For buildings located within VCU’s inventory, each room number is constructed using the “hotel system.” That is, a floor number ascending or descending from ground level is followed by a number for the room on that floor (example: 1000 = First floor, 2000 = Second floor, 3000 = Third floor, 001 = Basement, etc.).
To help orient visitors as well as occupants, room numbers on the ground floor start near the principal point of access to the building and increase away from that point. This pattern is stacked on the floors above and below. In addition, room numbers are placed on the floors using the “post office system.” That is, even numbers are located on one side of the corridor and odd numbers on the opposite side. Gaps are often introduced into number sequences to allow additional numbers to be inserted in the event of future renovation.
At a finer level of patterning, rooms reached via other rooms are recognized using the “suite system.” That is, rooms off the first-accessed room carry the number of the first-accessed room followed by a letter of the alphabet (e.g., 1001A, 1001B, 2000A).
In a final detail, room numbers for rooms that have certain non-assignable room uses involving building service, circulation and mechanical areas carry specific suffixes, but these are rarely of interest to the average building user. Corridors are numbered with a C# (floor number + C + number = 1C1, 1C2, etc.). Stairs are numbered with an S# (floor number + S + number = 1S1, 1S2, etc.). Elevators are numbered with an E# (floor number + E + number = 1E1, 1E2, etc.) and all mechanical, janitor closets, telecommunication closets, etc., must be assigned a number.
The definitions of room use followed at VCU are based upon those published in the May 2006 edition of the U.S. Department of Education’s Postsecondary Education Facilities Inventory and Classification Manual adapted and with additions to meet the circumstances of VCU’s facilities and practice. They support the process of indirect cost recovery as well as processes of general administration and provision of community information.