September 3, 2015

Top Stories


Mayhem caused by windstorm kept Building Ops busy

Fallen Tree 1On August 29, a wicked windstorm hit Metro Vancouver ripping trees and causing power outages. At approximately 11:45 am, power to South Campus was lost due to a fallen tree across the incoming hydro line in Pacific Spirit Park. By 2:15 pm, Stan Takenaka and Richard Gee were able to isolate and back feed the South substation from the main substation.

Here’s a summary of events created by the windstorm:

  • Power surge within the campus distribution system damaged the main BMS control centre which, in turn, caused many systems to fail, most notably the HVAC system at Life Sciences. Crews attended site immediately and had the system up within hours.
  • Power outages in Vancouver prevented monitoring of our fire alarm systems, initiating fire watch on campus for hours.
  • Strong winds affected numerous trees on campus. When one large tree on the east side of Hennings threatened to fall in the wind, Collin Varner reviewed it and crews from Municipal Services pruned the branches to re-balance the tree’s weight and keep it from falling.
  • Heavy rains created flooding at IRC and Old Admin. The glazing and carpentry team responded actively to the call, thanks to the Heads for coordinating.

A special thanks to all of the trades who attended at a moment’s notice and in particular, Chris Newell and Tamas Weidner, who orchestrated an effective response on behalf of Building Operations.


Guidelines for coordination of multi-trade jobs take effect September 1

Starting September 1, guidelines for coordinating multi-trade jobs take effect with a trial period of six months. Jobs where 3 or more trades or a contractor are required will be coordinated by a Project Coordinator.

Many have requested clarity around coordinating jobs with multiple trades. A working committee consisting of Heads, Sub-Heads, Project Coordinators, Operational Managers, Facilities Managers and Superintendents worked together and identified the issues, analyzed the data and came up with a solution. The committee has two major recommendations. First, simplify the guidelines to help determine who coordinates the multi-trade jobs, Head or PC?  Second, provide training on estimating jobs more effectively.

What year


Dr. Martha Piper welcomes everyone to the beginning of the academic year

In her broadcast email, Dr. Martha Piper welcomes new and returning students, faculty and staff to the beginning of the academic year at UBC. This year will be an exciting one with all the events and challenges as we celebrate a century of achievements and launch UBC into the next 100 years.

Dr. Piper stated that in weathering storms in the past 100 years, the key to overcoming these obstacles has always rested on UBC’s students, staff, faculty and alumni. With the collective strength and resilience of our present community, UBC will move forward to new levels of achievement.

Working as the interim president these past few weeks, she is often asked “Why are you returning?”. To this Dr. Piper replied, “The answer is simple. There is no institution for which I care more deeply. UBC is a magnificent university and deserves the support of us all. I know that by working together, honouring our past while envisioning our future, we will ensure that UBC secures its position as one of the world’s preeminent universities.”


EAOS Team Developing Asset Information Templates

Next up, Marian Lis will be visiting heads and managers to validate the templates we will use to collect the asset data. We will be posting the templates alongside the asset list in the hallway when done. Once posted, take a look at the templates and provide your feedback.

To put the new template into action, we posted a three-month temp position for an Asset Information Manager. Want to know more? Please feel free to talk to any of the EAOS members. To apply for the position, send an e-mail to Marian Lis or Andy Plumridge outlining why you feel you have the skills and abilities to do the job. Informal interviews will be conducted during the week of September 21st 2015, with a start date of October 1, 2015.

Two more Smart cars added to our Car Sharing Program

Due to the success of the Smart Car sharing program, two Smart cars were added to the fleet.  Currently, we have 10 charging stations and 12 Smart cars in total.  Most vehicles are being charged every 3 – 5 days. With user cooperation, a charging station will be available when needed. While each vehicle will have a “home” space, a vehicle may be displaced to facilitate charging the units. The new cars, units 387 and 388, can be found on the map below.



We’re hiring! The search is on for a Business Intelligence/Informatics Solutions Architect

As mentioned in the August 21st edition of Building Operations Weekly, here is an introduction to one of the four positions we are creating: the Business Intelligence/Informatics Solutions Architect.

In keeping up with technological advancements, Building Operations utilizes a number of different programs, computer systems and mobile devices. While many are stand-alone devices, getting the devices to communicate with each other will increase functionality and improve processes. Communicated data from a variety of systems to populate reports helps make good decisions to improve asset life cycles; reduces duplication of information; and makes Building Operations less reactive and more proactive.

In order to develop our future technological landscape, we need someone to map our current landscape. This new role is called “Business Intelligence/Informatics Solutions Architect.” They will be responsible for developing the “spider web” to link systems for reporting thereby improving decision-making and implementing new technologies. If you know of anyone who fits the bill, please ask them to apply through the UBC Careers website. Posting is open until September 10, 2015.


Win an iPad mini. Join the Open Minds forum today

Join the Open Minds forum and be a part of a panel of staff, faculty, students and alumni who regularly share their feedback on UBC’s programs and initiatives. Share your ideas and experiences and help shape the future of UBC.

Participants will be invited to take short surveys about once a month.  Every time you complete a survey, you will be entered for a chance to win great prizes. Join the forum this September and get a chance to win an iPad mini.


Quick Updates


Leaving UBC: Hermenegildo Santos, Huater Kang, Kevin Heaslip


NPS score remains at 89% with 6 new promoters.