University-wide catering contract signed with Compass
The two latest instalments in the ‘Laboratory with Leaves’ series of videos about the decades of science that have taken place in Wytham Woods have gone live. The first looks at the career and achievements of Charles Elton, the ‘father of ecology’, whose work in the Woods helped pave the way for all the research that’s been done there since, and whose diaries are still providing new insights into how the landscape has changed over time. The second video examines the range of incredible technology at work in the Woods – from a mechanised hotel for voles to lasers that can map the tree canopy and tracking bees’ flightpaths with UV paint.
Poetry on Parks pond Compass Group has been appointed under a major new contract to work in partnership with the University to provide catering services to 23 cafes and restaurants, as well as providing event catering and hospitality. The contract will be managed by the FM and University Purchasing teams. It took effect on 2 October and will bring an annual benefit of £1.25 million to the University over ten years. The ten-year contract was awarded after a comprehensive, robust tender process, with a number of departments consulted. It offers significant service, sustainability, financial, and compliance benefits. It will also provide departments that opt to use the service with consistently high-quality catering, while also enabling them to tailor the service to suit their own particular requirements. A key objective was to deliver value for money by moving away from the previous use of a variety of contractors which have offered varying standards of service and food quality while increasing total management and operational costs.
In early September, Professor Clark Lunberry of the University of North Florida created a temporary art and poetry installation in the Parks by installing words floating on the surface of the pond next to Lazenbee’s Ground. This There will be a focus on healthy eating and sustainability, was one of the events around the Power of the with a commitment to achieve Food for Life accreditation. Word international conference, organised by Regent’s Park Work on sustainable food will include an increase in meatfree choices and a focus on local suppliers, and will continue College. He installed the words on 13 September, and they stayed in place for several days. to evolve over the term of the contract, in close collaboration with Environmental Sustainability colleagues. As part of the contract, funds are available to refurbish many of the existing facilities and create inviting social hub spaces in consultation with departments. There also will be quick and easy ways to buy food, such as through click-and -collect or cashless payments.
New Laboratory with Leaves videos launched
Old images brought back to life Members of the Estates Services Information Management team have been working with the Medical Imaging Department at the John Radcliffe Hospital’s Academic Centre to digitise around 5,000 old photo negatives that had come to light in its archives. They are old plans of buildings around Oxford, and could be useful for applications including legal research and architectural history. Now that the scanning is
done, the team will investigate how to link the resulting digital into the University estate, securing OURFC’s future and providing space to improve the University’s sports facilities. images to the corresponding areas in the Planon space The University has acquired the two-hectare Iffley Road site database and make them available more widely. that was originally acquired for OURFC by Major R V Stanley in Triton statue installed at Castle Mill 1922. It will lease the majority of the site back to the rugby A historic piece of fine stone sculpture club – including the pitch, two stands and the Pavilion – on a is to be installed in the display niche long-term basis, for a modest annual rent. By bringing the built into the Castle Mill graduate ground into the University estate, the deal makes a significant accommodation development. contribution to OURFC’s financial stability and secures the long Showing Triton, Greek god of the sea, -term future of rugby at Iffley Road. The remainder of the site the statue used to be the centrepiece will be used to develop the University sports facilities next to of the fountain in front of the ROQ the rugby ground. before being replaced by a replica as it Progress continues on bike security is no longer suitable for outdoor The Security Services team has made major improvements to display. Before being installed at the ROQ, it was exhibited at the Crystal Palace as part of the Great cycle security in recent years; five years ago a typical week saw 12-15 bike thefts on University property, and that number Exhibition of 1851. The Castle Mill sculpture niche had to be has now fallen to 2-3. They have done this with a manyextended to fit the statue, which will be safe from the pronged approach including selling discounted D-locks to elements behind glass. students, as well as bike lights and other safety equipment and providing advice on how to avoid getting their bikes stolen.
ContentCal takes Estates social media to the next level
As reported in the last issue of Estates Services News, the University recently joined national cycle database BikeRegister, meaning staff and students can mark and The Estates Services Communications team has introduced ContentCal, new software that makes it far easier for teams all register their own bikes online. This makes life easier both for them and for Security staff, who no longer have to manually over the department to plan and share their social media add their details to a database. The system has already content together. Staff can create social media updates within enabled two stolen bikes to be returned to their owners. To the software, adding words, images and other multimedia. sign up, visit www.bikeregister.com. They can then schedule these posts to go up automatically on Security staff have appeared at Freshers’ Fair as usual to raise any social media channel, and share them with other users. So awareness of their services among the new intake of students, but they hope the next big improvements in cycle security will two teams can easily work on a joint marketing campaign, or come from a new initiative. They are dividing the University adapt and re-use content from each other’s social media estate into four zones – the ROQ, including the Engineering feeds, avoiding duplication of effort and making it easier to area; Old Road Campus; the Science Area; and graduate find new content to keep their social media accounts fresh accommodation including Castle Mill, 25 Wellington Square and interesting. The system also includes analytics to help and Summertown House. One of the four security shifts will be made responsible for each. When several bike thefts are teams understand which content has been most successful reported at a particular place, shift members will make contact and why. So far the Environmental Sustainability, Wytham with those responsible for managing nearby buildings and Woods, Science Transit Shuttle and FM Events Venues teams offer advice on how they could improve bike security. are using ContentCal, and more could come on board in The team's efforts to curb cycle crime have been so successful future. that Belinda Hopkins, Crime Prevention & Reduction Advisor, was recently invited to give a talk at the National Cycle Crime University buys rugby ground Conference outlining how this has been achieved.
Facebook pages will help graduate housemates bond The Graduate Accommodation team has created a closed Facebook group for incoming residents of 38-40 Woodstock Road. This should enable students to get to know their new housemates before arrival, helping them to settle into their new home. If this is successful, the team will roll this out to In September the University bought Oxford University Rugby more sites ready for next year’s intake of students. Football Club (OURFC)’s playing ground. This brings the ground
Security Services moves towards CCTV accreditation The Security Services team is in the process of voluntarily complying with demanding new government standards for monitoring and using CCTV imagery, going beyond its legal obligations in order to ensure it meets industry best practice. The government recently brought in a CCTV Code of Practice. Organisations like the police must gain certification that they comply with it, but for universities compliance is voluntary. Security Services decided to seek accreditation anyway since this will mean the team is well-positioned to advise colleges and departments on how to meet the Code’s requirements if doing so ever becomes mandatory. Security Services has audited all the cameras on its network, overhauled its internal guidelines for CCTV monitoring, provided training to supervisors and produced full documentation of the new system. This has led to steady progress towards accreditation, which is now expected around May 2018. These steps to bring the team’s internal processes into line with industry best practice follow significant investment in new technology, with the CCTV network being converted to use digital technology that improves image quality, enables the team to store large amounts of footage securely on central hard drives and makes it easier to add new cameras to the network.
Security Services helps organise VIP visits to Oxford
The Security Services team continues to work closely with partners across the University and beyond to ensure that highprofile visits to Oxford go safely and securely. They did this ahead of HRH Prince Charles’ visit to the recently-constructed Kellogg College Passivhaus Hub building – an innovative structure with exceptional environmental performance, whose construction was managed by the Estates Services Capital Projects team – and then played a similar role for the visit of the Spanish royal family to Oxford in July, including trips to the Weston Library and Exeter College. Ahead of each visit, security staff liaised with groups including the police, the events team at Wellington Square and the royal household. Generally, the police sweep public areas for
security threats, and then Security Services maintain security by controlling the perimeter, manning crowd barriers and similar tasks.
Modular teaching buildings take shape
officers can spend break times and rest until their shift starts. It features a small kitchen, lockers, changing rooms and a staff rest area. The refurbishment was managed by the Estates Services Capital Projects team.
Status of major projects Completed
Construction of temporary buildings to replace research and teaching facilities following the closure of the Tinbergen Building is underway. Modules are in place and are currently being fitted out at the University Club sports field site to create the two large single-storey labs that will accommodate over 200 students. The build team is working to get the labs up and running for Biochemistry and Biology students during the Michaelmas Term.
Kellogg College – works on a student hub to house common room and café built to Passivhaus accreditation completed in May 2017. Project manager: Tim Leigh, Ridge.
Old Observatory – the old bunker has been converted to a rest and changing area for security staff. The project completed in June. Project manager, Nick Mullineux, TMD.
Cricket Pavilion, University Parks – refurbishment works to improve the away changing facilities completed at the end of September 2017. Project manager, Jack Endley, TMD.
Robert Hooke Building – phase one to refurbish lab space for the head of MPLS completed in September 2017. Project manager: Andrew Sneddon, Ridge.
Groundworks for a temporary two-storey research and administration building for Zoology, also on the sports field site, started in September. Meanwhile, over on the Radcliffe Completion in 2017 and 2018 Observatory Quarter (ROQ) site, construction of a research building for the Department of Experimental Psychology is underway and expected to complete in the New Year. Following the closure of the Tinbergen Building in February, a University-wide steering group was asked to explore options for the building and recommend a long-term solution. The group – chaired by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt FRS – unanimously recommended the demolition and replacement of the Tinbergen Building with a new facility. This recommendation will now be considered under the University’s established governance procedures.
Security Services bunker turned into high-quality rest facilities Refurbishment works have finished at the so-called ‘bunker’ at the Security Services headquarters at the Old Observatory in the Science Area. Until recently the area was used for storage and was in poor condition; it has now been transformed into attractive, modern rest and recreation facilities where patrol
Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) lift – a project to re-purpose the sub-basement area and improve access with the creation of a larger goods lift. Due to complete in October 2017. Project manager: Nick Mullineux, TMD.
Social Sciences building based in 1 and 2 South Parks Road – refurbishment works are now complete. The second phase of the project, in the Dyson Perrins Building, is expected to complete in early 2018. Project manager: Tim Leigh, Ridge.
Beecroft Building for the Physics Department – work on many of the labs and offices is nearing completion and thebuilding is due to be finished early 2018. Project manager: Allan Ashenden, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.
Iffley Road Sports Centre – the multi-purpose training room will be ready in October and the new sports centre is expected to complete in Q1 2018. Project manager: Richard
Chemistry teaching labs – the frame is now complete and air handling units installed; cladding due to commence shortly with completion expected in April 2018. Project manager: Colin McAuley, CPC.
New research building for the Department of Zoology at the Wytham Field Station. Preparation works are due to start in the autumn and the project is expected to complete in summer 2018. Project manager: Nick Mullineux, TMD.
Refurbishment works at the Hans Krebs Field Station at Wytham are also underway to improve labs, offices and communal areas. Project manager: Rebecca Kitchin, Ridge.
Project 696 (Old Road Campus), which will hold the BioEscalator, Novo Nordisk research facilities and a car park – works are progressing on site with fit-out of laboratories now starting. Estimated completion date Q3 2018: Hans Andreae, CPC.
At planning and design stages
Biochemistry Phase II, Science Area – developed design stage now completed. Project manager: Jon Odell, CPC
Humanities on the ROQ – the pre-feasibility study for a new Humanities building is being reviewed following revisions to the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (ROQ) site masterplan. Project manager, Matt Eaton.
Castle Mill graduate accommodation – planning permission for developed design proposals for the building and landscaping was granted in August and work is expected to start on site in the New Year. Project manager, Mark Wheatley.
Dyson Perrins – work will start on site in September to adapt existing space to accommodate new equipment for the Archaeology department. Due to complete in Q1 2018. Project Manager, Tim Leigh.
New forum to share best practice on construction sites A new forum aimed at sharing best practice in construction site safety has been initiated by Capital Projects. The University team and its contractor partners now meet regularly at the health, safety and site review forum tackling wide-ranging issues, including security terror threats, rescuing people from cranes, through to managing the mental wellbeing of construction site workers. The forum was recently awarded ‘best practice’ status in the
latest Customer Service Excellence (CSE) review for the Capital Projects team.
Big Data Institute environmental performance ‘outstanding’
The Big Data Institute (BDI) on Old Road Campus recently achieved ‘outstanding’ certification from BREEAM. The outstanding rating puts the building in the top 2% of BREEAMassessed buildings worldwide and is a significant improvement on the initial project target of an ‘excellent’ rating. As part of the sustainability strategy, the building incorporates a 600 metre-long network of air intake tunnels known as the ‘labyrinth’. Set below the basement to maximise the benefit of constant ground temperature, it cools incoming air in summer and helps to reduce heating loads in winter. This is only one of a few such labyrinths in the United Kingdom. The Big Data Institute is a new medical research building dedicated to complex analytical research into the causes, consequences, prevention and treatment of disease. It is the workplace of more than 500 people and is designed for storing, analysing and processing enormous quantities of data, which will provide new insights into illnesses and treatments worldwide.
Low-energy building nominated for award Kellogg College’s new hub opened has been nominated for the national Civic Trust Awards. The awards celebrate outstanding architecture and the judging panel will be announcing their shortlist in November. The new building, which has obtained its Passivhaus accreditation, has a common room and café, providing a social centre at the heart of the college. Designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, it is the first non-residential building in Oxford to be designed according to the Passivhaus approach, which produces heavily-insulated buildings that use an exceptionally small amount of energy while also being very comfortable. The hub was opened in May by Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson and was visited by HRH The Prince of Wales the same month.
Wytham Chalet to be refurbished
after having consulted widely across the collegiate University. The chalet that has been at the heart of Wytham Woods since The University is a key stakeholder in the Local Plan, which will set out the broad framework that will govern the city’s develthe early 1920s is to receive a opment until the mid-2030s. The University is generally supmajor refurbishment. In late portive of the Plan’s vision and goals, but has suggested changAugust, funding was approved es in key areas of detail such as requirements to build affordato turn the former hunting ble housing and policy on preserving views of historic buildlodge – almost certainly Oxings. The University will continue to work closely with the ford’s only authentic Alpine chalet – into a hub for all Wytham’s research projects. The building is currently in a poor Council to ensure, where possible, that planning policy supports its future development programme. state but this will change, with plans to install showers, bunk rooms, better teaching facilities and a new single-bedroom apartment. This will mean the Woods team can offer overnight accommodation to researchers, helping ensure the next 75 years of science there are as outstanding as the last. The Estates Services Capital Projects and Facilities Management teams have played a vital role in getting the project to this stage.
Capital Plan refresh underway Estates Services staff from several teams are working closely with departments and divisions, the central Finance Division and the Planning and Resource Allocation Section (PRAS) to carry out the yearly refresh of the Capital Plan, which aims to balance the needs of all parts of the University to set out major construction priorities for the next 20 years. The exercise is expected to be finished by November.
Begbroke expansion included in Cherwell local plan Two University-owned sites are being promoted as possible sites for housebuilding under the Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan. At the University’s Begbroke Science Park site, the Plan proposes the creation of 1,950 new homes as well as expansion of the Science Park itself to include new research facilities, better transport links and improved staff amenities. The North Oxford Golf Club site, owned by the University and Merton and Exeter Colleges, is also included in the plan, which suggests that if released for development the land could hold a further 530 dwellings. The Plan is now the subject of a public consultation, which continues until 10 October. This is Cherwell’s response to Oxford City Council’s identified housing need. There will be a Public Inquiry in summer 2018, during which an appointed planning inspector will consider the full range of opinion on the proposals before making recommendations. The University is actively engaging with Cherwell District Council to take the proposals forward.
Oxford Local Plan moves towards completion A consultation on the new Local Plan for Oxford finished in late August, and Estates Services made significant representations
Duke Humfrey’s Library re-lighting project nears completion Over the summer, Estates Services engineers and external contractors have been working to revamp the lighting in the Duke Humfrey’s Library. The project is expected to finish in early October and aims to make the library an even more beautiful space and a better place to work by replacing the previous lighting scheme with one that provides much more even illumination for the books and the library’s remarkable painting ceiling. As well as making the space more usable, the new scheme will be more energy-efficient, relying entirely on LEDs rather than the previous mix of halogen and fluorescent lamps. Throughout, work has been confined to one part of the library at a time so that the rest of the library could continue to be used.
Space codes on Planon jobs
five. Contractors have been working on small sections of the property at any one time so that tenants can be decanted between properties as they are finished. Each flat is being fully rewired and redecorated, with roofs and windows replaced, new and more secure front doors installed, CCTV added and external lighting improved. The work is expected to finish early in 2018.
Boundary Brook House vacated The Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust has moved out of Boundary Brook House, a University property on the Old Road Campus, after relinquishing its lease earlier in the summer. For the moment, the building is being managed as void. It will be lightly refurbished, and its outbuildings – many of them in poor condition – will be demolished, with both initiatives being managed by the Estates Services Capital Projects team. Once this is done, part of the Research Services team will move there from its current offices at the Churchill Hospital, being joined by various teams from within the Medical Sciences Division.
Improving the University landscape Parks gardeners have been carrying out landscaping work across Oxford. They have laid a new lawn at All Souls College to repair damage caused by chafer grubs. The team stripped off and re-laid more than 1,400m2 of turf – a particular challenge since they needed to finish in time to give the college a beautiful green lawn for Oxford Open Doors in early September. They are now carrying out a similar project at Lady Margaret Hall, in which 1,200m2 of turf will be re-seeded. Gardeners have also re-laid turf at St Anne’s College in what has become an annual tradition to reinstate the lawn after the marquees used for conferences have been taken down.
Anyone submitting maintenance requests to Planon via FacilityNet or FMOnline should be aware that it will soon become compulsory to include the relevant Estates space code – requests that do not include this information will not be acted on. Doing this will help maintenance operatives carry out the job more efficiently by giving them reliable information on exactly where the problem is; it will also enable Estates Services to fulfil its duty to protect their health by warning them of any asbestos nearby so that they can take appropriate steps to avoid disturbing it. To help colleagues provide this information, over the summer The team also felled a large, century-old purple beech tree Estates Services has run a project to put QR code stickers at Jack Straw’s lane due on every door in the estate; to find out a room’s space to a fungal disease that code, just scan the sticker on its door with a smartphone or was attacking its roots. tablet. This has involved working closely with other teams across Asset & Space Management, and careful consultation with neighbours. The tree will be replaced with a silver birch, as agreed with local residents. The project to renovate the 46 graduate flats at Alan BullFinally, Parks gardeners have also undertaken grounds ock Close has now entered its third phase, of a planned
Alan Bullock Close refurbishment continues
maintenance work for Jesus College and Queen’s College, both within the colleges themselves and at their external sites.
specialises in the subject.
The same night, several of Oxford’s most beautiful buildings were lit up as part of the University buys property on Jack Night of Heritage Light (NOHL), organised by Rob Straw’s Lane Gregg, Principal Electrical The University has acquired Cowley House at 32 Jack Engineer in the Building SerStraw’s Lane from St Hilda’s College. The ground floor of vices team, in partnership the building is home to a University nursery, which will conwith the Society of Light & tinue to operate. Above it are 16 residential units, which will be used as graduate accommodation from this autumn. Lighting (SLL) – a professional body that represents and proThe deal reflects the University’s policy of preferring to own motes the lighting industry. property rather than to lease it, and safeguards the future of the nursery, which is a valuable resource for employees. The University has also sold residential property at Eynsham Road in Botley, at Coniston Avenue in Marston and at Fernhill Road in Cowley, after deciding that the buildings did not match its strategic needs. The funds will be re-invested in the residential property portfolio.
Meadow Bridge to be renovated The DLO Joiners have finished making the wooden components of Meadow Bridge, which crosses the Cherwell between the University Parks and Mesopotamia. They will be replacing both the bridge’s handrails and its walkway; both parts will be built from Accoya wood, which has been treated to provide extreme resistance to decay. The whole renovation project is being managed by the Estates Services Conservation & Buildings team. It should be finished late this year. To help keep DLO and Parks staff safe when working around water, they will receive river rescue training over the coming weeks. The DLO joiners are also making items for various other buildings around the estates, including replacement windows for a cottage at Tubney and internal partitions to divide up the top storey of the Clarendon Building.
For one night, structures including the Radcliffe Camera, the Ashmolean, the Museum of the History of Science, the Radcliffe Humanities Building and the Radcliffe Observatory received spectacular new external lighting schemes, designed free of charge by SLL members. The Ashmolean had a starry night sky projected onto it, fitting with the Carnival’s ‘Time and Space’ theme, while the Radcliffe Observatory also took on an astronomical feel, with a roof-mounted spotlight beaming into the sky and twinkling window illumination. The Old Bodleian courtyard’s walls were lit up according to designs produced by local schoolchildren who received training from SLL experts. Perhaps most spectacular of all was the Museum of Natural History, which had stunning moving images relating to scientific and historical themes projected onto it. For most of the buildings, this was for one night only, but the Radcliffe Camera’s makeover will remain in until early 2018, demonstrating how modern lighting technology helps show off the building’s stunning architecture pending discussions about whether it should be permanently lit at night.
Wytham Woods was also involved, with visitors getting stuck into activities including sitting in a giant bird’s nest built by artist Clair Chinnery, watching badgers and touring bat roosts Nuffield negotiations near comple- and even camping out under the stars. The night’s events there got started at 2 pm on Friday and carried on until the tion same time on Saturday – an impressive 24-hour span unThe University is in the final stage of negotiations with Nuffield matched elsewhere in the University. The nest will stay in College over the planned move of the Sociology Department place throughout the year, forming part of the events to celeto the old nightclub building on the corner of Park End Street brate 75 years of science in the Woods. and Tidmarsh Lane. It is also nearing the end of discussions ahead of the opening of The Foundry, Saïd Business School’s Ioannou Centre comes under permanew entrepreneurship centre, in the former comedy club at 3nent FM management 5 Hythe Bridge Street. The terms of the lease have been The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine studies moved agreed, and the Saïd Business School has now moved in. under the management of the FM team in early October. FM has been supporting the building on a temporary basis since Lighting up the estate Curiosity Carnival, on 29 September, was Oxford’s own take on earlier in the year. The Ioannou Centre has been happy with the arrangement and has now committed to the managed FM European Researchers’ Night, with events aimed at getting people interested in research in more than 300 cities across service on a permanent basis. the continent. Visitors got the chance to do everything from selecting the best research-themed cake to squeezing into a lift for a cramped chat about claustrophobia from a researcher who
Wellington Square refurbishment on track after consultation Plans to refurbish the large graduate accommodation site at 25 Wellington Square are moving forward, with works planned to start next summer and continue for one academic year. They will include improving the building’s environmental performance, creating a more comfortable setting to live and work in, adding en-suite bathrooms to bedrooms and creating clusters of five to six rooms around each shared kitchen.
tion (DLO), which carries out repairs and maintenance across the University estate, are moving forward. Consultancy TMD has produced a pre-feasibility study, after analysing the DLO’s needs and how they can be met within the space available. They came up with three possible alternatives, which have been presented to staff. The DLO team’s single-storey current headquarters on South Parks Road is no longer fit for purpose, with equipment stored in sheds and other temporary structures and the main building starting to decay seriously. The proposed modular replacement will have three floors and include ample storage and office space with a better mess room that can also be used for training.
Planning the Warneford’s long-term Move to single data source for space reporting future The masterplan for the future development of the Warneford Hospital site, on which the Department of Psychiatry is based, has been published. It was the subject of a full public consultation earlier in the summer, and the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is now moving through the planning process with Oxford City Council. The University and NHS Foundation Trust developed the ambitious proposals together in order to maximise the site’s clinical and research potential over the next 10-50 years. They include proposals to build new healthcare and research facilities, preserve green areas and restore listed buildings, as well as creating new accommodation for key workers and beautiful public space for general use. To find out more about the masterplan, visit the NHS Trust website.
Planon improvements drive safety benefits A move to an upgraded version of the Planon database is already enabling customer service improvements. DLO staff can now add much more information to jobs, helping ensure that important knowledge about their location and the best way to approach them is captured. The new system will make it easier to hit the DLO’s target of having full planned preventative maintenance (PPM) schemes in place for 100 University buildings. At present PPM plans have been drawn up for around 60 buildings, with another 30 in preparation. These include both regular visits by DLO operatives to fix anything that has broken, and regular planned maintenance such as changing air filters. Planon can now generate jobs automatically for this kind of work, ensuring it is done on time. It can also improve risk management by empowering operatives on the ground to assess and respond to risk.
A new home for the DLO Plans for a new headquarters for the Direct Labour Organisa-
The Information Management team is reviewing the data it collects from around the University as part of various spacemanagement information returns – in particular, the Estates Management Return, the Space Charging Return and the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) return. The aim is to improve the quality of information collected while reducing its quantity. This should simplify returns and improve data quality, while also providing Estates Services with richer and more comprehensive information on space usage around the estate.
Broad Street junction works aim to improve safety The University has worked with the County and City Councils to remove the defunct traffic signals and install a raised table across the junction of Broad Street, Holywell Street and Parks Road. This will help reduce vehicle speeds, making the junction safer and more pleasant to use for cyclists and pedestrians.
A key point of discussion was the urgent need for better sustainable transport options. At present the lack of affordable housing means many people cannot afford to live in the city and are pushed out into nearby market towns, offering limited transport choices. This seriously affects the University’s ability to attract and retain staff, particularly early-career academics. The University believes that significant investment of some £600 million in sustainable transport is needed to fund improvements in rail, cycling networks and express bus services. This would transform the options available for getting to work sustainably, improving staff recruitment and retention as well as helping the University and city achieve their environmental targets.
The Sustainability team also organised a productive followup meeting with Andrew Gilligan, former Cycling CommisBy bringing the road surface up to footway level, the chang- sioner for London. Andrew was appointed by the NIC to ades also reduce trip hazards for pedestrians and make it far vise how to maximise the potential of cycling to support easier for wheelchair users or those pushing buggies to transformational growth in the Oxford-Cambridge corridor. cross the road. The Estates Services Environmental Sustainability team provided crucial financial support for the devel- Representatives of the University, local government, bus operators and local cycling organisations met him to discuss opment, contributing £35,000 from the Green Travel Fund, which uses the proceeds of the University’s parking scheme how to deliver more cycling within the city while also imto support the delivery of its Transport Strategy. proving safety. The County and City Councils both contributed £15,000, with the City Council carrying out the work. Nick Brown, Chair of the Buildings and Estates Sub-committee (in the centre of the picture), joined councillors to declare the newlook junction open in late September. ‘The Broad Street junction is a key gateway to the University's Science Area and the Clarendon Building and Weston Library fronting it are major attractions in their own right,’ he said. ‘The University used its Green Travel Fund to support this substantial improvement to the safety and convenience of walking and cycling for the University community, local people & visitors, whilst also creating a more attractive street scene in keeping with this historic part of Oxford.’
Sustainability Showcase salutes University’s green progress
The University of Oxford celebrated its sustainability stars at a prestigious awards event in June. The Sustainability Showcase recognised the work of staff and students over the last year under various schemes aimed at reducing the University’s environmental impact. These included Student Switch Off, an awareness-raising initiative in which the University’s students once again had the best engagement figures in the country, and the Green Impact scheme aimed at empowering people to make their workplaces more sustainable. Held at the Sheldonian TheaMembers of the Environmental Sustainability team played a tre and then the Bodleian Library’s Divinity School, the key role in organising a successful visit to Oxford by the Na- Showcase drew 200 guests. Professor William James, Protional Infrastructure Commission (NIC) in July. Lord Adonis, Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Resources and Jack Hampton, President of Oxford University Student’s Union, hosted Chair of NIC, met William James, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Resources, along with Director of Estates Paul the evening. There were awards for the work of nearly 300 people in Green Impact teams across the University, as well Goffin and other senior figures from the University and the as prizes for the top performers in the 2016-17 Student Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. They toured the Switch Off competition and for the successful teams in newly-built Big Data Institute at the Old Road Campus, the Carbon Innovation Programme. speaking about the transport challenges facing Oxford and the University, and the measures needed to address them.
National Infrastructure Commission visits Oxford to talk transport
The Environmental Sustainability team are now planning
next year’s event. Over the last four years the event has grown steadily, and plans for the biggest ever for 2018 are already in the pipeline.
Oxford’s third Incredible Edible garden opens
SciShuttleRegister, select ‘journeys charged to a cost centre’ and enter ‘Tinbergen’ when prompted. To encourage takeup, the service will initially be free; this will be revisited in the autumn to bring fares into line with the existing ST1 and ST2 routes. Staff and students from Zoology and Experimental Psychology will be exempted. To find out more about the new service, including routing, stops and timetables, visit the Science Transit Shuttle page.
New abandoned bike procedure now in effect The University has moved to a new method of dealing with abandoned bikes, with Oxford City Council officials taking over the task of monitoring and removing them where necessary. The first culls of abandoned bikes recently took place. The process involves first labelling bikes that seem in poor condition or have not moved recently; if the labels have not been removed when officers return in eight weeks, the relevant bikes are taken to a storage facility in Cowley Marsh. If they are not claimed within a month after that, they are either scrapped or given to a charity for resale, depending on their condition. The new policy should The third Incredible Edible plot has opened in Oxford, giving ensure that more cycle parking spaces are available around staff and students the opportunity to grow and harvest their the University estate. own fruit and vegetables. A new outdoor break area has been installed outside the Malthouse, home of much of Estates Services. It includes benches, tables and planters created by the DLO Joiners, and one of the planters has been earmarked for Incredible Edible. It is probably too late in the year to expect much of a harvest now, but if all goes to plan in 2018 the large planter will be providing fresh, healthy produce for all who would like to pick it. Keep an eye on the Environmental Sustainability team’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds for updates on what is ready to pick, and ideas on how to cook it.
New PV installations at SBS and Plant Sciences
The first plot was installed in 2016 outside the Earth Sciences building, and then earlier in 2017 a second followed outside the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies on Bevington Road.
More training from Environmental Sustainability The Environmental Sustainability team are partnering with the Oxford Learning Institute (OLI) to deliver training courses in negotiation and time management for all those who support sustainability programmes such as Green Impact and Student Switch Off. It is planned that other partners including Oxford University Innovation and the National Union of Students will provide further training, some of which will be delivered online via Sharepoint.
New Science Transit Shuttle route opens
The Environmental Sustainability team recently finished installing an 87.6kWhp (kilowatts per hour at peak) system of solar panels on the roof of the wings of the Saïd Business School (SBS). Alongside the 50kWp system installed in 2016, this will generate an estimated 105,351kWh (kilowatt -hours) a year. This will allow SBS to avoid energy costs of around £10k a year. The old system will still continue to receive feed-in tariffs – government payments designed to encourage sustainable power generation – which will be used to fund more sustainability projects. Every usable part of the SBS roof now carries solar panels. A few weeks earlier, the team also installed 59 panels on the roof of the Plant Sciences building. These produce 20 kilowatts at peak capacity; on average they are expected to generate 17,000kWh a year, saving the department around £2,000 over the same period.
The Science Transit Shuttle network has expanded with the addition of a new route in May. Known as ST3, it connects the John Krebs Field Station at Wytham with the Science Area and the JR Hospital. It is intended to help Zoology staff remain connected to the Science Area following their relocation to the field station after the closure of the Tinber- The University has signed up to take part in the pilot year gen Building. The service is open to University staff, stuof a new project that aims to get more people cycling. Love dents and visitors and employees of Harwell Campus. To to Ride UniCycle is a partnership project run by Love to use it, register your University Card at www.ox.ac.uk/ Ride, NUS and the Environmental Association for Universi-
New cycling portal set to boost Oxford bike use
ties and Colleges (EAUC). Staff and students are invited to register, ride and encourage their fellow colleagues and friends to experience the joys and benefits of riding a bike. They will get free access to a web portal on which they can track cycling statistics such as how far they’ve cycled and in how long, compete with friends and colleagues and win prizes. A year-round programme of events will launch soon, accessible at www.lovetoride.net/unicycle.
Transport Survey shows sustainability progress
take advantage of opportunities for change such as the introduction of new technology
give people enough control over their surroundings that they can make a difference
remove institutional barriers to cutting energy use, such as perverse rules forbidding staff from shutting down equipment when it is not in use
make sure there are people who have already changed their behaviour in the desired way to act as models for others
Rupert studies at St Hilda’s, and is President of the Oxford Climate Society. His work will help steer the University’s future efforts to make long-term sustainable changes to the behaviour of staff and students.
Swift Tower competition winner announced Headline data from the University’s detailed Transport Survey, undertaken every five years, show that the University is making headway in encouraging staff to travel to and from work in a more environmentally-friendly way. More than 30% of those who responded said they usually cycle to work, and another 20% take the bus. Only 16% drive on their own – nearly 6% share a car with others – while more than 13% walk and nearly 10% travel by train. Overall, more than three quarters of all University staff travel to work in a sustainable way. There are several improvements compared to the results of the last major transport survey in 2012-13 when 21% of staff drove in on their own and just 7% took the train. The results of the survey will inform future versions of the University’s Transport Strategy. Meanwhile, the Environmental Sustainability team will be holding pop-up events at departments throughout Michaelmas term to raise awareness of the sustainable transport initiatives they promote, including the Science Transit Shuttle, Oxonbike cycle sharing scheme, car sharing, and discounts on public transport.
IARU Fellow helps Estates Services understand energy behaviour change Undergraduate Rupert Stuart-Smith has been working with the Estates Services Environmental Sustainability team, which he joined on a temporary placement as an International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) Fellow. He has been researching questions around how universities can persuade people to make long-lasting changes to their behaviour around energy use. His work suggests that much of what universities do in this area has limited benefit, and that we need to move from ad-hoc interventions to a more evidence-based approach. He has identified several characteristics of successful behaviour change interventions. It is vital to:
educate people about what to do and why
provide social or financial incentives to change how they act
The winner of the competition to design Oxford’s new Swift Tower has been announced after a public vote. The University will now build Jonathan Wheeler’s design in the University Parks, subject to consultation and planning permission. The design echoes the birds’ distinctive shape and will provide space for dozens of swifts to raise their young. Launched in May, the competition is part of the two-year Oxford: Swift City project, led by the RSPB and supported by organisations including the University, the Museum of Natural History and Oxford City Council. Funding came from the Heritage Lottery Fund. These much-loved birds are under threat from the destruction of suitable nesting sites – building renovations often block the small holes under eaves that they need to find a place to rear young. The Swift City project aims to help by creating new nesting spots to replace those that have vanished. All competition entries will be on display in the Town Hall from 13 November 2017 to 2 January 2018.
Iain Critchlow becomes Head of Asset & Space Management
Changes in Graduate Accommodation team
Iain Critchlow has been appointed as Head of Asset and Space ManageFollowing Katie Scheinkonig’s appointment, taking over responsibility for the Asset Management team following ment as Head of Residential AccommoSean O’Brien’s departure in June. dation, Sara Leniec has been promoted Iain is now responsible for the Asset Management, Space Management and Information Management teams. He has significant experience of asset management, having worked in the area when he first joined the University’s former Land Agent team. ‘The work of the various teams within Asset and Space Management is increasingly closely connected, and bringing them all together under Iain’s leadership will help ensure Estates Services provides customers across the University with a seamless service on all property-related matters,’ said Carolyn Puddicombe, Director of Asset & Space Management.
to Graduate Accommodation Manager. Paul Middleton, formerly Administration Assistant in the team, has moved into Sara’s old position of Graduate Accommodation Officer.
Implementation team eases transition to FM
A new team within Estates Services is dedicated to providing a smooth transition for customers whose building is moving under FM management. Comprising Toby Christensen, New Residential Accommodation team Business Implementation Manager, and Stephanie Lyon, New moves to 4 Worcester Street Business Implementation Support, the team works with new The Graduate Accommodation team have moved from their customers to ensure the change is as seamless as possible. previous offices at 6 Worcester Street to 4 Worcester They carry out an ‘FM health check’, reviewing how things are Street. The Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) will also move into 4 Worcester Street, from its current accom- currently done in the building, including health and safety ismodation in 2 Worcester Street. The move will create a sues and compliance with regulations. They then produce a dedicated Student Hub providing a wide range of services in report for the customer highlighting good practice and any one place, including advice and servicesfromOUSUandfrom potential risks, and work with them to agree areas that need the Student Fees and Funding team. The Commercial Resiaddressing before the business-as-usual FM service starts. dential Accommodation team, who manage residential They also set up documentation, agreements and the general property let to private tenants, has moved out of the Malthouse to join them, enabling the teams to be co-located for terms of service in line with the FM team’s normal working the first time. practices. This ultimately enables other FM team members to move in and begin day-to-day management of the building with a minimum of disruption.
Daniel Winter replaces Walter Sawyer as University Parks Superintendent Daniel Winter has been appointed Superintendent of the University Parks; he started at the beginning of August, following Walter Sawyer’s retirement after 27 years.
Senior Electrical Engineers to support him.
Wytham Woods pilots schools engagement project
The Wytham Woods team recently hosted 15 sixth-form students from Bartholomew School in Eynsham. They stayed for a week, getting involved with science on the diverse ecosystems of the Woods – checking bat boxes, helping with bird ringing and undertaking bee transects (walking set paths and counting the number of bees they saw along the way). They also helped Daniel has worked in the renovate some of the facilities at Wytham and the nearby Hill Parks team for a decade, and End outdoor education centre. The project was a pilot, organfor the last three years has ised in partnership with Oxford Community Volunteering Asbeen a Technical Officer – a sociation (OCVA) and Hill End. The Wytham team hopes it will senior position reporting directly to the Superintendent. He therefore has experience of all sides of the team’s work and a be the first of many similar initiatives, with young people from good understanding of his new role’s range of responsibilities, all over the county coming to the Woods to get hands-on experience of nature. both in terms of maintaining the Parks themselves and of bringing in revenue by undertaking commercial gardening and landscaping for external clients.
Changes at the top for FM team
Liz Kitchener, Head of Strategic FM, is leaving the University after more than New blood for Security Services nine years to join the Science and TechIn early September, six new Patrol Officers joined Security nology Facilities Council (STFC) as Head Services– its latest large cohort of new arrivals. Their first of Estates and Facilities. Lisa Hofen will week was spent on a bespoke induction programme, with sesbe Acting Head of Strategic FM until a sions on everything from fire alarms, customer service and permanent replacement is appointed. CCTV monitoring to data protection law, safe step ladder use ‘Liz’s energy and enthusiasm will be and the team’s efforts to cut cycle crime. There were also visgreatly missed by her team and her its to important partner organisations including Thames Valley colleagues,’ said Director of Estates Police and the Safety Office and tours of some of the buildings the officers will be patrolling, including the Beecroft building, Paul Goffin. ‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank Liz on which work continues. The induction programme will help for her significant achievements in her time with us and to wish her all the very best for the future.’ the new staff provide good service to customers across the University more quickly. They are now following it up with two months of one-to-one learning, with visits to departments, colleges and other parts of the functional estate to learn FM apprentices continue to move inabout how Security Services works and provide a solid ground- to permanent roles ing that the recruits can build on in the future. The cohort of apprentices that the FM team took on in late
Principal Electrical Engineer appointed Rob Gregg has been appointed Principal Electrical Engineer as of 1 October; he will take overall responsibility for all electrical engineering across the University estate. For the last few months he has been acting up in the role, following the departure of David Baker. Assistant Electrical Engineers Philip Tolley and Alan Bull are acting up as
2016 continue to perform strongly and move into permanent positions around the University. Most recently, Mollie Stevens has successfully applied for a permanent contract as a Venue Sales Administrator in the Event Venues team. Mollie will continue her current apprenticeship and work towards her Level 2 NVQ in Facilities Services. She is the second of the 2016 intake of FM apprentices to become a permanent member of staff, after Kaya Gibbons joined the University Mail Service team on a permanent basis earlier this summer.
Lomin Saayman becomes permanent Information Records Manager Lomin Saayman has been appointed as Information Records Manager on a permanent basis. Until recently he was carrying out the job on a temporary basis following the departure of Cathy Williams. To contact the team, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New planners join Space team Cre Tonks and Charlie Thornton have joined the Space Management team as Space Planners. They work with Emma Spencer, Space Manager. Charlie and Cre bring additional technical expertise to the team and will increase Estates Servicesâ€™ ability to model space, help departments plan their internal layouts and deliver high-quality project definitions. If you have any questions for the team, please email email@example.com.
University now 100% wind-powered
of the CSE standard, including its innovative approach to segmenting customers and understanding their needs and All the electricity the University now buys is generated by its flexible, professional response to requirements that arise wind turbines, under the terms of a new contract with Scot- at short notice, such as its work to facilitate the launch of the Science Transit Shuttle. tish Power that came into effect from the start of October. Under the old contract with SSE, the University’s power The Capital Projects team also received re-accreditation came mainly from large-scale hydroelectric plants. Wind recently. The assessor identified ten areas of Compliance power is significantly more sustainable, because wind turPlus – three more than at the last assessment. The new bines contain much less embodied energy than dams and areas were the team’s engagement with stakeholders, inhydroelectric plants, and because their installation typically cluding greater efforts to tailor the information it provides causes less environmental harm. depending on the audience; its Health Safety & Site Review
Wytham on the web In August, the Wytham Woods website got a muchneeded reboot. Its new web presence is a vastly more attractive browsing experience than its precursor, and includes lots of new information for visitors, closer integration with the Woods team’s presence on social media, more comprehensive contact details and the ability to order permits to walk in the Woods and arrange to do research there. You can explore the new site at www.wythamwoods.ox.ac.uk.
University recycling rate tops 40% for first time
Forum, which aims to improve safety on construction sites; and the way it records lessons learned from events.
Estates buildings take part in Oxford Open Doors On 9-10 September, a number of buildings and facilities joined some of Oxford’s most fascinating structures to welcome members of the public as part of Oxford Open Doors 2017. Some FM event venues took part, alongside other buildings including the Radcliffe Primary Care building, Blavatnik School of Government and Andrew Wiles Building. The Sheldonian Theatre received 3,739 visitors, with over 150 attending a free concert there. They enjoyed short talks given by tour provider Oxford City Walks, and then got to take part in a ‘mini-degree ceremony’ in which they pretended to be students receiving their degrees. The Examination Schools attracted over 2,300 visitors, who sat mock exams and tried on academic gowns, while St Luke’s chapel had more than 850 visitors.
The DLO joiners opened up their workshop at the Malthouse, attracting more than 100 members of the public 41% of the waste produced under the University’s central with an interest in the work they do across the estate. Visiwaste contract was recycled in July – the first month in tors saw examples of this work – from parts of the new which the total percentage exceeded 40%. The remainder Meadow Bridge that will replace the old one in the Parks to of the waste was turned into energy – none of the rubbish restored chairs from around the University. They got to find produced under the central waste contract goes to landfill. out about what the joiners do, inspect their impressive arTo find out more about recycling and re-use at the Universi- ray of machinery and even in some cases ask for advice ty, visit waste recycling and re-use. about how to do furniture repairs or new projects of their own.
Customer Service Excellence update
Estates Services has made further progress towards its goal of securing Customer Service Excellence (CSE) accreditation for the whole department. The Finance team received its accreditation in July, with the assessor highlighting its efforts to understand and engage with customers. He also identified four areas of Compliance Plus, in which the team already exceeds the requirements
University Mail Service growing strongly
Event venues get Green Tourism accreditation
The University Mail Service (UMS), part of the Estates Services FM team continues to see strong growth. It now sends out around 5,000 items of external post in an average week, and processes some 1.5 million mail items a year. The recently-established courier service has also thrived. It carries non-dangerous parcels anywhere in the University, and to external organisations in Oxford provided the shipment concerns University business, for just £5 each.
All FM event venues passed the Green Tourism accreditation assessment in June. St Luke’s Chapel at the ROQ was awarded gold certification, while the others – William Osler House, the Sheldonian Theatre and the Examination Schools – achieved silver. This is the first time a department or college of the University has gained Green Tourism certification. Assessors praised the way the chapel’s restoration, which used recycled materials and sustainable hardwoods where possible, combines the best of old and new. Low-energy LED lighting, water-saving toilets and energy-efficient condensing boilers take their places amid old stained-glass windows, magnificent chapel architecture and pollinator-friendly gardens that are watered with harvested rain.
More than 40 departments now send their outgoing external post via the UMS, avoiding Royal Mail’s £1,000 annual business post collection charge. By relying on the UMS franking machine, they can also avoid having to lease one themselves, as well as paying staff to do the franking themselves. In the last academic year, departments that used central franking saved an estimated £6,000 each.
Green Tourism is the world’s largest sustainable certification programme of its kind. The venues will seek re-assessment in two years’ time, providing further opportunities to improve their performance. The successful application this summer arose from a collaboration between FM and Environmental Sustainability.
New contract with Abbot Fire will cut costs
UAS space review helps bring teams together
The Space Management team’s recent review of space usage by University Administration and Services (UAS) staff at key locations around Oxford is already delivering important benefits. The Space team focused on staff working at the central University Offices at Wellington Square, at 26 Worcester Street and at the Examination Schools, interviewing numerous teams based there about the space allocated to them and how well it matches their current and tract. future needs. Often teams’ space allocation has arisen in a piecemeal fashion as offices have become available, meaning there are clear opportunities to make available space fit their requirements more closely. For the fifth year running, the Security Services team has helped keep post-exam celebrations within reasonable lim- Based on their findings, the Space team made recommendations to helpUASuse its space more effectively. For exits, with a particular focus on ensuring the safety of all inample, the Public Affairs Department’s various teams have volved. The team provides security for more than 350 exhistorically been split between several rooms; dividing walls ams a year, assessing each one and grading it on an A-D have now been knocked down to encourage more interacscale, with A-rated exams seen as having the greatest risk tion and knowledge-sharing between teams. The Residenof trouble due to factors such the number of students fintial Accommodation team within Estates Services needed ishing at the same time. Security is then set up according to that risk assessment; for A-rated exams in the Examina- more space so that its component teams could sit together, tion Schools, for example, the team might ask the police to so they have moved from 6 Worcester Street and the Maltclose off Merton Street and stop people parking there. This house into 4 Worcester Street. The Undergraduate Admissions team was previously split over two floors of Wellingyear the team supervised more than 9,000 finalists alone, with team members Simon Carter and Pete Roberts playing ton Square and will now be collocated in one location, helpparticularly important roles. There will always be some un- ing the team work more efficiently, while the Student Fees and Funding team, until now divided between the Exam ruliness after exams, but the team aims to keep it under control and ensure a safe environment. A secondary benefit Schools and Wellington Square, will now work together for the first time after moving to 4 Worcester Street. The work is the opportunity to limit disruption to the general public in response to the space review’s findings should be finand wider University. ished by late 2017 The University has signed a new contract with Abbot Fire to maintain and service fire extinguishers around the estate. This has significantly lowered costs; it is around £17,000 a year cheaper than the previous maintenance contract – a saving of around 31%. These savings will increase if the University also buys more fire equipment under the con-
Keeping exam celebrations safe
Wytham 75th celebrations take shape
attend, visit FM forum.
Project Sponsor Group training timetable The last Project Sponsor Group training session of 2017 is scheduled for 17 November. In 2018, sessions are planned for 10 January, 14 March, 2 May, 5 July, 12 September and 22 November. Sessions take place from 10-11.30am at The Malthouse, Tidmarsh Lane. For more information or to book a place, please contact Linda Ranford, Capital Projects Administrator.
The programme of events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bequest of Wytham Woods to the University is coming together, with a wide range of activities planned for the whole of the 2017/18 academic year. Some parts of the University Club will soon be resuming Already the team have been sprucing the place up in readiness – for instance, they have installed new maps and sign- business as usual after the staff who were accommodated there following the closure of the Tinbergen building move age for display at the entrance to the Woods. into new modular buildings at the ROQ and on the nearby The list of events is too long to reproduce here, but highsports field. Although the Zoology Department will continue lights have already included a VIP ceremony to unveil a new blue plaque commemorating the Wytham bequest on to use the first floor for the medium term, bedroom accomSaturday 7 October. There will be guided walks to celebrate modation at the Club will be reinstated and available to 75 years of science in the Woods on 14 October, 11 Nobook from November. vember and 27 January; and in January the launch of a new book giving an introduction to that scientific legacy.
University Club update
Next steps for the Estates Library
There will be events to mark Women in Science Day in February, a public lecture at the Museum of Natural History on 14 April, and traditional May activities like badger watching and bat walks. There will also be exhibitions at St John’s College in February and at the Maths Institute in the spring – the latter focusing more on the scientific personalities behind research at Wytham, and on its mathematical underpinnings. There will even be open-air cinema at the Wytham chalet, with screenings of a film about Hazel ffennel, in whose memory the Woods were bequeathed to the University, of the Laboratory with Leaves videos and of the Inspector Morse episode ‘The Way Through the Woods’, filmed there in 1995. Keep an eye on the Wytham Woods Facebook page or website to find out more about upcoming events, and for instructions on how to book places – not all those mentioned above are yet included, but they will appear in due course once details are finalised.
FM Forum – save the date The next FM Forum will take place on 26 October from midday until 2pm at St Luke’s Chapel on the ROQ, bringing together building managers and other FM professionals from all over the University to share ideas and discuss issues of common concern. To find out more or register to
Staff from the Estates Services Information Management team have spent much of the summer reorganising the Estates library in the basement of the Examination Schools, after a series of moves to new buildings and the addition of new archives. The library now has five well-ordered rooms filled with functional and commercial building records, as well as other records pertaining to several teams across Estates Services. The team is now analysing the next steps,
which include reviewing and updating an existing incomplete electronic catalogue of the records. The team aims to link Planon catalogue entries to scanned copies of the records, which would allow users to access relevant documents
Gingko gates will create beautiful new entrance to Parks
without leaving their desk.
Events in the Parks The University Parks have hosted another packed summer of events, with more still to come. Giffords Circus staged another extremely popular series of shows in June, with the 2017 sold-out ‘Any Port in a Storm’ extravaganza featuring gymnastics and dancing horses, while in August the Creation Theatre wowed punters with its production of Alice. Both the Memory Walk to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, on September 20, and the Walk for Parkinson’s ten days earlier took in part of the Parks in their routes. The Parks also hosted the athletes’ village for the Oxford Half Marathon on October 8; the event, recently taken over by Virgin Sport, continues to grow strongly, with more than 8,000 people taking part this year compared to around 7,000 in 2016.
From Amethyst Deceivers to Zebra Spiders – Letters from the Woods Researchers working in Wytham Woods have produced a fascinating A -Z of many of the plants, animals and fungi that live there. It’s organised not just by first letter, but also by date – for every fortnight of the 75th anniversary year, an entry will go up on the new Wytham Woods website directing readers’ attention to a species that’s of particular interest or prominence at that point. The first instalment – the beautiful purple-hued Amethyst Deceiver mushroom – is already online, and many more will follow. Keep an eye on the Wytham website to read the latest updates over the year.
An Estates Induction The next induction to Estates Services will take place on 31 October, starting at 10am. These sessions are intended for Departmental Administrators, Building Managers and other colleagues around the University who will be dealing with parts of Estates Services regularly and would benefit from an overview of the department’s structure and responsibilities. The morning will include talks from Paul Goffin, Director of Estates Services, Carolyn Puddicombe, Director of Asset & Space Management, and Isobel Hughes, Director of Operations. If you are interested in attending, please contact Raquel Lopez on firstname.lastname@example.org
The project to install the Gingko Gates at a new location on the western perimeter of the University Parks, providing an attractive new way to access the Parks and improving public safety, is entering its final stages. The project is likely to be completed by the end of January next year, with work now expected to start in October. The gates used to sit at the entrance to the Science Area, but were removed as part of the Beecroft development. The plan is now to install them midway along the side of the University Parks facing Parks Road, providing a new entrance point and helping ease the problem of overcrowding around the existing gate to the south, which damages the ground surface and leads to potentially dangerous overspill into the road. The Keble Gates will be re-sited in early 2018 after being temporarily removed during construction of the new Beecroft building. They will connect the Parks to the landscaped area around the building.
Oxford and Zurich collaborate for better videoconferencing The University of Oxford and ETH Zurich are jointly organising a virtual conference at the end of October that will explore ways to improve videoconferencing (VC) facilities so as to encourage staff to take fewer long-distance flights to attend meetings – one of the biggest sources of university carbon emissions. Fittingly, the conference itself will take place over VC. The technology has made huge advances over recent decades but encouraging people to use it instead of some of their face-to-face meetings is proving difficult across the university sector. In Oxford and Zurich, as elsewhere, there is no map of where VC equipment is, it is often not easy for all staff to access and there are many different kinds of equipment, creating unnecessary difficulties in learning to use it. The collaboration arises from the two institutions’ common membership of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), an association of 11 leading universities from around the world which meet regularly to discuss areas of common concern. Oxford is likely to host next year’s annual meeting. The Environmental Sustainability team are interested in hearing from anyone who would like to take part in the virtual conference. Please register here.
New Sustainability programmes ready to launch The Environmental Sustainability team’s regular programmes to engage staff and students are ramping up for another academic year. Green Impact, which aims to get people all over the University to make changes that will make their buildings more sustainable, is happening again, but with changes. The actions teams can take will now include areas like increasing workplace wellbeing, and it will be possible to do a large project instead of simply completing topics in the online workbook as before. Student Switch Off, which builds student awareness of environmental sustainability, is also about to launch again for 2017/18; it will include for the second year a section on recycling, broadening the previous focus on energy-saving. The Carbon Innovation Programme will undergo more profound changes, being renamed ‘Imagine Better’. Participants will still form teams and create detailed proposals for making the University more sustainable, but now these proposals can aim for a wider range of environmental improvements. Projects in the ‘Energetic Behaviours’ category will relate to efforts to save energy and cut carbon emissions, like those sought in previous years, while ‘Sustainable living’ proposals will relate to food, waste and biodiversity, and ‘Moving ahead’ will be about a more sustainable transport system. There will be more emphasis on building transferrable business skills in participants, rather than on focusing on the ideas they come up with; mentors will work with teams to help them produce detailed project plans and business cases. Imagine Better will launch over winter, with a deadline for submissions in April.
Come to see the FM event venues University and college staff who organise meetings and events are invited on a free showcase trip to four Oxford University Event Venues – the Examination Schools, St Luke’s Chapel, Osler House and the Sheldonian Theatre on 8 December – from 12.00 to 4.00pm. There will be private tours around each venue, with a special chance to see the finest panoramic views in Oxford from the Sheldonian’s cupola. Attendees will be able to learn about each venue’s unique history, meet the team and find out how they can help make events a success, whether they are large conferences, small meetings, exhibitions, drinks receptions or something else entirely. A buffet lunch will also be provided. To register, just get in touch before Friday 24 November on email@example.com or 01865 278787.
An electronic newsletter aiming to communicate the work of Estates Services and its benefits to the wider University of Oxford.
Published on Oct 12, 2017
An electronic newsletter aiming to communicate the work of Estates Services and its benefits to the wider University of Oxford.