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People & A Quarterly Newsletter of Plant Operations

Spring 2010

Places Photo Courtesy of Wheeler Housing Project

Plant Operations • University of Houston Capital Renewal & Deferred Maintenance Program Page 12

Minor & Planned Projects

Page 10

Building Coordinator Program is Underway

Page 4

In this issue R E O RG A N I Z AT I O N N EW S 3

Reorganization Updates

On-Call Pay

4 5 6



10 11 12

Building Coordinator Program Is Underway Business Services Department (formerly Finance & Operations) Environmental Health & Risk Management

Other Reorganization & Planning Activities

Information Planning & Information Technology Project Delivery

Emergency Preparation

Facilities Planning & Construction/Facilities Management Facilities Management/Minor & Planned Projects Accounting, Contracting & Procurement

Central Services Facilities Area 1 & Area 2

Capital Renewal & Deferred Maintenance Program

Photo by Darrell Bunch

CO M I N G S & G O I N G S 3

Personnel Changes


14 Photo by Richard Payne 2

Calhoun Lofts Cited for Skillful Design Cemo Hall – Ready for Its Close Up

Content provided by Melissa Bellini, Executive Director Facilities Management and Cydney Rax, Communications Coordinator Editing provided by Cydney Rax, Communications Coordinator


Reorganization Updates People & Places is a new quarterly newsletter targeted to UH faculty and staff that features updates on construction, maintenance, building, and landscaping issues. In our debut issue, the major theme focuses on Plant Operations’ reorganization. During the last several months, a number of sweeping changes were made in our area; from departmental name changes, to personnel changes, to the way we serve our clients, and more. Here’s what’s going on and how the changes may affect you!

Personnel Changes PROMOTIONS:

Carlos Villarreal – Director of Central Facilities Services Neal Smith – Central Facilities Services Manager


Cydney Rax, Communications Coord. – Environmental Health & Risk Management (EHRM) Hiromi Takiguchi, Admin. Coord. – EHRM


Employee Title Department Fred Maddox Senior Project Manager Facilities Planning & Construction Will Bryan Laboratory Safety Officer EHRM Ellery Stevenson Environmental Protection Officer EHRM


Employee Richard Barroso Dave Miller Ruth Sustala Mitch Barnes Maria Flores Sara Reyna Lawrence Theriot Guadalupe Almaguer Silvia Salinas Callistus Nnabuife James Maiden

Retirement Date 1/29/10 1/31/10 1/31/10 2/1/10 2/1/10 2/1/10 2/1/10 2/1/2010 2/1/2010 3/31/2010 3/31/2010

Department Utilities & Technical Services EHRM Business Services Facilities Management Custodial/Facilities Management Custodial/Facilities Management Facilities Management Custodial Custodial EHRM Grounds Department

Plant Operations Newsletter



On Call Pay We have eliminated all on-call pay which is estimated to save the organization $40,000 annually as well as achieve compliance with state and university policy/regulations.

Building Coordinator Plan Underway


Photo by Cydney Rax

acilities Management (FM) will soon introduce its first ever Building Coordinator Program whose purpose will be to enhance communications between Plant Operations and the users and occupants of campus buildings. One of its primary functions will be to serve as a resource on matters related to facilities services. Our success as a department depends on the success of a building coordinator program. Cynthia Ramos has transitioned into the Facilities Services Coordinator role on an interim basis to support the development of the Building Coordinator Program. For more info about the program, please contact Cynthia at Ext. 3-5566 or New and upcoming components of the new Building Coordinator Program include:   • An updated Building Coordinator Handbook   • Plant Operations “Guide to Facilities Services” | an A–Z overview of services   • Plant Operations “Guidelines for Planning & Project Delivery” | an overview of UH construction project process from initiation through completion


Cynthia Ramos, Interim Facilities Services Coordinator

  • An Annual Meeting for dissemination of advanced information related to policy and service levels   • Q uarterly Meetings for dissemination of information relevant to your role as a Building Coordinator

Business Services Department


usiness Services consists of HR, Plant Operational Accounting and, Project and Contracts Management. Plant Operational Accounting is supporting the Executive Director of Facilities Management on the budget process and working to align cost centers with the new organizational structure. They are supporting development of leveled service fees by service type regarding an April budget submission. We’re also developing a Service Guide in support of this effort that will work to clarify billable and non-billable services, as well as provide a user-friendly campus guide to facility services. For questions related to this area, please contact Melissa Bellini, Executive Director, Facilities Management at Ext. 38750 or

Photo by Nat Olivia

Plant Operations Newsletter



Environmental Health & Risk Management


s part of the reorganization efforts and budget process, one of the positions eliminated affected Environmental Health and Risk Management (EHRM). Cydney Rax, the Communications Coordinator, was transferred to EHRM. This created a need to reassign a number of tasks within the department to merge the communications role into the department and compensate for the staff reduction. In addition, several members of EHRM are helping with various aspects of the reorganization and upgrading of service delivery within Plant Operations. EHRM is leading a research support task group to improve Plant Operations’ service delivery to the UH’s researchers, and co-leading an orientation committee to improve internal training and orientation of new staff members within Plant Operations to assure they have the information needed to be successful in their jobs. EHRM is also leading a communication task force to evaluate and improve current methods of communication within Plant Operations as well as communications with Plant Operations’ customer base.

Photo by Leo D’Silva

Other Reorganization & Planning Activities


tilities have a task team working on aligning its High Voltage, Low Voltage and Elevator Programs. We will be consolidating the manager position and will begin recruitment with an updated position description.


In the electrical area we will be reassigning one electrical FTE to focus on electrical inspections and special projects; this change is in effect. This inspector will report to Jonathan Thurston of FPC. We have aligned Jack Gill as the Infrastructure PM for Utilities & Technical Systems for advisory role and management of infrastructure projects. Gill reports to Sameer Kapileshwari, Director of Utilities & Technical Systems but receives his project workload from the minor or major project areas.

Information Planning & Information Technology


s we begin to delve deeper into the review process for the Space, Work and Project Management Software, it is becoming evident that there are inherent efficiencies in aligning these two service areas. A small strategy team will be developed in March that will also include Central IT and will look at how these areas can be realigned to effectively develop and sustain support for the IT, Software and Network needs of the department. It is assumed at this time that Information Technology will report within Information Planning.

Project Delivery — Major Projects


acilities Planning and Construction (FPC) has aligned all of its service areas and is now in the process of assisting Facilities Management in the selection of the new Director of Project Accounting and Contracts; we are in the final candidate

selection phase of this process. Code Compliance and Inspections are being aligned under Jonathan Thurston, and Technical Services Team (under development) will be integrated under Mike Yancey.

A Emergency


s a consolidated collaborative effort with Public Safety, Information Technology, Plant Operations and Residential Life we have formed a committee that has released an RFP for an emergency response service provider and edit it for university/systemwide needs. Timing is of the essence and this contract needs to be in place and a drill run before the hurricane season.

The Fee Task Force is working on developing a sliding scale fee schedule for April submission in order to continue to reinvest and improve the overall project delivery services.

We have met to discuss lessons learned from the Ike experience and are working to create a consolidated process and emergency response plan that is integrated to meet the needs of the University and will ensure an organized and thoughtful response plan is in place should another hurricane or emergency of that nature occur. We have also utilized notes on lessons learned from the College of Architecture in our preparation of the RFP.

Plant Operations Newsletter



Facilities Planning & Construction 4 Facilities Management


, in collaboration with FM, is also getting ready to put out an RFP for project delivery services documentation and project delivery that will be run by the Project Delivery Task Team and will encompass the following areas: Develop and assist with the implementation of project management business and support systems that will allow for, but not limited to, the following: • Set up and run project hands-on

• Interface and negotiate with customers, associates and contractors, etc.

• Organize project teams and establish project team roles and responsibilities

• Develop, standardize and manage project execution plans

• Build and implement project budgeting and cost control programs • Establish and implement systems to monitor and control project performance

• Develop and implement a system of critical path scheduling • Establish and implement a project status reporting system • Ensure efficient use of all human and physical resources

Calhoun Lofts Cited for Skillful Design Alexandria, VA – March 17, 2010 – Kirksey Architecture (Houston) has received an Honorable Mention Award for outstanding educational facility design in the Spring 2010 edition of Learning By Design, the premier biannual guide that showcases innovative school and university design and construction projects. Recognized for the new construction of Calhoun Lofts residence hall, Kirksey Architecture is one of only seven firms to receive an Honorable Mention Award in the Spring 2010 design competition.

Calhoun Lofts is a new residence hall at the University of Houston that houses up to 984 students. The new building features all of the modern amenities that today’s students value, including Wi-Fi and AT&T U-verse integration. Calhoun Lofts also offers multipurpose rooms, a computer lab, and flexible study spaces throughout the building. Perhaps the most iconic building feature, according to Learning By Design judges, is a “sky lounge” on the top floor where students can gather to study and socialize beneath a stunning skylight. This shared space is filled with natural light and features a stunning view of the campus below. The design “takes advantage of the top of the building to create a really inviting space,” praise the judges. “It’s skillfully done.” In October, Learning By Design will publish its Fall 2010 edition, which also will feature outstanding education design projects as well as projects with a special focus on green design or technology initiatives. The deadline for submitting projects to the Learning By Design Fall 2010 edition is March 31. Go to for details. 8

Photo by Richard Payne

• Provide standardized project management tools and templates for project management utilization

• Provide performance management tools for employees, consulting architects/engineers, construction managers, and construction contractors • Develop performance and volume metrics and reporting systems

• Provide cost estimating system and management recommendations to ensure the most accurate estimating process in support of all projects and services

• Provide tools and processes to evaluate customer satisfaction


rocesses, recommendations, deliverables and tools will address and clarify: • Definitions and Terms of Project Management to support project structure and University culture

• Roles and Responsibilities— Project Manager, Project Sponsor, Team members • Phases of Project Management

• Critical Path Concepts

Managing the Project

• Managing Scope Changes

• Optimizing the Project Plan • Post Project Plan Reviews • Cost estimating



• Proactive -> Preventative activities

• Increased customer focus, alignment, and communication • Enhanced collaborative team approach to Project Management • Improved consistency/repeatability of Project Management

Photo by Nat Olivia

• Increased efficiency (reduction of administrative burden) • Improved integration with project management support functions • Broader, user-friendly communication of project information • Improved cost, schedule and quality performance on University projects • Improved integration with operational/other service areas • System Wide Implementation for Major Projects

Photo by Nat Olivia

• Work Breakdown Structure • Task Relationships • Risk Management

• Resource Management • Issues Management and Escalation

• Establishing the Project Baseline • Communicating the Project Plan and Project Status • Tracking, Reporting and

Photo by Cydney Rax

Plant Operations Newsletter



Minor & Planned Projects


his task team has been making significant progress, developed a highlevel organizational structure, and developed new job descriptions for the new Skilled Trades Area. We are working with Central HR on the process of re-slotting staff into their new roles. The shop space is being merged from the former Carpentry, Paint, Plumbing and Exterior Maintenance Shops; we will have one newly merged Skilled Trades Shop in place in April. The committee will begin interviewing for the positions of Dispatcher, as well as 2 Lead positions. No FTE increase is anticipated so FTE reallocation will need to occur internally. The Task Team will begin to work on training, timekeeping and staggered shift scheduling in their upcoming meetings. We hosted a coffee session for this area in March and answered questions and discussed overall structure and management changes. Steve Wright was named Interim Manager over the Skilled Trades and Planned Maintenance Shop. The Senior PM, Lead for the outsourced Minor projects has been posted. We will be working over the next few weeks


Photo by Cydney Rax

to align the staff in their new roles for an April implementation.

by eliminating the majority of holdover or callback time paid.

This change is substantial and will allow us to modify the way we do some core business activities, as well as sets the stage for extending our first shift operations through utilization of a staggered first shift model putting into effect hours of operation 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. This model will have staff starting at both 7 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. to allow for the extended coverage. The rationale for this change is twofold:

The Job Order Contract ( JOC )Program is also under redevelopment and there is a university committee working on this effort and will submit a draft proposal and recommendation to Central Administration. The following is the program purpose:

• Improve service through expansion of available service hours • Reduction of overtime between the 3:30–6 p.m. hours

In order to deliver effective and timely small project descriptions, the university desires to reinstitute the JOC program with new management controls in place to address previous program management and audit issues. This program will enable the university to meet its university renewal needs.

Accounting, Contracting & Procurement


eview the internal accounting, contracting and procurement processes and tools in support of all internal Facilities Management and Facilities Planning & Construction planning and delivery processes to accomplish the following: • Provide support in the overall accounting, contracting and procurement efforts, where needed

• Perform accounting, contracting and procurement workflow analysis and improvement • Develop or improve the accounting, contracting and procurement procedures or guidelines

• Effect change order controls, and establish processes and guidelines in relation to all change orders • Analyze and improve requisitioning process

• Develop standardized requests for proposal

• Integration and tie to legal affairs support within the University

• Contract Development and Administration

• Document Management (electronic and physical)

• Consolidated recommendations to integrate a comprehensive project information System to support workload management and billing systems • Establish measurements and performance management process for all internal positions

• Process for managed communication and expectations between all key stakeholders The Project recommendations need to follow the following process outline: 1. Initiation (request) 2. Planning

4. Consultant Selection (as applicable; could include commissioning, associate, CM or other consultants as applicable) 5. Programming

6. Schematic Design

7. Design Development

8. Construction Documents

9. Design Review Process (3 phases) 10. Board of Regents Construction Approval 11. Bidding

12. Controlling Board Approval (if state funds) 13. Construction

14. Commissioning 15. Punch list 16. Closeout

3. Board of Regents Project Approval

• Review of current fee schedules and recommendation of standardized fee schedule

• Review and recommend modifications of budget templates and fiscal management process (all

recommendations must comply with state and federal guidelines where applicable)

• Suggest automation of process to improve efficiencies as applicable


Recommendations and tools should also assist with establishing a system that will support the following: • Assisting with the reduction and risk of claims

• Maintaining an auditable record • Scope Management

• Cost and Schedule Management • Cost Estimating

• Change Management

Photo by Nat Olivia

Plant Operations Newsletter



Central Services Facilities Area 1 & Area 2


e have completed all organizational planning for Area 1 which consists of Grounds, Auto, Fleet, Equipment Maintenance as well as the labor shop. The team is working on listing all needed outstanding administrative changes. They will then begin working internally on what is handled by each area and the streamlining of support and business procedures. Neal Smith is now serving as the full-time Manager. A parallel group to Area One – Area two has been formed conceptually and will consist of Solid Waste and Recycling, Custodial, Key Card and Customer Service. We are in the final selection process for a Manager for this area. Once they are on board they will also work on Quality Control, Metrics and Key Card, Lock Shop and Call Center Integration. A task group will be formed for this area once the Manager has been hired. Full integration planning of this area will begin in mid-April and conclude by summer’s end, putting the

Capital Renewal & Deferred Maintenance Program


structure, new services levels and procedures in place for the new fiscal year. For the custodial area we have successfully documented Cleanable SF/ and completed the staffing calculations for the initial reinvestment of positions in undersourced areas. Assignments have been leveled at an average of 30,000 CSF/Custodian; our long-term goal, in order to improve services, will need to achieve closer to 20,000 CSF/ Custodian. We are currently looking at establishing our normal service levels, inspection sheets and leveling staff between shifts for a more consistent and expected work product.

Photo by Leo Di’Silva


lant Operations historically has received an annual budget of approximately $10 million from HEAF to finance CRDM Projects. Monies are usually received in September of each fiscal year. These funds are held in a central account and are allocated on a project-by-project basis.  Projects identified as CRDM are to be used for building maintenance or minor renovations.  CRDM funds are used for maintenance and repairs to public areas of buildings and grounds and include but are not limited to repairing HVAC systems, plumbing systems, electrical systems, elevators, fire alarms, roofs, window replacements, masonry work, painting, plazas, road/ sidewalk repair, etc. Typically CRDM Projects have a budget between $10,000 and $500,000, with individual items of work being <$50,000. CRDM Committee The planning committee will meet monthly and have an extended planning session on the third month (quarterly rolling schedule) as well as an annual planning meeting. The Quarterly and Annual planning meetings will replace the monthly

meeting during those time periods. Submitted projects will address renewal or deferred maintenance needs in order to be considered, other criteria for project consideration is listed below.  Emergency projects can be considered throughout the year and the committee may choose to readjust priorities during the quarterly planning meetings as university needs dictate.  All plan decisions, meeting minutes and annual plans will be posted on the Plant Operations web site and visible to the campus community. The planning committee consists of the following members: • Executive Director, Facilities Management

• Executive Director, Facilities Planning and Construction • Office of Academic Affairs Representative

• Public Safety Representative • Director of Planning

• Director of Facilities Information • Director of Utilities, Energy and Technical Systems

• Director of Minor and Planned Projects (Serves as Chair)

• CRDM Coordinator (administrative management of process and accounting) • Director of EHRM or Designee • Research Representative

Guidelines for use of funds Article VII, Section 17 of the Texas Constitution established the Higher Education Assistance Fund for the purposes of:

• Acquiring land, either with or without permanent improvements

• Constructing and equipping buildings and other permanent improvements

• Repairing (major) or rehabilitating buildings or other permanent improvements • Acquiring equipment, library books and library materials

Assets obtained with HEAF funds shall have a unit cost of $250 or more and a useful life of one (1) year or more. No exceptions will be made to this policy to assure compliance with Higher Education Assistance Funds. Process Improvements To Date Guidelines for fund assignment, planning and allocation have been established (see appendix 1)

University Committee with external involvement to Plant Operations has been established

• Research Representative – Liz Anderson-Fletcher or designee

• Information Technology - TBD

All funds will be requested through the use of a Capital Renewal and Deferred Maintenance Project Request form and will become individual projects to be managed with associated project accounting and controls (see appendix 2 for form copy) All requests will be accompanied with a project budget with detailed scope.

All expenditures will be tracked and reported monthly and made available in report form on an external web site. Controlling Board Reports will be completed annually on a project specific basis and associated project controls will be utilized by Plant Operations.

The planning committee consists of the following members:

CRDM Next Steps Web site to be created for Capital Planning with the following items included on the site:

• Executive Director, Facilities Planning and Construction

• Committee Listing and Contact Information

• Executive Director, Facilities Management

• Office of Academic Affairs Representative

• Public Safety Representative • Director of Planning

• Director of Facilities Information • Director of Utilities, Energy and Technical Systems

• Director of Minor and Planned Projects (Serves as Chair) • CRDM Coordinator (administrative management of process and accounting)

• Director of EHRM or Designee

• Guidelines for Fund Allocations and Planning Process

• HEAF funding policies

• Capital Renewal Project Request Form

• Monthly and Annual expenditure reports (2010–forward) • Review of the Plant Operations Budget Process to ensure funds are allocated correctly and expenses are budgeted against revenue and accounting practices are straightforward and transparent • Development of an annual planning process

For more information about the CRDM program, visit

Plant Operations Newsletter


University of Houston Plant Operations 4211 Elgin SRm 122 Houston, TX 77204-1011

Cemo Hall

NEW Hours of Operation Services

Photo courtesy of Cemo Hall Photo Files

This project constructs a 34,000 GSF building designed to LEED Silver standards with 400seat lecture hall; three 80-seat classrooms, and academic center that includes a testing center, career center, and TA offices. Its grand opening is scheduled for Friday, May 21, 2010.

If you have a facilities issue, call our customer service center to place your service request.

Hours of Operation / Shift Coverage

Administration 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Auto Shop 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Business Services 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Call Center 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Central Plant 24/7 Custodial First Shift 6:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Swing Shift (MD Library only) 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Second Shift 2:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Third Shift 10:00 p.m. – 6:30 a.m. EHRM 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Elevator 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Swing Shift (limited coverage) 11:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Facilities Planning 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. & Construction Grounds 6:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Grounds Supervisor 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Key Control/Lock Shop 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Front Desk Area 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Labor Shop 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Labor Shop Supervisor 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Hours of Operation / Shift Coverage

Skilled Trades Primary Shift 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Swing Shift 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Second Shift (limited services) 2:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Solid Waste 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Stores 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Utilities EMECS M-Th 6:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. F 6:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Fire Alarm 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Electrical 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. HVAC 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Several Shop Areas Now Operate On Extended Shifts to Better Serve Your Needs!

People & Places - A quarterly newsletter of UH Plant Operations  

UH's Plant Operations Department launches its first quaterly newsletter designed to keep the campus community updated on issues regarding fa...

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