Compliance, Administration, and Space Planning; Simplified
The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester, England, provides inspiring courses in art, design, architecture, media and communication. Formed through the union of The Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University College and the Kent Institute of Art & Design, it has a distinguished heritage spanning 150 years. With approximately 6,500 students enrolled in more than 80 different courses, the University is one of the UK’s leading institutions of specialised art and design education.
With the recent integration of the various schools under the UCA umbrella came the challenge of replacing disparate facilities management systems at the five campuses, scattered across southern England, with a single, centralized platform. That platform would ideally co-ordinate all aspects of facilities management for the school’s 30 buildings comprising over 61,000 square meters (approximately 610,000 square feet) of classroom and other space.
“We needed to identify ways we could streamline processes, improve space utilization, and manage costs,” says Keith Hooper, UCA’s Estates Systems Coordinator. “We especially wanted to automate government-mandated Estates Management Statistics (EMS) reporting for benchmarking facilities management cost-efficiency in higher education.”
With ARCHIBUS Space Management, in use since 1995 at one of UCA’s original component campuses, extending its use to all five campuses was deemed an expedient way to fine-tune campus-wide operations with a proven software solution. It is also the first of many ARCHIBUS applications that will be added to manage an even broader array of facilities management activities in the years to come.
Versatile Reporting, Seamless AutoCAD Integration
From a space management standpoint, the value of ARCHIBUS to UCA is realized on a number of levels, notes Hooper. The solution has, for example, enabled his department to create a centralized, accurate, real-time repository for all of the University’s space data from its multiple locations.
“This allows us to not only understand how efficiently space is being used, it also supports our space modeling,” says Hooper. “That modeling capability helps us to allocate space appropriately for administrative, academic, and accommodation needs, ensuring an effective organization and a cost-effective operation.”
The requirement for Estates Management Statistics reporting also means that ARCHIBUS is saving UCA time and money by being able to instantly generate precise space usage reports so that education authorities can quickly compare and benchmark facilities of similar size to identify best practices that can be shared with other institutions.
Other reporting capabilities provided via ARCHIBUS enable UCA to generate ad hoc office and departmental space reporting. In addition, the application makes possible sophisticated space analysis using drill-down features that provide more detailed reporting and identify opportunities for improved space allocation.
“We like the user interface, too, which is simple, basic, and straight-forward,” Hooper notes. “Another important feature is the process-based navigation in ARCHIBUS that makes it much easier for novice users to negotiate and for experienced users to navigate through the domains.”
“One of the other key reasons we chose ARCHIBUS,” Hooper points out, “is the seamless link between AutoCAD drawing files and the ARCHIBUS database. That helps us save time, eliminate duplication of effort, and improve space inventory accuracy.”
Measured Approach to Expanding Functionality
By 2011, the UCA will be the leading university for the creative arts in the UK, serving the needs of the creative industries in the country’s southeast region. It will also play a leading role internationally in championing the development of higher education in the arts, enhancing its academic standing and the reputation of its students.
But it’s not just UCA’s prestige that is rising. Large-scale building plans are in place for the Epsom Campus, where new academic facilities are planned to maximize the use of free space and open greater opportunities for growth. In addition, changes at UCA’s Kent location will result in a super-campus combining three separate sites into one.
An institution of that stature and scale, however, needs a facilities management infrastructure to match. Keith Hooper has every intention of expanding the University’s ARCHIBUS capabilities to support its aesthetic, operational, and financial goals.
“We know we’ve already achieved substantial savings with ARCHIBUS from improved productivity, greater space data accuracy, and reduced duplication of effort and data,” says Hooper.
“In order to fully integrate all of the University’s ERP systems,” Hooper says, “we hope to create a comprehensive solution that includes Building Operations Management, environmental management, and a multi-user Web-enabled interface accessible at all five locations. This is something we expect to accomplish over the next few years to assist the University in further streamlining processes, fully optimizing space and assets, and better controlling costs.”