Building Operations Weekly

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Message from Peter Smailes, Interim VP, Finance and Operations

Dear colleagues,

I know that you will have been taken by surprise when receiving the news that our VP, Andrew Simpson, is no longer at UBC as confirmed by the President below.

I can confirm the Board of Governors and the UBC Executive have confidence in our portfolio and are supportive of the work we are doing. We will stay the course on the major projects underway and we will continue to provide strong customer service and support to our University community.

I have agreed to the role of Interim VP Finance & Operations and am grateful to everyone for their support

We will keep you informed along the way.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact

Here is the message from Professor Santa J. Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor.


Hebb Tower Now a Construction Site

The Hebb Building Renewal is now at its construction phase. The project is focused on addressing deferred maintenance while also upgrading to meet current codes, sustainability objectives and principles, and UBC technical standards. The renewal will include reconfiguration of classroom, teaching lab, and support spaces to support contemporary pedagogy.


Access and parking in Volkoff Lane will remain challenging throughout the project. Building Operations service vehicles are requested to access parking behind Chemistry Centre (D-wing) and to avoid parking along the southside of Hennings in the lane. If access to the Hebb Building is necessary, crews are required to go through a site safety orientation and wear the appropriate PPE. For more information on Hebb site access, contact Heatherbrae site superintendent Eric Himbert 604-841-6062.


Secure Construction Sites from General Public

Reminder to staff to keep working sites secured from general public, especially those that pose a fall hazard.

Job Action
Rooftops that are unsecured Lock up. If unable to, report to locksmiths to have fixed.
Lifts that are being used on campus Secure and store with public safety in mind
Mechanical room doors Secure
Jobs that are in progress where site is accessible to the public Be mindful about how safe the job site is left from a safety, tools and equipment perspective. Remove tools and materials, such as, paint, which could be used to damage assets.



Expect heavier vehicle activity around Kenny and Scarfe buildings with Roofing Projects starting soon

Roofing projects on Neville Scarfe Education Library and Douglas Kenny will commence demolition and re-roofing later in the week of January 8. Expect heavier than normal vehicle activity in Education Lane over the next  4 – 5 weeks. Please do not park in the fire lane. Utilize the west and south loading docks for delivery or vehicle parking.


Reminder, Sensitive Research Noise Window January 22 – February 4

The Life Sciences and Pharm Sciences January 2018 noise window runs from Monday January 22 to Sunday February 4th. If you have noisy/disruptive work to do in either building, this is the opportunity to have it completed. Please contact Deb Capps for additional information or support. The next noise window is June 2018.


Technical Guidelines Revisions Underway

As we look forward to the new year, work begins on the 2018 version of the UBC Technical Guidelines. It is these guidelines that consultants use when doing new or renovation  work at UBC. If you have suggestions for changes please pass them along to the Technical Specialists. They will validate the suggestions and pass them along for consideration for inclusion in this year’s issue. The Technical Guidelines Steering Committee  meets in March each year to review all submissions. Updated Technical Guidelines are then published on May 1st and can be found at If you would like to learn more about the process please speak with Michael Thayer.


High Voltage Shutdown-Performing Preventive Maintenance in Buildings at the Same Time

In an ongoing effort to collaborate with other departments and to create value for the University and users, Building Operations Electricians coordinated with Energy and Water Services staff for a shutdown this past weekend. During the high voltage shutdown in the Bio Sciences complex, our electricians were cleaning electrical panels, verifying lamicoid descriptors, electrical documentation, tightening lugs and identifying potential risks to the systems and users. While conducting the PM work, the crews noticed some compromises to the electrical distribution. They are now in the process of correcting the identified issues which range from improper labelling to electrical shock hazards.

When we coordinate our efforts in this way, we minimize the impact to the users and research while performing maintenance as efficiently as possible. This allows us to maximize our resources and increase the longevity of our buildings. A big thanks to everyone that was involved in making this shutdown happen!


Leadership Development Sessions Open for Registration

Please note registration deadline:

  • January 19 for Communicating Effectively
  • January 26 for Working in a Union Environment


Congratulations to the Winners of the 2017 Staff Excellence Awards

Thank you to all who participated in the 2017 Staff Excellence Awards by nominating their colleagues for the excellent work they do. And thank you to the committee members: Caroline Soriano, Christina Soares, Dan Strikaitis, Filomena O’Connor, Jag Khella, John Neumann, Joyce Ingram, Kevin Morris, Kishani Gibbons, Karyn Magnusson, Lee McCormick, Mark Donald-Jones, Paul Tees, Robert Stone, Shawn Riberdy, and Tatjana Simic.

This year’s winners of the Staff Excellence Awards are:

Health and Safety: Richard Gee
Richard Gee received the award for being an advocate of safety. Undaunted, he brings up any safety issue and follows through to ensure incidents are mitigated. He watches for trends and ensures the safety of his coworkers.
Innovation: Jordy Buckles
Jordy Buckles has an amazing ability to craft needed equipment with only the tools available to him in the shop. He crafted a much need laboratory-grade sink in time for the start of the term. His creativity and ingenuity saved Building Ops and Earth & Ocean Sciences thousands of dollars.
Customer Service: Benedict Castres & Meynard Villarica
Always providing excellent customer service with a smile, the orange/yellow carpenters Benedict Castres and Meynard Villarica are a hard act to follow. Known for providing a high level of service that customers rave about, they go above and beyond customer needs, which is always recognized in NPS comments.
Teamwork: The Clerical Pool
The “Go-to” team for Building Operations, The Clerical Pool provide administrative support with service excellence. With various talents, they work collaboratively to ensure that all administrative requirements are met. And when it comes to events, they work together to ensure success.
Leadership: Deb Capps
Inspiring those around her to think beyond the immediate problem, Deb Capps is a proven leader. Talented and driven, she goes over and above in providing service to our customers. Not only does she look out for her development, she also helps others achieve their personal and professional goals. She is the go-to person for the Facilities Managers for her information and guidance.
The Kim Nulty Award: Lee McCormick
In a close race with Kevin Morris and Marcus Drozdzik, Lee McCormick won the award. A proven leader, he is the guiding force of the operating engineers,  helping them transition to new systems and work processes. With the operating engineers working in shifts, he ensures that his colleagues work in a safe environment. His contribution at the Centre for Comparative Medicine dramatically changed the operational approach to steam boilers. Lee provides inspiring and outstanding service to UBC.
Photos courtesy of Robert Stone


John Singh and the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau win in the annual Dart Tournament

Thank you Barb Shimizu, Ellen Grande and Shirley Tseng for doing a great job selling 50/50 tickets. John Singh won the 50/50 draw. Thanks to all who made the event a success. Together, a total of $460 (and counting) was raised for the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau.


Quick Updates


Welcome to UBC Olga Arlitt, Daisy Chan, Dave Garcia and Todd Mullin


Get Fit for Free with UBC Recreation’s Free Week, January 8 – 14


Looking for a fitness challenge to start the new year? Register for the 12th Annual Walkabout Challenge, January 22


NPS score increased to 84% with 1 new promoter and 1 new detractor.