Happy holidays from John 

It was great to see the full Facilities team at the Holiday events last week at the AMS Nest. It’s nice to be able to gather in person again to share the spirit and warmth of the season and to recognize and celebrate the hard work of the past year. 

It’s been another unique year at UBC as we have transitioned back to more normal operations after the pandemic, yet have undergone some significant changes. I’m proud of everyone’s efforts to build a cohesive Facilities team within the VP Finance & Operations portfolio. 

We have faced many challenges this year — COVID-19, extreme weather, power outages, Planon/Workday growing pains. We probably spend most of our time focusing on our challenges and looking for solutions. Problem-solving is important and certainly a huge part of our role, but we also need to recognize all of the hard-work we have accomplished and celebrate our successes. 

Here are just a few of the many notable accomplishments in UBC Facilities in 2022: 

  • Held our first United Way Dip-Off held in the USB Atrium – good food for a great cause. 
  • Successfully transitioned Custodial Services to a new organizational structure to enhance service to the Vancouver campus community.
  • Commenced remote operation of the Campus Energy Centre from the Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility through a special Alternative Safety Approach (ASA) with Technical Safety BC, using technology and practices to meet or exceed regulatory requirements. 
  • Started construction on Phase 1 of the Main Campus Electrical Substation upgrade, a foundational element to meet UBC’s Climate Action Plan 2030 decarbonization targets. 
  • Developed and implemented a Municipal Services team charter to promote a healthy and collaborative workplace. 
  • Implemented the Planon system Energy & Water Services. 
  • Continued growth of Preventative Maintenance programs in Building Operations. 
  • Advanced asset management in Municipal Services through organizational changes that enhance coordination with the transition team and grow our preventative maintenance programs.  
  • Used Planon data to make key decisions such as when to replace aged infrastructure.  
  • Shared our knowledge with other universities by presenting our Indoor Air Quality program at the PCAPPA conference
  • Completed the MacLeod Building renewal project
  • Started construction on  the Gateway Health, School of Biomedical Engineering, and Recreation Centre North building projects 
  • Completed the first full year of the Asset Replacement & Improvement team being part of Infrastructure Development. 
  • Collaborated with the UBC Institutional Research Office (IPO) to complete 32 Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and John Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) applications in support of UBC researchers. 
  • Implemented a comprehensive equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) training program to help ensure an inclusive, welcoming and respectful workplace in which we can all succeed individually and as a team. 

Through our collective efforts and commitment, it’s been a productive and successful year. 

Thank you all for the outstanding work you do for the university, for working together and supporting each other, for doing your best every day and for making UBC and UBC Facilities an inspiring place to work. 

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season with your loved ones. 

John Metras  
Interim Vice-President, Operations 

Join us for coffee and treats on December 23

Thank you for all the hard work and dedication you put in to make 2022 a great year.

With very few establishments open during the holiday season, we invite our Facilities staff working for some coffee and treats at 9:00 a.m. this Friday, December 23 in the USB atrium.

Coffee and treats will also be offered at the Campus Energy Centre and Life Building.

Working Alone or In Isolation procedures during the holiday season

After hour emergency callouts are handled by UBC Campus Security. For Facilities staff that are called out or scheduled to work overtime and will be working alone or in isolation, please follow their respective department’s procedures.

Facilities Emergency contacts for the holiday season

As we prepare for the holiday season, just a reminder about who to contact in the case of an emergency. Facilities Managers will remain on-call for emergencies in their respective zones.

On duty/call: Building Operations, Custodial Services, Energy & Water Services, Municipal Services (Please refer to the attached file ‘Facilities Emergency contacts for the holiday season’)

Infrastructure Development

For Project Services project-related concerns, please contact the Project Manager. For emergencies, please contact the Project Coordinator:

For Construction Office project-related concerns, please contact the Construction Office Managers:

Properties Trust 

For project-related emergencies, contact: Sean Ang – seang@ubcproperties.com / 604-897-0117

Staying safe in extreme weather & snow policy 

In an extreme winter weather event, we recommend you to stick to the priority routes which have been identified in the map below in order to get where you need to go on campus safely and without incident. The map identifies priority roads, sidewalks and pathways that our crews will work towards when dealing with an ice or snow event. Once the priority routes are cleared, crews will focus on clearing other areas of campus.

To ensure we are prepared for imminent extreme winter conditions, read and review communication and protocols found on the HR website (CWL required): https://www.hr.ubc.ca/faculty-staff-resources/winter-weather-conditions/.

For updates: 

  • Visit the UBC website at www.ubc.ca.
  • Download the UBC Safe Vancouver App and turn on push notifications: https://srs.ubc.ca/ubcsafe
  • Contact 604-827-SNOW (604-827-7669) for any updates. If you are proceeding to work, stay safe on your commute. If you cannot report to work for any reason, contact your supervisor immediately.

We recommend downloading the UBC Safe Vancouver app and turn on your push notifications to receive immediate information and updates that are impacting the entire campus. Learn more on the Safety & Risk Services website

Special thanks to Municipal Services & Custodial Services for managing snow and ice and keeping our campus community safe during extreme weather. Your hard work and commitment are appreciated! 

Click image for full-screen version

For more information on our snow removal and ice prevention, please visit the Facilities website.

To report slippery conditions, please contact the Facilities Service Centre at 604-822-2173.

2022 Facilities Staff Excellence Award

Thank you to all who nominated their colleagues for the excellent work they do.

The UBC Facilities Staff Excellence Award Program provides recognition and rewards to staff who have demonstrated excellence consistently in the performance of their work and service to the university.

This year, we received over 60 nominations. The 2022 Staff Excellence Award selection committee had quite the task of reviewing the submissions. After careful consideration and intense deliberation, congratulations to the following 2022 Staff Excellence Award recipients:

  • Asset Stewardship: Andrew Allan, Plumber, Building Operations
  • Creativity & Innovation: Adam Rosenthal, Head Tool Crib/Store Operator, Municipal Services
  • Customer services excellence: Sumi Naidu, Service Worker, Custodial Services, and Tracy He, Clerk, Customer Service & Informatics
  • Leadership development: Clayton McMullen, Senior Manager, Thermal Utilities, Energy & Water Services, and Jennifer Dick, Project Coordinator, Asset Replacement & Improvements
  • Safety & wellbeing: Stan Takenaka, Head Electrician, Energy & Water Services
  • Teamwork: The Kaiser Team, Custodial Services (Avelino Lingal, Berma Bahena, Eduardo Tagulao & Lourdes Amigo)
  • Kim Nulty inspiration award: Ana Boal, Head Service Worker, Custodial Services

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who participated. 

Read more about the winners on the Facilities website.

Our Holiday event was a success!

Thank you for coming to our first UBC Facilities Holiday events. It was wonderful to have our different groups gather to celebrate the season. 

On December 10, a breakfast was held for the night shift and weekend staff at the AMS Performance Theatre. Lunch and dinner celebrations were held on December 14 at the AMS Great Hall. 

As staff arrived for the event, they were greeted with carols rendered by Blair Antcliffe from Energy & Water Services, Charles Creelman from Building Operations, and Caroline MacLeod from Facilities. Thank you Ryan Huffman from Infrastructure Development and Charles Creelman for being emcees. The lunch was filled with fun and excitement. In the evening, we had Kuldeep Malli from Custodial Services as emcee, and dinner was just as exciting! 

These events are a success thanks to those who helped like the Soft Landscape team in Municipal Services led by Stacy Ewert for decorating the Great Hall; to Rachel Lau, Amelia Libanao and April Wong for leading the staff to the buffet table; to Hoi Ying Yu and Nanette Eugenio for helping clean up; and to Charles, Blair, Ryan and Kuldeep for emceeing the events.

Special thanks to those who were instrumental during the preparation: Wendy Lam and Gardenia Honorio!

Updated zone list 

The Zone list (see attached) has been updated as of December 19, 2022. Please note that the following update was made:

  • Red/Blue Custodial Head – Vacant 

Electric Vehicles Charging Cap 

If you have difficulty opening an electric vehicle's charging cap that is covered in ice, please make sure to inform Stores staff.  

Store staff will pass on the message and plug in the vehicle for charging. All vehicles with 30% battery life or less should get charged after the shift.

Winners of the Facilities' United Way World Cup draw!

Thank you for your support in the United Way World Cup event! After a thrilling final, we are excited to announce the winners: 

  • 1st Place: Dan Strikaitis (World Cup Finalists- Argentina vs France)
  • 2nd Place: James Bellavance (3rd Place Game Finalists- Morocco vs Croatia)

Congratulations Dan and James!

World Cup Final Scenario Number 

World Cup Finalist #1 

World Cup Finalist #2 

Ticket Number 

Ticket Owner Name 

Ticket Owner Department 

World Cup Final #224 




Dan Strikaitis 

Electrical Projects 

World Cup Final #452 




James Bellavance 

Facilities Manager 

Total money raised: 

  • Total Pot: $684 
  • United Way (50%): $342 
  • Winner (40%): $274 
  • 2nd Place (10%): $68 

Shutting Down Before You Leave

Every action counts! This holiday season help save energy as part of UBC’s Seasonal Shutdown, which lowers the temperature in buildings during the winter break to reduce energy use and emissions on campus.

Simple actions like turning off and unplugging electronic equipment and turning off lights save thousands of dollars each year and help reduce UBC's energy footprint. Before you leave for the holidays

  1. Switch off electronics such as desktop computers.
  2. Unplug small appliances like coffee machines
  3. Turn off the lights
  4. Close windows and blinds
  5. Discard old food from fridge

Job openings

All positions at UBC are available on the UBC HR Careers website, or through the career application in your Workday account. Please note that applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on the day prior to the posting end date. The following VPFO positions are currently open:

  • Labourer 2 (JR10120) – ongoing
  • Labourer 3 (JR8504) – ongoing
  • SubHead Trades 3 - Electrician (JR10839) – 12/24/2022
  • Trades 3 - Mechanic (JR10965) – 01/08/2023
  • Health and Safety Associate - UBC Facilities (JR10804) – 01/08/2023
  • Head Trades 2 - Architectural (JR10894) – 01/13/2023
  • Trades 2 - Painter (2 Positions) - 3 Months (JR10937) – 01/13/2023
  • Data Systems Administrator, Capital Projects (JR9432) – 01/15/2023
  • Trades 3 - Electrician (2 Positions) (JR10841) – 01/20/2023
  • Energy Conservation Engineer (JR10881) – 01/31/203

Don't forget to apply as an internal candidate! Please review the Apply for an Internal Job Posting guide in the Workday Knowledge Base for instructions on how to apply. Reminder to attach a copy of your resume when you apply for a career opportunity in Workday.

Holiday crime prevention tips from UBC Campus Security

Happy Holidays from UBC Campus Security! While you're out enjoying the hustle and bustle of the holidays, keep these tips in mind for a safe, happy and crime-free season holiday season on campus.

  1. Close and lock all office and exterior building doors & windows. Arm all intrusion alarms.
  2. Protect your building and office keys to prevent your workplace from being targeted.
  3. Turn off office lights and electronic equipment. Illumination can provide visibility of valuable equipment from outside the building, inviting theft.
  4. Close all blinds and curtains on ground floor windows.
  5. Securely lock away portable equipment, tools, laptops and external data devices.
  6. Lock valuable personal property out of sight or take it home.
  7. Ensure all your data devices are encrypted for security.
  8. If you're working late on campus, let someone know, check in regularly or let them know when to expect your return home.
  9. Download the UBC Safe App! Turn on your push notifications to receive immediate information and updates that are impacting the entire campus. 

EDI: Celebrating Diversity this December

December is a joyous time of the year filled with cultural heritage and holiday celebrations. Taking time to learn about a few can enrich your understanding of the world and your community. 

The VPFO EDI Committee wishes you a happy holiday with your loved ones! 

Learn more about the traditions and celebrations around the world.

Weekly Emergency Tip: Hand crank radio

An important part of your emergency preparedness kit is a hand crank radio. After a disaster such as an earthquake, phone and internet services may be disrupted rendering all of your devices useless. A hand crank radio will allow you to monitor emergency broadcasts and local news. These devices also have integrated flashlights, solar power and the possibility to recharge your devices via USB connections. 

For more information about emergency preparedness kits, visit Government of Canada’s Get Prepared website

Managing your mental health

Human Resources has collected mental health resources to help you manage your ups and downs. To view more workshops, webinars and events visit the HR event listing.

Representatives are always available for a confidential conversation:

  • Monica Haab (monica.haab@ubc.ca): Building Operations, Energy & Water Services, Customer Services & Informatics, and Infrastructure Development
  • Gregor MacDonald (gregor.macdonald@ubc.ca): Custodial Services and Municipal Services

Feeling anxious or stressed about this upcoming holiday season? You aren’t alone.

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) offers an extensive suite of services to support you – from providing wellness coaching or advising on family issues to offering legal support. 

Access the EAP confidential services through LifeWorks, by calling 1-866-424-0770. 


Thanks for reading!

This is the final edition of the Facilities Weekly for 2022.
We will resume publication on Tuesday, January 10, 2023.

Find this newsletter and past issues on the Facilities website

For questions and content submission
 Email: facilities@vpfo.ubc.ca.


UBC Facilities is part of the VP Finance & Operations (VPFO) Portfolio, and includes six departments—Building Operations, Custodial Services, Customer Services & Informatics, Energy & Water Services, Infrastructure Development, and Municipal Services.

UBC Facilities
The University of British Columbia
Campus & Community Planning (C&CP) Building
2210 West Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

VP Finance & Operations (VPFO)
The University of British Columbia
Koerner Library, 6th Floor 
1958 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

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