Vital Statistics
The City University of New York
New York City, New York
Facilities Facts:
300+ buildings on 640 acres totaling more than 28 million square feet of space serving 540,000 students at 24 campuses
Reasons for Implementing:
Twenty separate databases, lack of standardization, need for central data access, streamlined maintenance and space/cost analysis
Benefits Gained:
Standardization of FM database platform and processes; more accurate; space/cost rationalization; 27% increase of indirect cost recovery from federal research funding, 38% increase in direct funding
Business Partner:
Technical InSite, LLC
Web Site:
The #1 Solution in the World for
Total Infrastructure and Facilities Management

City University of New York (CUNY): Twenty Urban Colleges' Space Data Centralized With ARCHIBUS

The facilities of City University of New York (CUNY) are as diverse—and dispersed—as the five boroughs in which they are found.

CUNY is the nation's leading urban public university, serving 540,000 students – more than 271,000 degree-credit students and nearly 270,000 in adult, continuing and professional education — at 24 institutions in New York City. The University includes 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies, and the CUNY School of Public Health.

Lost in Space

Facilities the scope of CUNY’s physical assets was vaguely understood. But their configurations, conditions, and allocations were not.

In order to implement ARCHIBUS, CUNY launched an encyclopedic cataloging of CUNY facilities in a survey conducted by architecture students over the course of three years. The resulting floor plans were drawn in AutoCAD® and, along with accompanying room data, were then incorporated into ARCHIBUS at CUNY’s Central Office, which hosts twenty ARCHIBUS “projects,” or databases, one for each campus. Just as important.

To also facilitate the transfer of work orders and other information, the plan was to have all locations use the ARCHIBUS Work Wizard application that incorporated a Web front-end for submitting work requests and e-mail notifications of work request status changes.

ARCHIBUS is now installed at most of the campuses plus Central Office, and primarily used for building operations and space management.

New York Sets the (Space) Standards

To ensure information is up-to-date and in the right form, CUNY’s Central Office produces a Space Management Standards Book with all reference tables in ARCHIBUS based on standards set for Department and Division, Room Category and Type, Room Use, Drawing Standards, and Update Procedures. Architectural and space allocation information must also be kept up-to-date, and so drawings are updated using “As-Builts,” the AutoCAD drawings that are received upon completion of larger projects. Smaller projects, on the other hand, get site surveys that collect or verify information about the site.

Successful Space Planning: Allocation, Allocation, Allocation

Each campus has a Master Plan that is reviewed on a regular basis. To prepare for a Master Plan review, the CUNY Central Office planners need to understand the campus’ current space usage/square footage allocated to the different academic functions. Understanding classroom utilization rates helps in planning the mix of rooms at a growing campus.

Using Crystal Reports®, data from ARCHIBUS and the CUNY data warehouse are combined to create various reports providing information on the Hourly Fill Rate (how many of the available hours the rooms were used), Available Station Fill Rate (how many of the total available seats in the rooms were used) and the Utilized Rooms Station Fill Rate (of the rooms used, how many of those seats were filled). It’s a much smoother and more efficient process than it was in the past because every time there is a Master Plan, CUNY can connect the space data with other information, such as the student data, for that campus.

New Uses: Short Order Reports

With ARCHIBUS centralization, extra demands can now be quickly met. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Cuny received a call requesting to know “all buildings that could serve as a temporary shelter where beds could be set-up. With twenty campuses all in one central database, CUNY space managers could search the ARCHIBUS system and find information about appropriate facilities instantly. Every day CUNY is asked to come up with facilities information that no one ever asked for before, but with ARCHIBUS the University can now answer those questions quickly because the information is easily accessible and accurate. As time goes on, the consolidated data will give the school increasingly useful information for a variety of new uses.”

ARCHIBUS Helps Increase A21 Funding

One of the things CUNY likes best about ARCHIBUS is it’s flexibility and that the data is also easily portable to other systems. Any changes that have to be made are easy to do. One of the things the University was also adamant about was having a system that could be implemented out-of-the-box with little or no personalization.

The fact that ARCHIBUS can so easily interface with other software led to the support of a Research Foundation system that collects grant information (A21). The Research Foundation is a private, not-for-profit educational corporation chartered by the State of New York. It engages in the post-award administration of private and government-sponsored programs. At CUNY, those programs have produced $300 million in annual activity. The Foundation developed a Web site to collect grant information based on the ARCHIBUS room data.

Incorporating that room data increased the total square footage reported for calculation of the indirect cost recovery rate 26.9%. It also increased the total research square footage reported, resulting in a 37.9% increase in direct funding.

Today, thanks to ARCHIBUS, CUNY’s facilities are managed as a streamlined, multi-layered “city-within-a-city” with multiple sites and systems functioning at an optimal level of efficiency and cost-effectiveness.