An existing user of RUIS has reported that a 30% saving in teaching space has been achieved as a direct result of using the software. The identification and re-allocation of under-utilised space resulted not only in more cost efficient use of buildings, but also an increase in the quality of teaching space provision.
RUIS is especially powerful when used in conjunction with timetable software to run 'what-if' scenarios and perform timetable modelling. Firstly, reports are generated in RUIS to pinpoint under-utilised rooms or buildings. These can then be marked as unavailable in the timetabling software, and a room re-allocation exercise can be performed to check whether the timetable load can be fitted into remaining space. This method has been used successfully by many institutions to improve room utilisation.
Capacity planning is another area where using RUIS combined with timetable software offers great benefits. The method is frequently used to test whether an increase in enrolment numbers can be accommodated within existing buildings, and has in the past resulted in massive savings by proving that no new buildings would be necessary. It is also possible to identify and close down buildings should enrolments fall. The method can also be used to test whether teaching and other events held in older or less conveniently located buildings can be accommodated elsewhere. The ability to prove that lower quality buildings can be closed down entirely offers great cost saving potential.
The software is also able to analyse and highlight inefficiencies in timetable profiles. This is especially important in the case of evening bookings. It is possible to find and re-allocate scattered evening bookings into fewer buildings, which means that more buildings are not in use in the evenings and can be closed down. This can result in significant savings in heating, air-conditioning, security and lighting costs.
However, RUIS is not just about saving time and money. It can be used to find non-performing space for refurbishment. For example, if a number of co-located tutorial rooms are found to be under-utilised, they can be converted to uses where demand for a particular type of space exceeds supply.
Campus Planning With RUIS