ARCHIBUS Success Story

The University of Sydney Shares its Data Via the Web

The University of Sydney, established in 1850, is Australia's first university. With a student enrollment nearing 40,000 and staffing of over 5,500, it offers the most diverse range of courses provided by an Australian university, and has a reputation for teaching and research excellence. Maintenance of the 81 buildings on the main campus, as well as the 405 buildings located at 15 other sites, falls under the auspices of the Facilities Management Office (FMO). According to the FMO's Web site, "The mission of the Facilities Management Office is to plan, develop, maintain, and operate the facilities of the University of Sydney to support the goals of the organisation." To assist them in fulfilling this mission, the FMO is using ARCHIBUS to manage all 486 buildings that are spread out over the 16 sites.

Large Organisation with a Diverse Range of Facilities
Every year, the University spends more than $30AU million on the construction, refurbishment, and maintenance of its buildings and infrastructure through its Capital Development Program. Alan Tracey, Director, Facilities Planning & Management, oversees all of this facilities-related activity, through the four units that report to him and collectively make up the FMO: Facilities Strategic Planning, Capital Works, Maintenance, and Property Management. Because the University of Sydney is a large organisation with a diverse range of facilities spread out over more than one campus, the FMO needed to find a way to track the amount and type of all the occupied space. Having this kind of data readily available was becoming necessary to support informed business planning and the research process, which causes a higher rate of churn.

The First Step: AutoCAD
In fact, a University space database did exist in the 1990's, but it was custom-designed and did not include any drawings, a major shortcoming of this system. In addition, drawings were in many different formats, and mostly on paper, leading the FMO to start thinking about purchasing AutoCAD.

The University of Sydney’s Main Quadrangle Building

In 1995 a team of up to ten contract staff led by the CAD/CAFM Manager determined that all drawings had to be done from scratch-all of the buildings would have to be remeasured. The University invested $1AU million for this project, hiring mostly graduate students to work their way around all the buildings at each site, measuring them, and then putting the information into AutoCAD. After completing part of the drawings in 1997, the space limitations of the proprietary database soon became clear. Because of its flexibility, seamless integration with AutoCAD, and its wide acceptance as the Facilities Management standard, ARCHIBUS was chosen to provide the FMO with an integrated data and graphical management system.

Starting with Space
A team of three people conducted a progressive space audit of all buildings in their entirety, using three categories to define each room: Room Type, Room Function, and User Function. In early 1997 they integrated the data with the drawings, and by the end of 1999 the Space Management module was fully implemented, with maintenance ongoing.

Sharing the Wealth
Tracey arrived in late 1998 and quickly realized that this valuable information was not widely available. At that time it was accessible only to the Space and CAD people. Strategic Planners did not really have access to information that would be very beneficial to decision support, but Tracey could make it available.

The strategic facilities planning consultants, Strategic FM, were engaged by the FMO to review the status of existing FMO facilities information systems, develop the overall strategy, and manage the implementation of the ARCHIBUS-based system.

The FMO designed a View and Print program using some functions of ARCHIBUS Web Central, providing access to a fixed number of reports and drawings for a much wider audience in the University. "It has proven to be very successful," says Tracey. "The View and Print project has given all the people in our office a taste of what ARCHIBUS is all about."

Additional Modules
The Facilities Management Office has now been using the Building Operations module for some time and Building Ops Work Orders are being used by the Trades staff. FMO will also be developing a personalized-off-the-shelf application based on the Real Property and Lease module.

Cleaning management is another important issue for the University of Sydney. Two-thirds of their buildings are contracted out to professional cleaning companies, and the other third is handled in-house. The ability to track cleaning history and to know exactly for what purpose rooms are being used has kept the FMO informed about cleaning needs that vary widely. Additionally, unnecessary maintenance is not performed, leaving human and financial resources available for the areas requiring them.

Goals for the Future
Tracey says that they would like to use ARCHIBUS as the central database and link it to Peoplesoft and MS Project. Such an integration with other corporate systems would enhance reporting capabilities and extend the benefits of sharing the data with many other constituencies on campus.

Tracey has a lot of ideas about how to expand the system to meet the needs of more and more people. "We think we can significantly improve the booking of rooms, A-V equipment, and teacher spaces with the new system," Tracey says. "We will be using ARCHIBUS Web Central to manage service desk requests, which include maintenance and A-V, using the Building Ops module. We are putting that information online and will get feedback via the Web. By the end of June (2000), most of the development will be up and running."

Tracey emphasizes that information held in ARCHIBUS is core information. Because it is a relational database, there are many other things that can be done with the data. As Tracey says, "Most of the issues involved in running a large complex like a university depend on knowing what kind of space you've got."

For the FMO, managing the data and keeping it updated is going to be the difficult part because space is constantly modified and there is a huge amount of churn. The FMO may provide University-wide access to the data to encourage other departments to keep track of their own space and to inform the FMO when there are changes. In the meantime, they have recruited a person who knows ARCHIBUS and AutoCAD to manage the data and related projects. He was one of the students working on the original AutoCAD project while completing his PhD., so he's very familiar with this integrated system.

Vital Statistics

University of Sydney
Sydney, Australia
Facilities Facts:
486 buildings; 465,500 square metres (all ARCHIBUS-managed)
ARCHIBUS Applications:
Real Property & Lease Management
Space Management
Building Operations Management
FM Web Central
Impetus for Implementation:
Need for an integrated data and graphical management system.
Benefits Gained:
Improved management and utilisation of space; improved management of information available on demand; better control over work requested by departments; data available to a wider audience; linking of CAD drawings with space data.
Future Plans:
Plan to accommodate increased numbers of students within better utilised existing facilities; plan to make data available to a wider audience.
Business Partners:
Facilities Assist, FM-Interface, ICAD Consultants, Strategic FM
Web Site:
©2005 ARCHIBUS, Inc.18 Tremont St.Boston, MA 02108   USATel: 1