Our Vision

Facilities & Operations strives to provide superior stewardship of all university building and grounds assets on all of our campuses, cultivating the best possible environment for learning, teaching, and research—now and into the future.

In order to provide safe, operational and functional facilities for our university community, we strategically prioritize our maintenance and operating requirements using a risk-based approach, while proactively preparing for the future requirements of the institution.

Our guiding principles

As stewards of considerable building assets on five campuses, the University of Alberta must rely on evidence when making decisions regarding how its buildings are managed. Since renewal and repurposing is preferred over building new structures, planning, construction, and maintenance activities require a conscious and systemic means of targeting investments that result in the greatest value to the institution, without ever losing sight of the Institutional Strategic Plan, For the Public Good.

The following principles guide asset management decisions that will be made in the short and long term. They have been reviewed and supported by both General Faculties Council and Board of Governors. These five principles are intended to last a duration of at least the next decade.

  1. Student success, life experience, research, and scholarship
    • Campus spaces foster positive student learning and living experiences.
    • Building assets that positively contribute to teaching, research and service.
    • We endeavor to provide modern environments reflective of today's pedagogies.
    • Facilities are capable of supporting world-class research across multiple disciplines.
  2. Asset management
    • Buildings are continually evaluated to prioritize investments in capital (renewal, expansion, new construction); in maintenance (preventative, current and deferred); and obsolescence.
    • Recognizing the inherent uniqueness in an institution of higher learning, while maximizing system-wide functionality.
    • Social, economic and environmental sustainability is achieved by:
      • Incorporating inclusive design principles into campus infrastructure (e.g. all-gender, barrier-free, etc.)
      • Reducing operational costs.
      • Continually advancing the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic and social
    • Every building has a unique role and its strategic value in the institutional inventory is more than a mathematical computation.
  3. Campus character
    • Fostering the pedestrian experience is a priority on all campuses.
    • Campus buildings and grounds will be maintained in a way that considers the community in which is resides.
    • Considerations for removing building inventory will include a meaningful assessment of its historic value and placement in the university's architectural mosaic.
  4. Decision-making
    • Adhere to all government-mandated long-range development plans, sector plans and urban planning principles.
    • Spending must adhere to government-guided parameters:
      • "Lights on" (base) funding: the portion of the Campus Alberta Grant allocated to cover building operating costs (e.g. utilities, janitorial, maintenance, insurance, etc.)
      • Infrastructure Maintenance Program (IMP): a variable annual allocation intended to address deferred maintenance on base building systems.
      • Capital grants: funds received in order to advance a specific building project.
    • Decisions are evidence-based and supported by openly available data related to building occupancy, functionality, performance, environmental considerations, and deferred maintenance.
      • Supported by the CIP, we strive to have a "data-driven approach to maintaining, renovating, and repurposing existing spaces on campus."
      • In order to support modern learning environments, we need to have the ability to sustain building infrastructure.