet Lab
580 Greenhouse







For more information, please visit the Space Survey page.