Sleep Better at Night with Campus Information Easily Accessible
A conversation with Byron Woods, Dean of Facilities at College of the Sequoias
We hope you’ll glean some useful nuggets about overseeing campus safety, signage, emergency preparation and remote troubleshooting from this Q&A interview which was conducted several months ago. We’ll be following up with Byron to see what’s currently happening on campus. Stay tuned for more.
David: How should facilities prepare for emergencies when building access is restricted?
Byron: Consider the conditions of the pandemic, and the workplace, and layouts. We have very minimal staff onsite. We have designated entrances and exits. I don’t believe that those arrangements or configurations of those spaces will impact our emergency response at all. If there’s an emergency, we’re going to go in through the exit door. You’re going to get to the emergency and mitigate it as quickly and as efficiently as you can.
David: What if something happens and you’re on the main campus or you’re at the beach, what do you do?
Byron: On weekends, we have one custodian working on the weekends and usually one district police officer, and that’s to cover three sites. So if I’m out of town and a police officer responds to a fire alarm on one of the campuses and he doesn’t know where the panel is at or how to turn it off, I can pull up the floor plan on my phone, click on my fire alarm panels and it’ll show me exactly where it’s at. I can see a picture of the panel itself. I can see where all the buttons are. I can pull up information on the instructions on how to operate the panel. And I can just text that information directly to the officer. So I do not physically have to be on-site to be able to communicate information about our equipment, how to shut things off, and it doesn’t have to be just a district police officer. It can be anybody.
David: How helpful is it to be able to have that new guy or the skeleton crew have access to information like filters or filter sizes or to know where all those shutoffs are?
Byron: That’s extremely important. Our number one concern is roof leaks. If we get rain, something is going to leak. It’s just a matter of how quickly you can find it and how quickly you can resolve the situation. To maintain healthy infrastructure systems, it’s important that we keep that equipment running and don’t let it sit stagnant.
David: What is the impact of reduced staff, how has that impacted you guys? Have you found that you’re able to do more PMs?
Byron: We’ve been getting caught up on quite a few maintenance projects, interior refresh models, tree trimming, concrete repairs, infrastructure upgrades, parking lot repairs.
David: What’s your college’s plans as far as moving students back into in person?
Byron: We’ve been focusing on PPE, signage. We’ve installed disinfecting wipe dispensers in every single classroom. We’re providing disinfecting services after every single face to face class session. We’re getting in there with electrostatic sprayers. We’re also working on installing plexiglass barriers inside of classrooms, separating the rows of students, as well as a barrier between the instructor at the front of the room and the students.
David: How are you controlling people going in and out of the doors?
Byron: We’ve created designated entrances and exits on buildings. Floor markers, directional signage, that’s all in place.
David: How is your team embracing technology?
Byron: We have about 45 in our department. We have five skilled maintenance workers that serve the 700,00 square feet across the three campuses that are 20 miles apart. The ARC Facilities app allows us to be everywhere at once. If they have a question, I’m able to pull up that information and communicate it to them immediately. You can literally see inside every single room from different angles to be able to document just what it looks like inside so that when we get a work order, I can pull up the picture in that room and say, oh, the ceiling tile is damaged. I can have notes on what type of ceiling tile it is, what type of flooring it is, what the paint colors are. It’s always going to be in there. And if it changes, I can just update that pin.
David: What are some other cool ways you’re using the app?
Byron: We’re able to use it to inventory hand sanitizer dispensers and disinfecting wipe dispensers. I use it for custodial to identify how many wall clocks we have and where they’re located because they’re responsible for changing the batteries at every time change. Sinks, toilets, urinals, that information becomes very useful when somebody asks you where these are located and how many do you have. It’s a nicely organized format for everyone to be able to access the same information.
David: What are some of the other things that you’re mapping out with the app right now?
Byron: We’ve gone in and created color coded layers for irrigation, sewers, and we’re dropping in manhole pins, shutoffs. If something is going to leak and you know where to turn it off, we know the zones. Hose bibs, where’s the nearest hose bib? How do you turn it off and what kind of key does it take? Those are all just little details that are right there. We don’t have to walk over there to do it. Just having that information easily accessible is priceless. When you have this information, you can sleep better at night knowing that you know where to find it.
Want to learn more about how facilities like the College of the Sequoias are able to sleep better at night knowing that all of their information is accessible at the click of a button. We invite you to follow us on Linkedin.