Oct. 20, 2008
'Buildings' again ranks Facilities Management among top 10 in country
For the fourth year in a row Buildings magazine has ranked University of Iowa Facilities Management among the 10 most proactive and innovative infrastructure managers in the nation. And its editors praised the department for tackling new projects while contending with the worst flood in the university's history.
The trade publication's September issue ranks the UI department 10th among 44 organizations and departments that "are getting things done -- slashing energy costs, improving customer service, building with the end-user in mind, investing heavily in employee training and development, etc. -- in truly remarkable ways."
For the previous three years the UI was the only university listed among the top 10. This year the University of California-San Diego joins the list.
"This year's Who's Who is made up of organizations that view real estate as a core competency, and of others that integrate facilities know-how and expertise into making the structures that house their employees or clientele the most productive, healthy and efficient in the marketplace," said Linda K. Monroe, editorial director of Buildings.
In introducing a profile of UI Facilities Management, the magazine said "This Big Ten school never ceases to impress us -- and they've done so this year, even more than ever." Among the initiatives highlighted by the magazine are:
1. Establishment of an Office of Sustainability.
2. Plans to create a system to facilitate a "lessons-learned" investigation of injuries, near-miss incidents, and workplace hazards. The system will help users automatically share safety solutions with the entire organization.
3. Launching of an energy control center to improve data collection and facilitate the scheduling, optimization and troubleshooting of campus heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
4. A comprehensive study of custodial-service standards to ensure consistent service levels, facilitate requests for higher-level cleaning standards, expose training needs and opportunities.
5. Development of a self-serve system to assist UI customers in determining the scope of work and procuring contracted services for routine painting, carpet and furniture improvements.
6. A new document-management system that will replace old methods of filing and retrieving documents.
"And, if these things aren't enough to make an impression, consider this: the UI is taking on all of these projects in the midst of major flood-recovery efforts," Buildings editors wrote. "By the time the Iowa River crested in mid-June, the UI was faced with the effects of a 500-year flood. Although 20 major campus buildings were flooded, the UI managed to save much more than it lost. We're fascinated by the things this forward-moving FM team continues to accomplish, even when confronted with vast trials."
Summing up "why we like them," the editors concluded, "The University of Iowa's FM team never slows down, even when flood clean-up stands in its way."
Don Guckert, associate vice president and director of Facilities Management, said, "We are honored to be recognized by a magazine with its reputation in the building management profession. We are pleased to continue to be identified in a diverse field of building owners and property managers who have such impressive facilities management organizations."
Buildings magazine is a trade publication whose mission is to help "senior- and middle-level building ownership and facilities management professionals make smarter decisions relevant to the design, construction, modernization, management and operation of commercial and institutional buildings."
The article is available online at http://www.buildings.com/articles/detail.aspx?contentID=6451#10.
To read more about Facilities Management at the UI visit http://www.facilities.uiowa.edu.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500
MEDIA CONTACTS: Wendy Moorehead, Facilities Management, 319-335-1246; Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, firstname.lastname@example.org