UCSF Facilities Receives National Achievement Awards

By Robert Hood on January 15, 2020

Marco Sanchez, UCSF Documents & Media

UC San Francisco Facilities Services has received two prestigious 2019 Facility Maintenance Achievement Awards from the editorial board of Facility Maintenance Decisions Magazine. UCSF is being honored for its sustainability and infrastructure management initiatives. This is the first time in the program’s history that one department has received two awards in the same year.

“We are extremely grateful to receive a pair of Facility Maintenance Achievement Awards,” said Jon Giacomi, assistant vice chancellor for Facilities Services. “Our staff has taken novel approaches to solving sustainability and infrastructure issues on campus and these awards acknowledge their creativity.”

Giacomi said the department’s willingness to adapt to meet the changing needs of the campus community has been the key to success. When the Facility Manager Program was developed, it assigned facility managers and project coordinators to serve as building liaisons, providing occupants with a single point of contact for smaller projects. The Facility Manager Program became so successful that soon, the campus community was requesting larger and more complex infrastructure projects and Facilities Services advocated for two new and unique programs – both a 15-Year and a 25-Year Building Renewal Program. These programs aim to keep UCSF’s buildings in top condition and out of deferred maintenance status. Each of these programs was funded will multi-year, multi-million dollar budgets over a 10 year period. To meet these new and unique program needs, UCSF Facilities Services began growing a new Building Infrastructure Unit to handle the larger, more complex projects. This allowed the facility managers to maintain the relationship with building stakeholders on smaller projects while also working as a liaison between the building stakeholders and Infrastructure and Utilities Services on the more complex infrastructure projects.

“Our facilities teams have struck the right balance to meet with department leaders, working on pathways to resolve concerns – both big and small – voiced by faculty, staff, and students,” Giacomi said.

To help the campus become more sustainable, UCSF Facilities Services worked with the University of California System and City and County of San Francisco to launch a “Zero Waste by 2020” campaign. The goal is to achieve zero waste (defined as 90 percent diversion from landfill) by the year 2020. UCSF’s current diversion rate is 78 percent, which is one of the highest rates in the UC system. Since 2013, UCSF has seen a reduction in its landfill garbage from 3,444 to 1,612 metric tons and it continues to decrease.

“We were one of the first, if not the first, UC campuses to create a recycling sorter position,” Giacomi said. The program has received more than $250,000 in grants to test different ideas to divert material from the landfill. This includes mobile-friendly technology that guides the university community on where to toss materials on campus. This has yielded 2,648 metric tons of recycling material and 2,746 metric tons of compost material and the university’s diversion rate ranks in the top three of UC campuses.

“We’re very proud of our efforts to manage our facilities and reduce our waste on campus and these Facility Maintenance Achievement Awards are a testament to the hard work of our staff on these two issues,” Giacomi said. Representatives from UCSF Facilities Services will receive these awards and participate in a winner’s panel session at the National Facilities Management & Technology Conference/Exposition in November.