University of Ottawa
Enhancing the Student Experience with Improved Identification of High-Priority Capital Projects
SQUARE METERS OF CAMPUS BUILDINGS
REPLACEMENT VALUE OF BUILDINGS
ANNUAL MAINTENANCE, CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION BUDGET
The largest bilingual (English/French) university in the world, the University of Ottawa is a public research university in Ottawa, Ontario, that enrolls more than 35,000 undergraduate and 6,000 post-graduate students. The university owns and manages properties throughout the city, stretching its total extent to 105 acres. Facilities vary in age, from its first building built in 1893 to those built within the last few years.
The University of Ottawa is partially funded by the Province of Ontario, Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU). For transparency, it is necessary to demonstrate how the allocation of funding impacts the improvement of its Capital Renewal Program. But the university’s facility-auditing methods lacked key information, making it difficult to fully understand the condition of the assets and to fully justify the proper allocation of funds.
- Inability to deconstruct facility auditing methods into system-by-system components
- Renewal projects based on generalized information and not building-specific
- Inconsistent information across facility auditors
In order to meet reporting requirements for funding usage across universities, the Council of Ontario Universities mandates that all universities use VFA to track how funding received from the MTCU has a direct impact on each of the universities’ Facility Condition Index (FCI). VFA is designed to help organizations objectively model multi-year capital plans that optimize and align real-estate portfolio investments with their mission. Using VFA, the University of Ottawa improved its methodologies regarding the execution of building condition assessments for strategic portfolio management.
- System-by-system asset components for better identifying specific areas that need attention
- Standard rules implemented around entering facility information
- Ability to categorize projects into regular operating, maintenance renewal, and asset renewal
As a result of implementing VFA, the University of Ottawa was able report the campus-wide FCI to the Council of Ontario Universities and demonstrate that the funding received has positively impacted the Capital Renewal Program. The Facilities Department is focused on providing an environment that is safe to use and in good condition for the student experience, furthering the campus’s core value of putting students as the center of its educational mission. With VFA, the university can now better meet this goal by identifying where money needs to be spent to address highpriority projects, such as those focused on health and safety, legislative and code compliance, and eliminating detrimental equipment failure.
- Detailed understanding of the condition of facilities derived from better auditing methodologies
- Improved identification of highpriority projects in support of a university-wide mission
- Justified financial impact to the Provincial Facilities Capital Renewal Program
- Increased data cleanliness and accuracy