Building Operations Weekly

Top Stories


Employee Engagement

We Are the Champions! Building Ops Team Wins Day of the Longboat 2018

Congratulations to the Building Ops team for winning the Day of the Longboat Race 2018. Hosted by UBC Athletics, the Day of the Longboat Race happened on September 29 and 30 at the Jericho Beach. Teams raced in voyageur canoes through a series of buoys to the finish line.

Building Ops raced against 9 other boats to beat President Santa Ono and the Athletics team and win the coveted Day of the Longboat trophy and UBC Intramurals championship shirt.

Thank you team members for giving Building Ops its first Day of the Longboat trophy!

John Metras Greg Scott
Jason Wright Deb Capps
Jose R. Teres Mark Donald-Jones
Lee McCormick Michelle McArthur
Sean McGregor Matt Boydston


Leadership Development

John Metras Appointed Associate Vice-President, Facilites

In this new role John will report to Vice-President, Finance & Operations, Peter Smailes and lead the Infrastructure Development, Building Operations, and Energy & Water Services units as a unified team, providing integrated facilities services for the Vancouver campus.  He and his team will also continue support infrastructure development activities at the Okanagan campus.

John has worked for almost 20 years in facilities development and operations at UBC. He is known for his collaborative approach and ability to translate innovative ideas into reality. In his previous role as Managing Director, Infrastructure Development, John helped to deliver $1.6B in major building projects on both UBC campuses, including award-winning teaching and research facilities, mixed-use student housing developments, athletics & recreation facilities, and utility systems. He looks forward to continuing to work with UBC students, faculty and staff to provide outstanding, sustainable environments for learning, research and campus life.

John is a registered Professional Engineer with a Bachelor of Engineering Science from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from UBC.


Employee Engagement

The Potential Is Yours

When faced with our world’s most pressing challenges, there are two choices: either give up and admit defeat, or believe in our potential to shape a different future. That choice is the heart of UBC’s latest campaign “The Potential Is Yours.”

The campaign demonstrates how the university is helping address society’s largest challenges, such as brain health and sustainability. Let’s celebrate the power of ‘potential’ and highlight the way in which UBC helps students, faculty and staff to realize their greatest potential.

Building Operations is dedicated to creating the best possible environment for learning research proactively and in the most cost-effective way. While individually we can recognize our potential to make a difference, collectively we can enable greatness and shape a better future.

Visit and see who else is shaping our future.


Kids to Work Day Is November 14, 2018

Building Operations, Energy and Water Services, Student Housing & Hospitality Services and UBC Community Services are encouraging all parents with children in Grade 9 to bring them to work for the day on November 14, 2018. Registration is open until October 26, 2018. For more details or to register, contact Caroline Soriano at or at 604.822.4178.

Due to the nature of the work done in the university, and the potential safety hazards involved, a guided day of activities (including lunch) will be planned for students who are unable to spend the day on the job with their parent. Parents are also invited to the lunch.


Customer Service

Hebb Building Renewal in Progress–No Parking on Volkoff Lane

Just a reminder to park in designated parking areas only. This week, a vehicle was parked in a no parking area on Volkoff Lane, blocking access for the scheduled concrete truck delivery causing 3 metres of concrete to be sent back.

The concrete work is extremely timely and costly. We’ve had several incidents reported of vehicles parked in no parking zones, and we ask everyone to diligently park in designated parking areas only. The closest loading area on Volkoff Lane is Chemistry D Block Centre Wing.

We understand that the Hebb construction project has caused increased traffic and congestion in the area. We truly appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation.

For questions or concerns, please contact Project Manager, Noel McNally (604-822-0175) or Facilities Manager, Sean McGregor (604-822-4365).


Kudos to Custodial Services for Work Done at JB MacDonald

Project Coordinator Kevin Phelan thanks the Custodial Team for the outstanding job done on the floors. The Patterson Dental Clinic was expecting a number of important visitors and wanted the clinic to be in tiptop shape. Custodial Services burnished, stripped, waxed and detail cleaned the area as proven by these before and after photos. Thank you to the Custodial Team for making the clinic look good as new.


Sign Shop Exceeds Geography Expectations

Our clients in the Geography building approached Bruce Dery with a privacy concern in one of their high traffic office spaces. The space had a “fish bowl” appearance and was distracting to users in the space when transient guests would walk by. The goal was to create a sense of privacy while maintaining a professional aesthetic image. Bruce was permitted to use his own creative juices to map out a plan for the user group.  The end product has been well received, as you can see by the pictures. Well done!


Sheet Metal Crew Suspend Cypress from the Rafters at Engineering Design Centre

Cypress is  the first suborbital high powered rocket created by our UBC students and is significant in representing innovation and engineering advancement . “Cypress” won the Spaceport America cup in 2017 and now hangs proudly from the rafters of EDC thanks to Bert, Mike and Sergio from the Sheetmetal department.


Asset Stewardship

USB Yard Improvement Coming Soon

In response to the safety recommendations brought forward by the Municipal and Trades Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees, Building Operations is working with Project Services to improve the layout of the USB yard. The safety of staff and students is one of the main goals for Building Operations, and the new layout should allow for safer movement of pedestrians and vehicles. This will also minimize the number of pedestrians that walk through the yard.

What changes will be made? 

  • There will be emergency exit only pedestrian gates installed on the North East and North West side of the yard to prevent students and staff from walking through the yard
  • There will be a change in traffic flow for the yard – the current entrance will be the new exit and vice versa with new automated gates
  • Angled parking stalls will be introduced in specific locations of the yard

How will this impact you? 

  • You will no longer be able to walk into the yard through the North East and North West gates
  • When exiting USB you will be expected to use the east and south exits of the building and established cross walks. There are future plans to create a pedestrianized walkway by Waste Management for travel between Header House, Lower Mall Research and USB, but these plans have not been finalized
  • There will be emergency procedures established that will be used to allow employees to exit from the USB and yard through the yard in the event of an emergency
  • Traffic flow direction will change within the yard.

When will the construction work begin? 

Project Services is working closely with the selected consultant to create a cost-effective design that will address the issues brought forward by the various safety committees.  The construction schedule and the details of how we can assist will be posted as soon as the details are finalized.  The tentative completion date for this project work is anticipated to be early spring of 2019.

Building Operations Charge-Out Rate Increase

Effective April 1, 2019 UBC will see a modest increase in Building Operations charge-out rates as a result of continuing cost pressures (primarily wage rate increases). This increase will help to ensure that actual costs are aligned with costs charged to clients for work performed.  This rate increase will ensure that Building Operations can support its mission to proactively and cost effectively manage the operations and maintenance of the assets on campus to inspire people, ideas and actions for a better world.

What are the new rates?

Effective April 1, 2019 the charge-out rates for services will be adjusted as follows:

Garbage, recycling, and organic service rates for UBC ancillaries and tenants are currently under review. There will be an overall increase of 2% in solid waste in financial year 2019/20. As part of our commitment to sustainability we are reviewing our allocations for garbage, recycling and organics, which may lead to an overall increase in garbage collection rates.


Quick Updates


Welcome to UBC: Calvin Cheung, Frank Kwok, Gregor MacDonald, Komal Gounder, Suad Selimi, Vanessa Viloria


Celebrate Safety Day on October 3


Want Pancakes and Race or Spell? Contact Caroline at to participate