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Engineering & Technical Support

ETS Partnering with UT Students
Read our article on How Architectural Engineering Students Benefit from a Partnership Between UT Faculty and Facilities Engineers (PDF). Learn how Facilities Services engineers have an impact on UT Austin students who are the future designers of institutional buildings.

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This article is also part of our: Values at Work Series

Engineering and Technical Support (ETS) is a branch of the Facilities Operations and Maintenance Division. This team consists of technical experts in several areas with credentials including Professional Engineer (PE), Qualified Commissioning Process Provider (QCP), and Certified Energy Manager (CEM). This branch provides seven main areas of support to university operations:

  • Engineering Support
  • Arc Flash Analysis Program
  • Maintenance Operations Support
  • Warranty and Commissioning
  • Contracted Maintenance Management
  • Refrigerant Monitoring Program

Engineering Support

ETS provides technical advice from engineers experienced in building automation systems (BAS), electrical systems, and heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) systems by:

  • Reviewing major systems, including HVACR, for efficient operation
  • Providing technical expertise on systems solutions, repairs, and replacements
  • Identifying scope of projects
  • Reviewing capital project documents, including electrical, mechanical, and controls
  • Ensuring compliance with university standards
  • Performing Building Automation Systems (BAS) digital upgrades, including prioritizing which buildings to upgrade and overseeing design, bid, construction and testing

Arc Flash Analysis Program

This team is led by an experienced electrical engineer, who provides standards compliance and guidelines for working safely on electrical systems at the university. The program:

  • Performs arc flash analysis and identifies the proper safety precautions
  • Identifies the federal and industry standards that govern compliance and safety guidelines required at UT
  • Defines roles and responsibilities at the university for proper Arc Flash compliance
  • Arc Flash Analysis Flow Chart – Provides guidance on when and where arc flash analysis is required for projects at UT
  • Arc Flash Analysis Equipment Labels – calculated by arc flash engineer to provide proper arc flash precautions for identified equipment

For more detailed information, visit our Arc Flash Analysis Program page

Maintenance Operations Support

ETS provides support throughout our zone maintenance program. Our field supervisors and technicians can consult this group, and vice versa.

Supervisor and EngineerZone 1 Supervisor (left) consults with Engineer Green House Mi2Fume hoods, greenhouses, building automation controls, and budget modeling are all part of MI2

Maintenance support works through collaboration and has many benefits, including providing opportunities for technicians to increase knowledge; improving effective identification and diagnosis of issues; allowing a long-term, sustainable, and customer-focused approach; and avoiding unresolved issues and improper or “patch” repairs.

ETS staff also supports Maintenance Operations with: incorporating engineering standards; developing processes; developing preventative maintenance instructions; troubleshooting issues beyond the systemic level; providing technical support for fire-life-safety equipment; and using engineering principles in evidence-based diagnosis.

In addition, ETS provides technical support to the Maintenance Improvement Initiative (MI2), which is focused on identifying cost of ownership, service level, and enhanced maintenance instructions.

ETS helps Maintenance Operations with equipment inventory and preventive maintenance (PM) instructions. (Each piece of equipment has a unique ID that allows efficient tracking for scheduling PM, which in turn serves to preserve or extend the life or investment in the equipment.)

  • New buildings - Set up an accurate equipment inventory and provide PM instructions. When the Belo Center for New Media was commissioned, our specialist catalogued 3,500 separate pieces of equipment for the building, and provided the respective PM instructions for each.
  • Existing buildings - Collaborate with Maintenance Operations to ensure accurate equipment inventories and corresponding PM instructions.

Warranty & Commissioning

The Office of Facilities Planning and Construction (OFPC) and Project Management and Construction Services (PMCS) are responsible for the development and construction or renovation of large-to medium-scale facilities at the university. The Engineering and Technical Support (ETS) team supports these efforts in several ways, including warranty and commissioning support and managing the identification of our equipment.

Warranty

Proactive warranty servicing avoids unnecessary repair costs and time and engages and builds customer satisfaction. Our warranty specialist provides support to the OFPC by:

Belo Center for New Media, BMCWatchful warranty servicing protects the university’s investments, such as the Belo Center for New Media (BMC).

  • Tracking when buildings enter their warranty period
  • Coordinating with our zone maintenance shops to identify issues
  • Logging any issues that occur on warrantied buildings and creating a work order to get the issue addressed
  • Tracking and identifying work orders that should be warranty work
  • Tracking the resolution of warranty issues and their completion date
  • Getting confirmation from zone shops that the warranty work was completed
  • Attending warranty meetings and warranty walkthroughs
  • Covering one-year warranties on OFPC-level projects. (Smaller projects are handled by PMCS)

Warranty Word Order Standard Operating Procedures and Contact Information Forms:

Commissioning

Commissioning SpecialistsCommissioning specialist does a walk-through inspection of the Norman Hackerman Building.

Our commissioning specialists keep an eye on new construction on campus, helping to avoid future issues in new facilities and increase customer satisfaction with the final product.

How do we know if new building systems are working right and meet expected needs, standards, and specifications ? This is where our team comes in. Their support includes:

  • Helping to develop the scope of commissioning
  • Participating in the external commissioning process
  • Witnessing integrated functional testing
  • Obtaining closeout documentation

Equipment Identification Process

The Equipment Identification (EQ ID) Process provides a comprehensive maintenance service to our campus and is critical to our organization's purpose. As buildings and projects are completed, it is important that FOM knows the information listed below so that we can provide timely service to the building occupants.

  • Equipment being installed with critical equipment information
  • Location of equipment
  • Manufacturer's information and manuals

The documents below describe the process for PMCS, OFPC, and their contractors to provide FOM information about equipment installed during projects. This information includes description, specifications, manufacturer, and location of each piece of equipment. From this information, an asset label is applied to the equipment for tracking and identification. Following substantial completion, we can begin regular preventive maintenance and support to the building's purpose through regular service to the equipment.

OFPC Projects - Click and download the following documents:

PMCS Projects - Click and download the following documents:

Contracted Maintenance Management

Facilities Maintenance and Operations takes pride in providing a high level of technical expertise and training for our technicians. However, certain maintenance requires the use of highly specialized equipment or expertise that is not efficient for us to provide. For those instances, ETS negotiates the contracts that provide these services on campus. Examples include routine and emergency maintenance for autoclaves, automatic doors, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, grease traps, cranes and hoists, the carillon, water treatment, chillers, toxic gas monitoring systems, and bleacher systems.

ETS is responsible for managing the contracts and all related costs, including:

  • Standing time and materials contracts to support small projects
  • Service agreements for critical operations, such as data centers
  • Safety inspections and code compliance

For more information, contact Wayne King.

Refrigerant Monitoring Program

ETS oversees refrigerant monitoring to ensure Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance for handling refrigerant. Many of our technicians have achieved Universal Certification from the EPA—its highest level, achieved by passing all three levels of refrigerant monitoring tests offered.

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