The University of California at Santa Barbara was chartered in 1868 as a land-grant college. In 1944 it became a University of California campus, and part of what is considered by many to be the nation's preeminent public system of higher education. With an enrollment of about 16,700 undergraduates and 2,200 graduate students trained by about 900 faculty members, it has already been ranked as a Category 1 Research University by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, despite its relative youth. And when the University of California at Santa Barbara did its own research on Facilities Management tools, ARCHIBUS is what they chose.
The Old Technology and Y2K Blues
Several years ago Gail Johnson, Manager, Applications Systems Group, Information Systems and Computing, University of California at Santa Barbara, determined that the University was going to have to begin updating its FM process. The technology in place was old and lacking-and the fact that it was not Y2K compliant precluded any discussion of delaying the automation.
Because UCSB is reimbursed by the State of California for building maintenance based on square footage measurements provided by the campus, Johnson reports that they did have a database used to track space information, as well as 25,000 to 30,000 blueprints. Johnson knew she wanted to convert those blueprints to AutoCAD so they could track space attributes in the drawings. "It was an extreme challenge to continue working with architects, engineers, and design professionals outside of the University without automation," says Johnson. "We knew we had to come into step with the private sector. In addition, the challenges and delays of paper processes and coordinating the efforts of at least three central departments responsible for campus planning and facilities management (but located in different geographic locations) led us to believe that automation would eventually save money, time, and human resources."
Three Buildings and a Database
Johnson's team embarked on a market research project to learn what products were available, and which one would be suitable for UCSB. They started by contacting other campuses in the University of California system. UCLA had recently completed a project using ARCHIBUS, so Johnson and her team went to Los Angeles to check it out. Happy with what they saw there, the UCSB team instituted their own pilot project using ARCHIBUS. UCSB decided to initially convert blueprints for three buildings with three different functions: one research/science building, one administration building, and one building comprised primarily of classroom space.
The satisfactory completion of the pilot project convinced Johnson to start a campus-wide implementation. She reports choosing ARCHIBUS because of its tight integration with AutoCAD, the ease with which new fields can be added to the database, the use of relational database technology, the ability to do ad hoc reporting, to add additional modules over time, and to publish space data on the World Wide Web using ARCHIBUS Web Central.
Information Sharing is Key
In order to facilitate use of the drawings by professionals outside the UCSB community, who are often hired to handle the design and construction of major buildings, the implementation team was eager to bring UCSB's drawings up to the standards needed by ARCHIBUS and AutoCAD. Johnson reports that the achievement of this goal has been one of the biggest benefits of the implementation so far. Because there is so much construction and renovation activity on campus at all times, accessibility to automated and standardized drawings and data information has been a real boon in the facilitation of this ongoing activity.
"Our ability to share AutoCAD drawings with space data across the campus network with several of our central departments has been the biggest benefit to date. I believe many other department heads who want access to space data to more effectively serve the campus, including Environmental Health and Safety and Communications Services, certainly see the value of the foundation we are laying," Johnson reports. "We intend to share facilities data with every department on campus so planning and usage of space can be administered with effectiveness and ease," she continues.
Looking to the Future
This is only the beginning of a very big project; Johnson has some very ambitious plans. She hopes that the successful implementation of ARCHIBUS will not only provide campus-wide connectivity and communication with outside consultants, but also that the effective utilization of space may enable the University to accommodate more students thereby facilitating its mission of attracting the top 10% of California's graduating seniors. Eventually, she plans to track all environmental hazards in the ARCHIBUS system, providing access to this information to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department and other State and County regulatory agencies via the Internet.
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA
355 total buildings (about 80 buildings representing 30 million SF managed by ARCHIBUS) total SF unknown
|ARCHIBUS Applications: |
|Impetus for Implementation: |
Challenge of working with architects, engineers, and design professionals outside the university without automation; challenge of campus planning with paper processes; desire to save money, time, human resources; desire to effectively utilize space to accommodate more students; desire for accurate square footage information for building maintenance funding.
|Benefits Gained: |
Ability to share AutoCAD drawings with space data campus-wide.
|Future Plans: |
Develop campus-wide access control system and distribute access via Intranet and FM Web Central; track asbestos/all environmental hazards; tie all data to a GIS.
|Business Partner: |
Infotech Enterprises, Inc.
|Web Site: |
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