The latest news from Building Operations Weekly

Latest staff news

Limited Access to North Entrance as Work Is Done at USB Yard

The plumbing and steamfitters are in the process of organizing and tidying up the area by the north entrance. This improvements are not only to keep our materials safe but also to make it safer for you. New storage cabinets have been installed for proper and secured storage of chemical products. Pipes are now stored on proper racks.

Work will continue for about 2 weeks, to install vertical pipe racks and to organize the tool/equipment storage. During this time, access through the north entrance may be limited.

Fire Hydrant Behind Lasserre/Music Buildings Affected by Water Main Break

Fire hydrant F6-C4, behind Lasserre/Music, was down because of a water main break. Energy and Water Services has repaired the line so the hydrant is now back in service. The asphalt is scheduled for repair this week.   

Leak at Hennings Resovled

The trapped roof at Hennings north side had been problematic and difficult to solve for a few years. The service request put in called our attention to the leaking skylights. Upon visiting the the roof, we discovered other problems, unrelated to a leaking skylight.  With the assistance of the roofers, plumbers, and architectural shop, we opened the adjacent wall on 2 floors, water tested the rooftop drain, and determined that the drain pipe connection was leaking, causing unusual staining in the granite wall, and condensation and leak stains in the 2nd floor office. The plumbing shop installed a new clean out to the lower roof drain, and cleared the line. The sheet metal shop fabricated a new custom drain for the main roof, and the roofers sealed it in. The roofers also cleaned out all debris on the lower roofs while there, ensuring the roofs will be ready for fall. 

Infrastructure Develop Hosts Thank You Event for Custodial Services

The Chinese Ministry of Education offered an honorarium to the Learning Spaces Team to thank them for the VIP tour that occurred on June 11th. To acknowledge the Custodial Teams that were behind the scenes to ensure the spaces looked their best, Jodi Scott and her group set up treats for everyone on Friday, July 6th. Not only did the Learning Spaces Team recognize all shifts that were involved (day, evening, night, weekend), they treated all custodial staff across the board.

Thank you to the Learning Spaces Team for sharing the kudos! 

The Mini-Pond B Bookcase Impresses Passers-by

The Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire a love of reading, building community and spark creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Like other public bookcases, anyone passing by can take a book to read or leave one for someone else to read. The organization relies on volunteers, known as stewards, to construct, install and maintain book exchange boxes.

Rick Mitchell of the Labour Division brought the project to Building Ops to offer assistance. With the help of the Carpenter Shop and the Labour Division, the stewards at UBC Press were able to make a sturdy bookcase, made from extra materials from the siding job that look like the facade of Pond B.

Many thanks to Rick Mitchell, Bob Khella, Chris Zorbakis, John Wogrinetz for the helping with the concrete foundation; to Dan Lappin for his guidance and to Scott Turner, Todd Mullin and John Singh for helping with the post.

As you walk by Pond B, check out the mini-Pond B, and maybe you’ll find a nice book to read.

Manager, Municipal Services Labour Division, Job Has Been Posted

Aligning with Leadership Development, we have an opportunity within the Municipal Services work group as a Municipal Services Manager.  All those who are qualified and interested in becoming a Municipal Services Manager are encouraged to submit their application, cover letter and resume for this competition.

The job details are as follows:

The business title for this position will be Manager, Municipal Services and is part of the Management and Professional Staff and will be an integral part of the leadership team within the Municipal Services work group.  The posting is currently open and will close on July 11th.  All qualified employees are encouraged to apply if their interest is in managing this type of operational work.

The Manager of Municipal Services oversees the operation and maintenance of university services, facilities and other resources that require compliance to various Acts and Regulatory responsibilities that govern Municipal Services at the University. In support of this, the Manager also leads and directs the development of standard operating procedures, and inspects and verifies plans for further compliance.  Additionally, this position is also responsible for organizing, coordinating and allocating personnel, equipment and funds; developing and monitoring costs, methods and procedures to comply with the budgets they have developed; and establish standards and policies that are required and necessary for this operational work group.

The Manager of Municipal Services is responsible for leading and managing new strategic initiatives within Building Operations, as well as spearheading major change management initiatives throughout their work group and the department.  This role will be the primary lead for the Building Operations Labour Division and will directly oversee the work group and their annual goals, objectives, work programs and preventive maintenance programs. This position reports to the Superintendent, Municipal Services and works within the strategic framework set out by the superintendent in order to meet departmental objectives and align with our strategic four pillars. This manager’s position works in conjunction with superintendents and managers of all business units within Building Operations.

Please pass this information along to all those who may be interested in this challenging position and have the potential to bring something special to this position and the Municipal Services team.

Sean Lynch Joins Day Shift as the Interim Custodial Services Operations Manager

In alignment with our department’s priority for Leadership Development under the four pillars (Asset Stewardship, Employee Engagement, Leadership Development, Customer Service), we are pleased to announce that Sean Lynch is the successful candidate for the Temporary Operations Manager role within Custodial Services on the day shift. This position is integral to the drive and success of the ongoing initiatives and strategic goals of the department, and Sean has proven his ability to lead projects, communicate effectively and engage the staff to create a better working environment for all.

Sean will be managing the following portfolios: pest control, window cleaning, operational supplies/equipment, Utility Worker Crew 11, Custodial Storekeeping Crew 28, entrance matting, to name a few.

Sean’s first day will be Monday, July 9th and you can reach him at 778-689-2531 or

WorkSafe Resources Available Online

WorkSafeBC provides resources to employers that promotes the prevention of workplace injuries, illnesses, and diseases. Among all of the resources that are available on their website (, you can even subscribe to receive the following free resources on an ongoing basis:

  • WorkSafe Health and Safety Enews is a monthly newsletter that outlines the latest changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, guidelines, and policies and also includes information on new workplace health and safety resources, initiatives and events. To subscribe, follow this link:
  • WorkSafe Magazine is a publication that comes out every 2 months and provides information, requirements, tips and other resources on occupational health and safety topics. Hard copies are available in your shop. To subscribe, follow this link:

While some topics may appear to be specific to certain occupations, it is more often than not that the topics can relate to the work you are performing. Sharing the articles that are relevant to you is a way to have everyone at the workplace thinking and talking about health and safety, which may include (but not limited to) conducting workplace risk assessments, reviewing and developing safe work procedures and conducting workplace inspections.

More Mechanical and Electrical Rooms Rekeyed as Part of the Campus Rekey Initiative

In the April 18 issue of the newsletter, we mentioned that Secure Access and the Locksmith Shop started a program to rekey all buildings on campus that were not on the NM-1, NE-1 keys. More mechanical and electrical rooms have been rekeyed as part of this initiative.

  • Tennis Centre and Bubble
  • Lasserre
  • Buchanan Tower (partial)
  • SRC
  • Belkin
  • Botanical

Proactive Maintenance Performed with Domestic Cold Water PRV and Backflow Station Upgrades at Chemistry C Block

During the annual backflow testing, our plumbing crew discovered that the existing 8” backflow preventer at the Chemistry C Block had failed and required replacement. Due to the historical knowledge the plumbing crew has of the Chemistry complex and taking the initiative to relay this information to the technical department, the backflow preventer valves were downsized from 8″ to 4″ in size.

This action by the crew saved capital cost, and future repair and replacement cost. The Backflow station was also upgraded to a parallel configuration to meet the UBC Technical Guidelines which will facilitate annual testing without the need for a disruption to the domestic water to the building. Special thanks go out to the plumbing crew for highlighting the potential cost savings and workmanship, Stores/Tool Crib for their assistance in determining rigging arrangements to lift the heavy old valves and equipment up the ships ladder from the lower mechanical room, and the labour crew for doing the heavy lifting.