All in a [Few] Day's Work

When campus leadership decided it wanted to see an iconic image on a cornerstone of UCI's energy infrastructure - and wanted it done on short notice - Facilities Management working with Strategic Communications kicked into high gear to make it happen. The result? For the first time since the water tower was installed across from the Bren Events Center in 1997, it boasts artwork: a 58-foot-wide version of the campus mascot, Peter the Anteater.

With only weeks to complete the high-priority project, FM contracted with painter Paul Borne of Murrietta and took extra steps to provide him with the access needed to complete the job while ensuring the safety of the painter - and the tank.

For years, the water tower - painted a dull beige - has by design existed in relative obscurity. Part of the campus's Central Plant, it is actually a chilled water tank - an important part of the campus energy infrastructure that is used as a thermal storage device. The tank holds 4.5 million gallons of water that is chilled to 39 degrees Fahrenheit and pumped throughout campus in a closed-loop circulation system to cool campus buildings, thereby reducing the amount of electricity that would otherwise be used for air conditioning.

Check out "Peter's provenance," and the brief, time-lapse video below:

Save Water. Save Our State.

With the ongoing drought in California, Facilities Management has taken a number of steps to reduce potable water consumption in order to conserve water usage. As a campus, we have reduced potable water consumption per weighted campus user compared to a baseline average from 2005-2008 by almost 33 percent. Our goal is to achieve a 36 percent reduction by 2025. We are currently on track to meet this goal and believe that it can be met if everyone does their part to reduce water usage.

To date, nearly 80 million gallons of water are being saved annually, with the completion of projects such as plumbing retrofits, conversion of turf areas to drought-tolerant plantings, and a variety of water reduction projects in laboratories.

In addition to our reduction in potable water use, we have reduced recycled water use by 45 percent compared to baseline years, exceeding our goal of a 30 percent reduction.

Campuswide Commingled Recycling Bin Rollout

You may have noticed that the blue recycling container that sits next to the trashcan in your office is now doing double-duty. Over the summer, Facilities Management added new signage to 8,000 of these blue bins to demonstrate their utility as repositories for "commingled" waste. This change makes recycling easier for everyone who works in an office. You can now recycle "clean and dry" paper, glass, plastics and metal in your blue deskside recycle bins. Anything with food or liquid residue should go into the black waste bin.

This change will help UCI move closer to achieving the University of California's systemwide goal of sending no materials to the landfill by 2020. For the purpose of measuring compliance with UC's "Zero Waste" goal, campuses need to meet or exceed 95 percent diversion of municipal solid waste. UCI currently leads the UC system with an 81 percent diversion rate.

In the next "Working for You," we'll explain what happens to commingled waste when it leaves your office.

Central Plant Home to First-of-a-Kind Project

UCI's Advanced Power and Energy Program and Southern California Gas Company in collaboration with Proton OnSite recently announced their collaboration on a first-of-its-kind project in the U.S. This Power-to-Gas (P2G) project utilizes a Proton OnSite electrolyzer to convert excess solar power generated by UCI solar PV systems into renewable hydrogen, which is then blended with natural gas and fed to the campus's combined cycle power plant where it is used to produce carbon-free heat and electricity.

The project involves direct collaboration among UCI Central Plant personnel, professors, students, and research staff, and will allow the team to conduct more extensive research into the opportunities to use P2G as a storage medium for the power derived from the increased use of solar and wind power in utility grid networks throughout the world.

Submit a Facilities Management Request By:

  • Calling our customer service representatives at the Service Desk at (949) 824-5444 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or
  • Submitting an online request to the Facilities Management Services Portal (UCInetID is required) at
  • Calling the Service Desk at (949) 824-5444 or Central Plant at (949) 824-5520 for an after-hours emergency

The Facilities Management Maintenance Funding Guide can help answer questions regarding services we provide. This list differentiates between services that are centrally funded (paid for by state funds) for state-supported space and those services that are charged to the requesting unit. This list also provides a prioritization of services to help assist you in managing expectations for the work we provide. The Guide can be found at