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FM preps for fall

Teams supporting plans for a return to Grounds

FM employee taping a cardboard box shut
Locksmith Senior Scott Johnson assembles a box of the components for a hands-free door pull.

Facilities Management teams are collaborating to support extra safety precautions in preparation for staff, faculty and students returning to Grounds.

In conjunction with University leadership, staff members have been meeting regularly to develop plans for multiple precautionary measures that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include encouraging social distancing, the use of face coverings and enhanced personal hygiene; along with close monitoring of any changes to industry recommendations related to HVAC systems and cleaning protocols.

Limiting the spread of germs

Hands-free door pulls will soon be installed on the doors of some restrooms across Grounds, allowing for the opening of doors using a foot only, minimizing the spread of germs.

Facilities Management staff determined the best locations for the door pulls in academic, housing and UVA Health buildings on the doors of restrooms that were identified as “public” or general use, with the possibility of additional door pulls to be added in other areas, such as on classroom doors.

In order to minimize expenses, the door pulls were fabricated and assembled completely in-house with the help of multiple Facilities Management teams and UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Sebring Smith, who cut down sheets of stainless steel to the proper size using a waterjet.

A hands-free door pull being opened by foot
Hands-free door pulls Hands-free door pulls will soon be installed on the doors of some restrooms across Grounds, allowing for the opening of doors using a foot only.

For the first round of door pulls, Lock Shop Locksmith Senior Scott Johnson bent the steel into shape himself and then boxed up all of the components including the necessary hardware, an install template created by Sheet Metal Supervisor Mike Clements and instructional stickers designed by Technology & Innovation Multimedia Designer Avery Wagner. FM’s 10 maintenance zones will be the primary installers of the door pulls.

Another collaborative project includes the purchase, assembly, installation and maintenance of more than 2,600 free-standing hand sanitizer stations, that will be installed in locations identified by the Geospatial Engineering Services team as high-traffic common areas within building across Grounds.

The Logistics team received 16 pallets of the unassembled hand sanitizer stations, which were assembled and installed into buildings by FM’s Academic Maintenance Zone teams. E&G Custodial Services will then install and replenish the hand sanitizer solution as needed.

Supporting social distancing

Two boxes of face coverings
The Logistics team is assisting with University-wide efforts to provide face coverings for all Academic staff. Photo by Dan Addison / University Communications.

The Sign Shop and the User Experience & Engagement team worked together to create a COVID-19 product catalog, including pre-designed signs communicating messages about social distancing and hygiene as well as acrylic protection shields for spaces such as lobbies and reception areas. FM will be collaborating with UVA departments to determine the best placement and design of COVID-19 safety signage needs in all academic buildings.

In order to support social distancing along McCormick Road, Facilities Management will discontinue use of its vehicles along the roadway unless addressing business within the immediate vicinity. This change will allow for the roadway to be used primarily by pedestrians ensuring proper social distancing measures may be followed by students, staff and faculty.

Additional efforts

Multiple efforts to prepare for fall are ongoing including monitoring of industry best practices surrounding cleaning and disinfecting buildings and HVAC systems and standards, as well as the development of frequently asked questions surrounding both topics for UVA staff.

A UVA HVAC Standing Task Force comprised of registered professional engineers, a certified industrial hygienist and building code officials have developed a list of frequently asked questions concerning building HVAC systems for non-healthcare facilities at UVA and continue to monitor any changes in industry recommendations for managing these systems in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Logistics team continues to assist with University-wide efforts to provide face coverings for all Academic staff as well as welcome bag kits for students containing face coverings, hand sanitizer and related items.

About the author

Jane Centofante
Communications senior generalist
UVA Facilities Management
(434) 982-5846