by WBDG Staff



The Conference/Classroom space types are areas used for formal meeting, training, and teleconference activities. This space type does not include spaces requiring ceilings in excess of 12'-0"; (h); architectural features to accommodate projection systems using ribbon type cellulose acetate or other safety film used in conjunction with electric arc, xenon, or other light source projection equipment that develops hazardous gases, dust or radiation, or where cellulose nitrate film is utilized; food service preparation areas; special equipment such as rear projection screens; special electronics control and ADP spaces for audiovisual recording broadcasting, and computer-assisted meetings (classified as ADP space type); or special acoustical design including non-rectilinear spaces dictated by acoustical properties.

Space Attributes

The Conference/Classroom space type requires flexibility, durable finishes to anticipate maximum use, and integrated utility lines such as voice, data, and power to accommodate a variety of multimedia presentations and tele- and videoconferences. Typical features of Conference/Classroom space types include the list of applicable design objectives elements as outlined below. For a complete list and definitions of the design objectives within the context of whole building design, click on the titles below.

Functional / Operational

  • Flexibility: The Conference/Classroom needs to be adaptable as occupant needs will change daily. These spaces generally will contain modular furniture that is light and easily rearranged. These spaces are generally located in areas with standard column grids and single story levels with flat floors. Movable partitions typically help to further subdivide the space as well as provide added projection surfaces.
  • Special HVAC and Utility Requirements: A conference center will typically have a separate AHU, which requires a 15% increase in cooling capacity. HVAC, electrical, and security systems are generally designed to operate after hours on a regular basis. Toilet requirements are often exceeded to accommodate additional occupancy loads comfortably.
  • Occupancy: Occupancy Group Classification is Business or Assembly A3, with sprinklered protected construction, and GSA Acoustical Class B1 space where meetings are held on a regular basis. See also WBDG Secure / Safe—Fire Protection.


  • Finishes and Built-In Conferencing Tools: These space types are generally finished with durable materials and surfaces that provide added conferencing and meeting functionality such as marker boards and projection screens. Ambient lighting with dimmable controls and special accent lighting is typically used to allow user control for presentation purposes. Consider energy-efficient lighting fixtures.
  • Integrated Technology: The Conference/Classroom is typically designed to accommodate a variety of audiovisual equipment, with special attention to acoustical separation from surrounding spaces.

Example Program

The following building program is representative of Conference/Classroom space types.


Tenant Occupiable Areas
Qty. SF Each Space Req'd. Sum Actual SF Tenant Usable Factor Tenant USF
Attendee Facilities       1,190    
    Conference Reception 1 400 400      
    Coat Check 1 60 60      
    Attendee Toilets (Male) 1 120 120      
    Attendee Toilets (Female) 1 160 160      
    Break Lounge/Prefunction
    (capacity 15)
2 225 450      
General Meeting       6,380    
    Large Lecture (seating 120) 2 1,200 2,400      
    Multiple Purpose Meeting
    (seating 30)
5 760 3,800      
    Meeting Room Storage 3 60 180      
Specialized Meeting Rooms       1,350    
    Computer Training Lab
    (15 stations)
2 675 1,350      
    Tenant Suite       8,920 1.20 10,661
Tenant Usable Areas           10,661

Example Plans

The following is representative of typical tenant plans.

Conference space type

Example Construction Criteria

For GSA, the unit costs for firing range space types are based on the construction quality and design features in the following table . This information is based on GSA's benchmark interpretation and could be different for other owners.

Relevant Codes and Standards

The following agencies and organizations have developed codes and standards affecting the design of Conference/Classroom spaces. Note that the codes and standards are minimum requirements. Architects, engineers, and consultants should consider exceeding the applicable requirements whenever possible.

Major Resources


Building Types

Education, Federal Courthouse, Health Care, Library, Office Building, Research Facility

Design Objectives

Accessible—Beyond Accessibility to Universal Design, Functional / Operational—Account for Functional Needs, Productive—Integrate Technological Tools

Organizations and Associations