Values at Work Series

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    Stewardship in the Face of the Storm
    (2021) Illanes, Laura
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    Arbor Assets: The ROI of Campus Urban Forests
    (2018-11-01) Illanes, Laura; Lentz, Laurie
    The University of Texas at Austin’s extensive grounds are home to a vast array of tree canopies lumbering across the campus’ urban landscape, along with a variety of flora native to the sunny skies of the Southwest. From the towering branches of the massive Battle Oaks to the fruit-bearing orchard adjacent to Waller Creek, these trees bring a multitude of benefits to everyone in the university community. Yet when UT Austin’s arborists discuss the benefits stemming from our urban forest, their conversations sound almost more like something that would take place in a classroom for the McCombs School of Business. Terms like return on investment (“ROI”), “valuation,” “asset appreciation” and “green infrastructure” can be heard from the Landscape Services conference room in the Facilities Complex. That’s because the conversation among professional arborists at universities has evolved as urban forestry programs have evolved.
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    From the Class Room to the Mechanical Room: How Architectural Engineering Students Benefit from a Partnership Between the University’s Faculty and Facilities Engineers
    (2017-05) Illanes, Laura
    When it comes to teaching architectural engineering students how to design and understand the large and highly technical building systems in institutions, professors often look for opportunities for their students to see the systems where they come “alive” in order to better comprehend how they work. A facility must function well to serve its purpose to its occupants. Like a breathing organism, the electrical, mechanical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems pulsing throughout the facility must remain operational. If the systems go down, the facility cannot support its purpose. One of the best ways to help teach this is the definitive “show and tell” where the class room is replaced with the mechanical room. This is the story of how a professor at The University of Texas at Austin helped make abstract concepts concrete in a partnership with the facilities professionals responsible for the university’s building operations. Twice a semester, she takes her students to a tour of two buildings: one that is newer and one that is older in order to compare and contrast the facilities in operation. How does our story begin? How do the tours impact the students?
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    Facilities Techs Test-Drive Building Automation Simulators
    (2015-09) Illanes, Laura
    The advent of direct digital controls (DDC) has propelled the technology, capability, and complexity of building operations forward over the last 15 years. The combination of DDC and intelligent operating systems combine to create a Building Automation System (BAS). A BAS centralizes the control of a building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, and other systems. “Intelligent” buildings improve occupant comfort, provide efficient operation of the building systems, and reduce energy consumption and operating costs. However, they are much more complicated and technical than earlier control systems and require a new generation of employees who are computer literate and technically savvy to maintain and operate them.
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    The Battle Oaks: Preserving a Living Legend
    (2015-11) Illanes, Laura
    The Battle Oaks are among The University of Texas at Austin’s oldest living trees on campus at upwards of 250-300 years old. These three Texas live oaks graced the grounds of the original Forty Acres when the university opened in September 1883.
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    Building a Legacy: One Piece at a Time - The Overview
    (2015-12) Illanes, Laura
    This article provides an overview of The University of Texas at Austin’s journey to build and implement a world-class strategy for its comprehensive preventive maintenance program that will move the program forward well into the future. Subsequent articles will follow to provide a more detailed look at the implementation of this major initiative.
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    Explore UT: Collaboration Helped Build Discovery for Texas Kids
    (2016-03) Illanes, Laura
    On March 5, 2016, around 465 school buses filled with more than 19,000 school-aged children from all over Texas descended upon The University of Texas at Austin to attend Explore UT. For some, it was the first time they had ever seen a college campus, let alone one of this magnitude. There was so much to see and discover! This excitement is what motivated the Facilities Services (FS) and Project Management & Construction Services (PMCS) staff at the university as they prepared and provided services for the 17th year of Explore UT.