The latest news from Building Operations Weekly

Latest staff news

UBC launches new strategic plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century

UBC is proud to launch its new strategic plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century.

This plan sets out our collective vision and purpose, and our goals and strategies for the years ahead. It will guide our decisions and actions — and create a framework for resource allocation across the university.

Shaping UBC’s Next Century focuses on three themes that we believe are critical to society today: Inclusion, Collaboration, and Innovation.

The plan also describes four core areas that continue to define what we do as a public university: People and Places, Research Excellence, Transformative Learning, and Local and Global Engagement.

Shaping UBC’s Next Century outlines our ambitions through a series of strategies. Our next steps will be translating these strategies to actions, and creating project plans to guide and align our efforts.

We will continue to seek your input as we move forward. We hope you will continue with us on this journey.

To read the plan, visit

What Are We Doing for Safety? Use Proper Lifting Techniques to Avoid Injuries

Lifting, handling, or carrying objects at work can result in musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs), including sprains and strains and other injuries. Whether you are lifting wood in the Carpentry shop, moving boxes at in Stores, or garbage bags in Custodial, etc., you may be at risk of injury. Regardless of your workplace, the aspects of lifting tasks, called risk factors, and the methods used to reduce the risk, called control measures, are similar.

Whenever possible, eliminate manual materials handling by combining operations or shortening distances that material must be moved. Look at material flow, and eliminate any unnecessary lifts. If material must be handled manually, design the job to reduce the stress on the body as much as possible.

Here are some tips to help you along and reduce your risk of injury.

  • Know what you are lifting and how you will lift it.
  • Be aware of the weight of the object.
  • Determine whether or not it’s safe to lift on your own.
  • Make sure the work area is flat, dry and clear of debris.
  • Make sure the lift pathway is clear.
  • Remove any tripping hazards or debris.
  • Check for any wet or slick surfaces.
    • Use lift assists, forklift, dolly, cart, hand truck or hoist.
    • Make sure you are trained before using the equipment.
    • When lifting awkward or heavy loads, perform a team lift with 2 or more people as necessary.
    • Make sure you lift at the same time and keep the load level.
    • Wear proper required protective shoes and gloves.
  • Reduce the weight of the load by breaking it up into smaller amounts, if possible.
  • Keep the load close to the body.
  • Always try to lift within the “lifting safety zone’
  • Use a wide stance for balance and square your body and feet to the load to be lifted.
  • Get a good grasp on the object to be lifted.
  • Bend at the hips and knees, using your legs to lift and lower.
  • Pivot your feet to avoid twisting the torso.


We’d Like To Hear From You…Submit your Town Hall Questions by this Friday, April 20

We are holding our town halls next week, starting April 24. While we try to ensure we have enough time for the Q&A segment, we would also like to answer all your questions. To make the time for Q&A effective, please send us your questions to Building Ops Managing Director ( by April 20 so that we can address your questions at the town hall.

Avoid Damage to Rooftops To Extend Roof Life

Roof membranes on a hot sunny day soften to the point where the aluminum boxes (see photo below of boxes that are not lying flat) can end up cutting into the roofing membrane. To avoid damaging roof membranes, please pack all construction debris or other materials. If you need to leave a ladder or some other equipment on a rooftop, please consult one of our roofers for best practices.

Heads Up! Mechanical and Electrical Rooms To Be Re-keyed as Part of the Campus Re-Key Initiative

Secure Access and the Locksmith Shop started a program to re-key all buildings on campus that were not on the NM-1, NE-1 keys. We saw an opportunity to revamp our key and access policies and once again gain control over our mechanical/electrical spaces. Working with Secure Access and the Locksmiths, it was decided to adopt Abloy’s newest technology as the new standard on campus.

What this means is that new NM-A, NE-A, NV-A keys have been created and have been distributed to staff. Once the newest keys have been distributed, the locksmiths will continue re-keying buildings on campus.

To date, about half the campus is on NM-1 and only the UBC Life building is on the newest mech/elec keys. The locksmiths will be prioritizing the order of buildings being re-keyed.

The newest Abloy keys need to be added to your master key rings. For now you will need to keep all your existing keys. Once this stage of the project is complete, half the campus will be on NM-1 and the other half will be on the new NM-A standard. At this stage we will be able to return the old style building keys.

Most of you have received your keys. If not, speak to your Manager so you know where you can go to pick up your key.

South Campus Clean Up Displays a Hidden Gem

Two years ago, we started an initiative to clean up the South Campus Warehouse. The yard had been commandeered to store DES piping and containers, and the excessive materials in the interior mezzanine and common aisles were becoming a safety hazard. The whole facility had become a dumping ground for spare or unwanted items.

With the help of the Labour Division, Custodial Services, Sheet Metal Shop, Energy and Water Services and Facilities Planning, we are happy to report that the space is now back to the standards we should all expect. Finance, HR and Payroll were also involved in the sorting of hundreds of records boxes that have been moved to the PARC Library.

The South Campus Warehouse will only remain usable if everyone contributes to its ongoing cleanliness and upkeep. We will be engaging the shops that have materials there to see if we can consolidate even further. Expect that there will be a yearly review of any items that were not approved for storage.

If you need to store anything, please speak to the Brown zone Facilities Manager Dave Garcia.





Building Ops Teams Deliver Service Excellence

We recently experienced a leak in the basement level foundation wall at Koerner library. After cutting open the wall to determine the method of repair, our trades completed concrete repairs, and then drywall and painting restoration to the area. The repairs are so seamless, that it blends perfectly in with the current finishes. A shout out to all crews for their fine efforts.

Wall Damaged by Leak

Wall Repair in Progress

Voila! Seamless Patch Up Work Done

UBC Wireless Changes as of May 9 2018

UBC is implementing important changes to its wireless connections (ubcsecure, eduroam, ubcprivate) as of May 9, 2018. These changes will impact all users that connect to these wireless networks at all UBC campuses and hospital sites.

To ensure a seamless transition, UBC IT Services will upgrade your wireless connection on your laptop between now and May 1, 2018. There will be no action required on your end to complete the upgrade.

Please note that if you have another mobile device, such as a phone or tablet, you will need to manually renew your connection through an AutoConnect tool by May 9. For instructions on how to run AutoConnect on your mobile devices, please visit

Building Ops is also putting a plan together to assist in this recertification process. We will keep you posted.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the IT Service Centre at

Hiring Now! UBC Community United Way Campaign Associate

Want to be involved in a great development opportunity? Become a United Way Campaign Associate. The position is available to full-time, continuing UBC employees to be seconded in the fall to work for the United Way of Lower Mainland on our 2018 campaign. This is a fun and challenging opportunity to make a difference in your community while learning valuable organization and communication skills. If you have any questions, please see the job postings before March 26th or ask two former associates, Andy Carr, (2006 and 2007) or Kevin Morris (2008). 

We’re Hiring…Keeping You Posted on Job Opportunities in Building Operations

Here are the latest job postings in Building Operations:

  • Electrician (POEP) #29526
  • Electrician (POEP) #29526
  • Painter (repost) POPA #29379
  • Tilesetter (POCS) #29470
  • Clerk 3 (POEF) #29534
  • Seasonal Labourer (POGA) #29490
  • Facilities Manager Blue Zone

If you are interested, please go to Careers at UBC to learn more about these positions and apply. Or if you know of someone who is interested, please pass the information along.