ARCHIBUS Success Story

University of Illinois at Chicago-Taking Facilities and Infrastructure Management to New Heights


The University of Illinois was chartered in 1867 under the provisions of the Federal Land Grant Act signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. This law provided each state with public land to be used to establish and support at least one college that would be dedicated to educating its citizens in agriculture, home economics, mechanical arts, and other practical professions. The land grant model focuses on three activities: teaching, research, extension.

Updating the Land Grant Philosophy to Include Urban Dwellers
The University has three campuses and a combined total of 66,000 regular students, 17,000 continuing education students, 5,100 faculty, and almost 23,000 employees. It is the seventh largest employer in Illinois.

The Chicago campus was created by the merger of the Chicago Circle and Medical Center campuses in 1982. It has a significant share of the student body-with 25,000-and provides employment for 11,890 people.

Currently, the Chicago campus has a total of 105 buildings, all of which are ARCHIBUS-managed; it is, however, teeming with construction activity; new buildings are being constructed while old buildings are being remodeled. $68 million was recently earmarked by the State of Illinois to assist UIC in the construction of the new College of Medicine building which is expected to carry a price tag of about $100 million.

Never a Dull Moment
The Office of Facility Planning and Space Analysis considers everyone at the University to be a customer, though their regular interactions are primarily with the academic research, hospital, clinical and administrative units at the University.


Because the pursuit of research dollars is never-ending, and because the University takes up 12,000,000+ gross square feet of prime urban real estate, departments frequently need to know exactly how much space they have at any given time. Before the implementation of ARCHIBUS eight years ago, providing reports of any type was extremely difficult. As Scott DeBlaze, Assistant Director of the Office of Facility Planning and Space Analysis, says, "We had limited information in a digital format. Exporting information to the users was not possible, and paper copies of all building data were transmitted via mail or fax. Floor plan and data information were added with a calculator or on spreadsheets. Overall reporting capabilities were dependent on an obsolete legacy system that required extensive manual work." ARCHIBUS provided the reporting capabilities that DeBlaze's team expected, and he hopes that this "will allow us to link all campuses in the future."

The reporting capability provided by ARCHIBUS has also assisted individual units in their own decision-making processes. Examples of these reports include Medicare/Medicaid and annual State of Illinois budget reports. This is particularly important for an urban research university for which space means dollars, literally.

University units receive reimbursements from the state for space that is used for research; these reimbursements can involve a lot of money, so it is important for departments seeking reimbursements to be certain just how much and what type of space is being used for research.

The considerations are the same when seeking research funding. Knowing how much space is available, the nature of that space and what kind of research can be done there makes the difference between winning and losing grant money.

Information Sharing is Key
UIC's ARCHIBUS Consultant, ARCHIBUS Business Partner, BRG, helped to create an object database for the Office of Business Affairs (OBA) that enables OBA to tap into the ARCHIBUS database, export it into a format which the OBA system can upload and then use it in the indirect cost reimbursement process.

DeBlaze reports that University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, and University of Illinois at Springfield are thinking of consolidating the campus databases into a single location. Such a move is likely to further improve the integrity of the data and would reduce duplication of efforts in maintaining data University-wide.

Vital Statistics

University of Illinois
Chicago, IL
Facilities Facts:
105 buildings (all ARCHIBUS-managed); 12,000,000+ GSF
ARCHIBUS Applications:
Space Management
Impetus for Implementation:
Overall reporting capabilities were problematic; information was not in a digital format and was very burdensome to maintain.
Benefits Gained:
Precise and expeditious reporting; improved data integrity; improved space planning and assessment throughout campus.
Future Plans:
Possible combining of the databases of all three campuses into one; expansion into additional modules.
Business Partner:
Business Resource Group (BRG)
Web Site:
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