University and polytechnic planning through the utilization of student activities.

  • Sahar Najib S. Kharrrufa

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The amount and distribution of activities performed in a site can be beneficially used to study and plan the physical requirements of that site, especially in spatial terms. A high concentration of a particular activity during a certain period of day would mean that a respectively large amount of space to house that activity is needed. Since there is a direct link between the function and characteristics of a particular site or building, and the consequent activities performed in it, it is theoretically possible to establish a relationship between these elements, ie; the individual case, the activities, and the spatial need. This chain would provide the basis for a planning method with advantageous characteristics. It would allow the planner more flexibility in assigning activities to space, the ability to accommodate the needs of each individual case, and consequently a chance to improve the accuracy of his spatial projections. This research concentrates on applying this procedure to campus planning. The most important thing in developing an activity method for planning is to isolate the factors that affect the activities and determine their actual impact quantitively. Using a large data base containing a detailed list of student's activities in separate campuses, it was possible to formulate and test a theoretical basis to achieve this goal. This was done by gathering the students into groups that are under relatively similar circumstances, ie; residents and non residents, postgraduates and undergraduates, etc.; and analysing their response to changes in their environment, be that physical, organizational, or academic. To test the accuracy of the theory, the results were consistently checked, where possible, on the students of the other sites. Most of the results showed relatively small margins for error rarley exceeding 13%, but some relationships could not be evaluated for statistical significance. The outstanding factors that appeared to affect students activities, and hence their need for space, in a campus were: the percentage of resident students, amount and distribution of scheduled hours, the subject being studied by the students, size of campus, its location with respect to urban centres, and the number of postgraduate and part time students. Each of these factors has a negative or positive influence on a particular aspect or aspects of student activities, but the most important are the percentage of resident students and the number of scheduled hours. Having measured the effect of each factor on the students, it was possible to lay out a system to calculate the activities in a future campus and find its spatial requirements. To show the difference between this method of planning and the existing ones, a test was carried out on a selected range of cases with different characteristics; the results showed a relatively large difference with the activity method consistently expressing need for less areas of space than the other methods.
Date of Award1985
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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