Building Operations Weekly

Top Stories


Message from Andrew Simpson, VP Finance and Operations

As you are all aware, Karyn has announced that she will be leaving UBC to start a new role at the City of North Vancouver. I want to congratulate Karyn for the contributions she has made to Building Operations and to the overall portfolio around, such as the improvement in communication channels, the leadership development training program and the strategic changes to the Building Operations organization. I wish her the very best in her new role.

Recruitment of a new Managing Director, Building Operations will begin shortly and we will be seeking a candidate with strong values and a proven track record around people engagement as well as building trust and accountability within a whole staff team. We will look for someone who can stay the course that we have set for ourselves with the APPA review and can continue to lead the evolution of Building Operations into an even more strategic and proactive asset management group.

We will continue to:

  • seek a new CMMS
  • create a centralized planning and scheduling process for work management
  • revisit the zone model
  • create and use KPIs and business intelligence to make better decisions for all our programs including assets both inside and out
  • improve our processes for capital renewal and project handover
  • enable technology to improve operations of our building systems
  • support staff in gaining the technical and soft skills to excel in their jobs
  • look at creative ways to attract and retain the talent and resources our university needs

In the interim, I have asked John Metras to take on a role as Associate Vice-President looking after Building Operations, Energy and Water Services, and Infrastructure Development. This appointment will allow the momentum that has been gained to continue. John has a rich history with Building Operations and I know will do an excellent job shepherding the department. I want to thank John for stepping up for this challenge.


Share Your Experience in the 2017 Workplace Experience Survey

Have you taken the WES yet? This is the once every 3 years chance to share your workplace experiences in a completely anonymous fashion. With good participation we can get a valuable picture of where we are at and if our efforts over the past 3 years have been helpful in improving areas where you have said we were lacking.

In 2014:

  • only 56% of you said “my immediate head/manager treats people fairly” so we created the leadership development program to help supervisors/managers who can be “fair, firm and friendly”
  • only 75% of you said “my colleagues treat me with respect” so we put the focus on supporting you with leadership development training and creating the People and Process Manager role
  • you said our top 3 areas to improve are compensation, employee recognition and communication, so we created multiple programs and roles to improve these concerns successfully
  • only 33% of you said “my performance is assessed fairly” so performance discussions are something we have introduced informally and will be moving to a more formal process
  • you said an outstanding work environment includes great work atmosphere, career support and good communication so we created multiple new communication channels, provided new acting opportunities and improved engagement  through our work processes
  • only 36% of you said “I receive recognition for my results” so we developed supervisors’ skills in providing feedback and support through leadership development
  • only 67% of you said “My immediate Head/Manager is accessible” so we created the People and Process Manager role to help create focus on how to support staff
  • only 77% of you said you feel proud to work for UBC so we start every town hall with how our work enabled greatness with our campus spaces

What you tell us in 2017 will help refine and focus our engagement strategies going forward. Because we want to create a workplace that helps you do your best work so we can all enable great things to happen on this campus.


No Parking Near Air Intakes and No Idling

Building Ops’ Anti-Idling Procedure is in place to protect public health and improve the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emission and urban noise while conserving fuel. We’ll breathe easier, reduce wear and tear on our vehicles’ engines and save money!


Note Campus Road Closures from November 13th Onward


Building Ops Crews work together to keep UBC at its finest

Here’s an article shared by Kevin Morris, showcasing teamwork at Building Operations at its best:

“Last week on Thursday, in the middle of the night, someone broke into the Martha Piper Fountain contractor’s jobsite and stole two 3 gallon pails of concrete waterproofing and a roller on a pole. They proceeded to roll out a large dollar sign on the paving stone plaza in front of the AMS Nest. The Paint Shop was notified first thing in the morning. Bill Provenzano went over and secured the area and borrowed a flat shovel from some gardeners nearby and began to shovel the thick coating back into the pails. He took photos and called Security to alert the RCMP. Sam Agawa and I gathered some bollards and some caution tape to cordon of the area and went over to help. Ed Domenco arrived and gave an update on the origin of the material and advised that we should avoid letting the product flow into the storm drains as it was starting to rain. Mike Giannias was contacted and we came up with the idea of using the street sweeper so suck most of the product up. The rain turned out to be a blessing as it kept the material wet until Georges Bisson showed up in the street sweeper. He made quite a few passes with the machine and got most of the material up. Mike Giannias then mobilized more of his crew with power washers to come over and blast the remaining material out of the cracks in the paving stones, while the street sweeper sucked up the water before it hit the storm drains. It came out amazing. Today you cannot even tell it was there! The final hurdle was cleared when we had a meeting with Bang Dang from ESF and he and Mike came up with a plan to dispose of the contents of the sweeper truck in an environmentally responsible way. Kudos to the teamwork that averted this disaster!”

Thank you Kevin for sharing.


Nominations for the 2017 Staff Excellence Awards Are Still Open

Do you know of a coworker who deserves recognition for the excellent work they do? All in Building Ops are invited to nominate candidates for the 2017 Staff Excellence Awards. The awards recognize staff members who demonstrate outstanding achievement and bring excellence to their work. Learn more about the categories to know which one (or more) best fits your candidate. You can submit nominations through the Building Ops website on the Staff Tab or complete the nomination form.

All Building Ops employees are eligible for these awards. However, to be considered for the Kim Nulty Award, a minimum of 5 years of continuous service is required.

Winners will be announced and awards will be presented at the Building Ops Holiday meals in December 2017. Contact Caroline Soriano for more information.


Quick Updates


NPS score remained at 78% with 6 new promoters and 1 new detractor.


Chan Gun Electrical Systems Handed Over to Building Operations


Effective November 16th 2017, Stores and Tool Crib Will Be Closed Every Thursday from 12:00 – 12:30 pm


Exam Period Begins Tuesday, December 5 until Wednesday, December 20


Transportation Survey Is Open Until November 20…Help improve commuting to campus and have your say