Service Delivery

UBC Facilities is responsible and funded for the operations and maintenance (O&M) of base building and public realm related infrastructure. Facilities also receives core O&M funding for utility services, waste management, custodial services, and public realm maintenance for spaces physically associated with buildings.

‘Base building’ is defined as systems and equipment required to make a building functional and safe for general occupancy. These systems include the building structure, building envelope, interior architectural components and finishes, primary mechanical systems such as heating, plumbing, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, elevators and accessibility lifts, plumbing, fire and life safety systems, electrical distribution, lighting, and building controls technology.

For additional services and/or to ensure specific assets are maintained that are not covered by core funding base level services, faculties, departments, or ancillary units (UBC Athletics & Recreation and Student Housing & Community Services) have the option to engage in a customer funded service level agreement (SLA) with Facilities. 

Core funded vs customer funded

General principles for buildings that helps denote core operations and maintenance funding versus customer funded activities are as follows:

  • Core funded: base building systems (as defined above) that support the overall building functionality and safety, or are required to support the University’s public-facing assets such as learning spaces, libraries and museums.
  • Customer funded: localized systems/equipment specific to the specialized operational conditions of a space (e.g., filtration or cooling for a clean room, uninterruptable power supplies) or systems/equipment installed at request of space users after original building construction for a special requirement (e.g., dedicated cooling system for research equipment). These assets are typically not accessible to the greater community and are required for a unique need or purpose.

To provide clarity on the services that are covered through the Facilities operating budget (“core”) funding and where faculties and departments are expected to fund, a Facilities Service guide has been developed.

The Facilities Service guide includes information on funding for Customer Service, Project Delivery, Buildings, Public Realm and Fleet, and Utilities. The guide is aligned with the UBC Controlled Land, Buildings and Infrastructure (“Space Management”) policy (UP13).

View the Facilities Service Guide

New buildings, building expansions and building renewals

Current operations and maintenance cost calculation

Base building operations and maintenance (O&M) core funding varies depending on when the building was constructed. Generally, if the building was built in 2004 to the present date, the funding is calculated using a unit rate of $8.60/gross square foot per year. This amount is split between building maintenance, utilities, and municipal services. It should be noted that buildings built prior to 2004 receive a lesser unit rate to fund maintenance, utilities and municipal tasks. These rates are subject to change in the future to address inflation and changes in costs as building systems become more complex to operate and maintain. Customer funding of non-base building O&M costs will continue to apply.

Faculty responsibilities

Faculties are responsible for funding the full O&M costs for new academic buildings and building expansions as well as major building renewals, prorated according to the faculty’s space occupancy in the building.

Since 2010, the practice of faculty responsibility for O&M funding for new buildings, building expansions and building renewals has been in place to ensure that O&M costs are factored into decision-making on building space needs.

For building renewals funded by Provincial Routine Capital, O&M costs may be funded by the core budget given that these projects are typically initiated by the University to address deferred capital and seismic risks. However, there will be circumstances where a capital replacement for a piece of equipment is funded by Provincial Routine Capital, yet O&M costs are the responsibility of the faculty or department.

General teaching space

General use teaching space is excluded from the O&M charges for faculties with new buildings, expansions and renewals. These spaces are and will remain core funded, scheduled, managed and maintained.

Faculty/departmental equipment

Any equipment that is provided/purchased for and by the faculty/department, is the responsibility of the faculty/department, as it is directly related to their activities. The faculty/department is responsible for the ownership of purchasing, installing, licensing, permitting, operating, maintaining, and replacing this ‘faculty/departmental equipment’.

Facilities will help advise on installation considerations and/or address maintenance concerns, as some equipment could significantly impact base building structures and base building systems. The ‘departmental equipment’ may be specific to a department activity or research function that require electrical, mechanical and architectural systems that are installed specifically to support the activity or function.

Prior to purchasing the ‘departmental and/or research equipment’ or if you are considering accepting equipment donations, please ensure to consult with Facilities. Learn more about research equipment and infrastructure considerations.

If research equipment is purchased with funds received through a grant, it is important to adhere to the rules of the granting agency with regards to payment associated with cost recoverable work. View the Facilities Service Guide for examples of ‘departmental equipment’.

Facilities will provide maintenance services or manage service contracts for some departmental equipment on a fee-for-service basis. The potential for fee-for-service (if any) will be discussed prior to an agreement to ensure our staff have expertise with the new equipment and where it makes sense from an efficiency and/or risk management perspective. The cost of repairs to base building systems damaged by improper use or care of department-owned equipment may be borne by that department.