Building Operations, a branch of the Facilities Operations and Maintenance Division, consists of three main areas of support to university operations:
This team provides around-the-clock monitoring of Building Automation Systems (BAS) and BAS alarms on campus from a centralized Operations Center. The Operations Group controls and monitors the mechanical systems for temperature control and energy management. Managing the environmental conditions in buildings is critical in spaces such as museums, computer rooms, libraries, and laboratories. Managing the operation of buildings helps the university by:
Facilities monitoring allows us to respond quickly to building systems not operating properly, and to limit building downtime and disruptions to occupants.
CARS was developed to safeguard the research that supports our university's mission. This high-priority alert system monitors and controls equipment critical to researchers. When a CARS alarm is activated, our staff receives, evaluates, and coordinates a timely response and resolution to the operational issue. Alerting equipment owners during this process ensures proper handling of valuable research to prevent potential loss.
Building Operations also serves as the after-hours call center for all campus maintenance issues. A campus as large and complex as The University of Texas at Austin can face facilities-related issues that must be addressed immediately. The operator on duty at the center dispatches trade-specialized first responders who are on call to address the situation, helping avoid extensive property damage and prevent building downtime.
The BAS Analysis and Programming team:
The Building Optimization Team (BOT) implements a technical process that improves how existing building equipment and systems function together (also known as “retro-commissioning”), which includes:
The Building Optimization Team (BOT), largely composed of senior-level technicians, works in conjunction with the Facilities Maintenance Engineering and Technical Support experts and Energy Stewards to restore buildings' heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to operate in accordance with their original design.
The BOT selects buildings in phases to undergo an energy audit and performance review. The team also makes low- or no-cost changes to the systems to improve energy efficiency and building performance.
Building optimization technicians use the latest technology to measure such media as air flow velocity, chilled water, steam, and hot water flow rates at various points in the building HVAC system. They use this information to determine whether HVAC systems are operating efficiently.
The BOT performs most work during regular business hours to avoid disrupting building occupants and activities. The team coordinates work with individual building managers through the Energy Resource Conservation branch of Facilities Maintenance.
The BOT documents all measurements and changes to the systems for use by the Facilities Maintenance Engineering and Technical Support group to estimate the total energy savings achieved by the optimization effort.