Facilities management is often asked who is responsible for building and equipment maintenance and repair. Two factors apply: University funding, and national standards for universities and colleges.
Here's a brief overview of funded and non-funded services, and what's considered routine and preventive building and equipment maintenance.
Facilities management is funded for general fund facilities (i.e., a permanent facility of the main campus that houses academic or administrative functions and is supported by the University's General Fund).
Here is an explanation of what is covered by facilities and what is covered by departments:
The general rule of thumb used to determine who pays for services:
Does the equipment or work fall under facilities management funding to maintain components of general fund facilities that could be used by any academic or administrative department, if the building were to change hands?
If the equipment or work does not meet this test, then it is the department's responsibility to pay for it.
Some facilities and equipment within general fund buildings are excluded from facilities management funding. Here's an easy way to identify the exclusions:
Visualize a common classroom or office building devoid of furniture, office machines, laboratories, people, programs, computers, and similar features. Anything added to the space is outside the funded responsibility of facilities management.
National Standard for Universities and Colleges
The APPA publication, A Classification of Accounts for Physical Plant, serves as the national basis for determining the physical plant funding responsibility.
However, institutions do vary from this standard. For example, research facilities
differ on each campus and historical agreements may take precedence. However, each
institution can apply the general principles to its unique circumstances.
Here is an excerpt from A Classification of Accounts for Physical Plant outlining what building and equipment maintenance items are considered routine and preventive.
- Building and Equipment Maintenance
- Building maintenance includes all items related to routine repair of buildings, structures, and appurtenances, including normally recurring repairs and preventive maintenance. The following are included:
- 2.1 Interior and exterior of buildings:
- 2.1.1 Plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and ventilation
- 2.1.2 Electrical repairs of all types including primary and secondary systems, certain lamp replacements, and maintenance of outdoor lighting fixtures
- 2.1.3 Carpentry
- 2.1.4 Maintenance painting and glazing
- 2.1.5 Hardware, locks, keys, closers, etc.
- 2.1.6 Roofing and sheet metal work
- 2.1.7 Welding and necessary machine work
- 2.1.8 Elevators and similar equipment
- 2.1.9 Miscellaneous building repairs
- 2.2 General purpose fixed classroom furniture and equipment within buildings but not inventoried to a department
- 2.3 Utility distribution systems inside building - electrical, heating, process steam, water lines, gas lines, and sewer lines
- 2.4 Operating and replacement costs of all equipment, materials and tools used in building maintenance
- Building maintenance also may provide services on a reimbursable basis to other accounts. Examples of these are auxiliary enterprises, alterations and improvements, new construction, experimental and special teaching support facilities, and departmental inventoried equipment.