UT Dallas Policy Navigator :: Building Maintenance and Operations :: UTDBP3076 (v1)

Building Maintenance and Operations - UTDBP3076

Policy Statement

Purpose and Scope

The Physical Plant is responsible for maintaining all University facilities in good repair and operating condition and providing minor modification support capabilities. Such repairs and modifications must comply with state and federal building codes, including the requirements of the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, and consider the safety of the occupants, security of University property, economy of operation, and conservation of energy. For these reasons, it may not be feasible to repair or modify buildings (or their associated systems and components) exactly the way an individual has requested.

Building maintenance and operations generally fall into the category of institutional services; therefore, work requests involving building systems or components normally receive a higher priority than departmental requests.

Minor Building Maintenance

Problems involving institutional services (see "Institutional Services," this section) may be reported via the Work Request form (see Exhibit G2). If the problem is serious enough to warrant emergency action, phone the Work Control Supervisor (Ext. 2177). A statement of facts, including location of the problem, nature and seriousness should be included in the report.

Repair of Furniture and Furnishings

Institutional furniture and furnishings will be repaired, refinished, and otherwise maintained by the Physical Plant as funding permits. This includes any furniture and furnishings not assigned to individual departments which are intended for the common use by all personnel, such as classroom desks and chairs, and hallway lounges.

Departmental furniture and furnishings include any such items assigned to space within an allotted departmental area which are used exclusively by a department. This includes, but is not limited to, desks, chairs, bookcases and file cabinets. Repair, refinishing and other maintenance of such furniture and furnishings will be at the appropriate department’s expense.

All requests for the repair of furniture and furnishings, whether institutional or departmental, should be directed to the Work Control Supervisor via the Work Request form (see Exhibit G2) using the proper procedure as outlined in "Request for Services," this section.

Repair of Permanent Furnishings

The repair, replacement, refinishing, alteration and other maintenance to all furnishings permanently attached to buildings and other institutional equipment is the responsibility of the Physical Plant and related expenses will be borne by the Physical Plant.

Work Request forms for the maintenance, repair or refinishing of such furnishings should be directed to the Physical Plant in accordance with the procedure "Request for Services," this section.


Elevators represent a considerable capital investment, the total amount of which is dependent upon the classes of service provided and number of floors served. Generally this figure is between $100,000 and $150,000 per elevator installation.

Since all campus elevators are maintained as an institutional service (see "Institutional Services," this section), the Physical Plant is responsible for their maintenance and repair and is concerned primarily with two (2) important criteria:

  1. Making each elevator serve in its most useful capacity and meet all code requirements, and
  2. Limiting repair and maintenance expenditures to an amount consistent with providing safe, appropriate service. The safety with which elevators operate is of paramount importance and concern. For this reason, the Physical Plant provides service contracts for the maintenance of elevators.

It is important that faculty, staff, students and visitors be permitted to use elevators at any time. Through automation, elevator operation has become an accepted responsibility of the persons using them and all UTD elevators are designed for automated operation.

Safety alarm devices incorporated into the elevator design take into account all foreseeable hazards; however, in the event of a malfunction, a telephone has been installed in each elevator. This phone is linked to the UTD Police Dispatcher who will dispatch personnel to the malfunctioning elevator. Instructions regarding what to do in the case of a power failure or mechanical difficulty are posted in each elevator car. Any operational problems with university elevators should be promptly reported to the Work Control Supervisor at Extension 2177.


Issuance of Keys

All keys to buildings, rooms and other institutional facilities are and must remain the permanent property of UTD and may be obtained only through the Physical Plant. Keys to laboratory and departmental equipment/furnishings are maintained and issued by individual departments.

The Key Request form (see Exhibit G5) is used to obtain authorization for the issuance of institutional keys to personnel and is initiated by the requesting department. Guidelines for issuance of keys are as follows:

  1. Only Staff and Faculty members may be issued University keys and will be limited to two (2) keys for each area that they control unless written approval from the appropriate Dean and/or Senior Vice President for Administration is obtained.

  2. Students, lecturers and contractors will not be issued keys without written approval from the appropriate Dean or Program Head, if applicable. will assist the Physical Plant in collection of keys not turned in who leave or graduate by placing a hold on the student's record so grades/transcripts cannot be released.)

  3. Key Requests will not be honored unless the Department Head's name "Delegation of Signature Authority" list along with the proper account number. Names of individuals who have been given signature authority for a department head must also be on the signature authority list.

  4. All keys must be picked up at the Physical Plant Key Shop by the Requestor. Proper identification must be provided and a key control card must be signed.

    Special arrangements may be made for disabled persons who are unable to travel to the Physical Plant to pick up keys.

  5. Keys may not be borrowed by anyone. Each key issued is intended for use only by the individual to whom it was issued.

  6. Under no circumstances may a key be duplicated.

  7. Keys may be returned at any time, but all keys must be returned upon an employee's termination. The University Check-out Procedure shall be considered as the method of returning keys at termination. Keys returned will be matched with the key control card. Unauthorized keys will not be honored and will be confiscated.

  8. The designated holder of key(s) is responsible for their security and care. All lost or found keys should be reported immediately to the Physical Plant and the Police Department.

  9. A $3.00 minimum fee will be charged to the responsible department budget for each key issued or reissued and shall include the replacement of broken keys.

  10. There is a $10.00 minimum charged for each lost key and this money cannot be paid with University Funds.

  11. Grand Master, Building Master and Building Entrance Keys are not normally issued to faculty or staff personnel since campus buildings are accessible at all times. However, if it is felt a need exists to have such keys, a Key Request form should be properly completed by the requesting department and forwarded to the Physical Plant. (NOTE: Approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration is required for issuance of Grand Master, Building Master and Building Entrance Keys.)


The Physical Plant will select 20 key carrying employees at random for audit purposes each year. A Physical Plant Key Audit form will be submitted to the responsible Department Head who will perform the audit and return the completed form to the Physical Plant.


Proper lighting is particularly important in an educational institution due to the amount and variety of studying, research work and other activities.

If faulty lighting is detected which affects the work or study habits of UTD personnel, it should be reported to the Work Control Supervisor (Ext. 2177) immediately. Areas which would be affected include classrooms, offices and auditoriums.

If faulty lighting does not directly affect the work or study habits of UTD personnel, a properly completed Work Request form (see Exhibit G2) should be forwarded to the Work Control Supervisor. The problem will be scheduled and repaired based upon the priority it receives in relation to other requested jobs.

There are three types of lighting within UTD buildings, each with its own purpose and characteristics:

  • Incandescent - This light bulb variety is normally used in small areas or where even lighting is not required, such as in a tool shed or storage area.

  • Fluorescent - This lighting is the primary type of lighting employed in UTD buildings. It provides excellent even-lighting capacity in hallways, classrooms and the majority of offices. A faulty fluorescent light can be detected by the intermittent flashing of the light tube or a long dark area in a bank of lights.

  • Mercury Vapor, Metal Halide, Low Pressure Sodium - These types of lighting are used primarily in large open areas because of their economical operation while providing even lighting.


Personnel requesting locks to be changed must submit a Work Request form in conjunction with a Key Request. A minimum fee of $35.00 will be charged for each lock changed. However, the Physical Plant will not charge for any lock repairs. Any building modifications which require new locks or changes will require a Key Request and should be submitted with original Work Request.


Painting schedules are prepared in consideration of several factors, such as wear and tear, appearance and area utilization. Present resources allow for the repainting of interior areas every four (4) to six (6) years.

Generally, a uniform color scheme must be continued throughout any particular building and all repainting will be done in the original color unless the requestor has received prior approval to change colors from the Physical Plant. One accent colored wall is permitted.

Requests for inspection to determine if repainting is required should be via the Work Request form (see Exhibit G2). Procedures for completing this form are provided in the sub-topic "Request for Services," this section.

Pest Control

Pest control services are provided by a contracted extermination service which treats building entrances and other public areas on a monthly basis. Office and laboratories are treated only when a pest control problem arises and has been reported to the Physical Plant.

Insect or rodent problems should be reported by phone (Ext. 2177) to the Work Control Supervisor, who will contact the contracted service.


As a matter of general policy, individuals may not walk, climb or pass onto any campus building roof without the written permission of the Physical Plant.

In most cases, roofs of UTD buildings are not built to support additional weight nor intended to be walked or climbed upon. The damage from such activities can result in extensive repairs requiring great expense. A built-up roof can be damaged from simply supporting a camera tripod. While it is possible to access some roofs by climbing through a window, over a parapet wall or by passing through an unlocked door, this does not imply that passage onto the roof is authorized.

In a few instances, roofs have been designed to permit a limited amount of activity within selected areas for research or investigative purposes. Such activities must be confined to only those roof areas which have special wearing courses.

Where authorized research or other investigative work is scheduled to be conducted from roof areas, the Physical Plant will provide access keys to those persons engaged in the work.

Since installations on or through roofs are inherently dangerous to both the party performing the installation and the building occupants, written authorization must be obtained from the Physical Plant before any work may begin. Permission will be given only if it can be established that: 1) no damage will be done to the roof, and 2) the installation poses no hazard to the building or its occupants.

Safe and Vault Combinations

Combinations to all UTD safes and vaults are filed under seal with the Senior Vice President for Administration. If there is a requirement to change or set a combination, the appropriate vendor should be contacted to perform this work. The Senior Vice President for Administration should also be notified of any changes. Only those persons charged with the responsibility for a particular safe or vault may have the combination changed or set.


There are many types of signs, each designed to provide a specific departmental or institutional service, and their use must be controlled for the purposes of economy, appearance and safety. Title V: Rules on Student Services and Activities provides comprehensive instructions with regard to who may display signs and where they may be posted. A copy of these regulations is available in the Office of Student Services. Responsibility for the maintenance, updating and other care of signs lies with the Physical Plant if the sign serves the University as a whole; responsibility lies with the department if the sign serves a departmental function. General classifications of signs used at UTD include:

  1. Building Directories - These signs provide individuals with a directory of University personnel and organizational locations within a building or portion of a building in which the sign is located.

    If the directory’s purpose is to serve an entire building, responsibility for its maintenance (not updating) lies with the Physical Plant. Any requests for maintenance for the building directory should be made to the Work Control Supervisor via a Work Request form (see Exhibit G2), using the procedure outlined under "Request for Services," this section.

    If the directory provides information for only part of a building, the principal department occupying that area is responsible for changes and maintenance. Any maintenance services provided by the Physical Plant will be treated as departmental requests with the responsible department being charged for the services.

  2. Bulletin Boards - Bulletin boards serving the general University population will be maintained by the Physical Plant. Those serving departmental needs will be maintained by the appropriate department.

    When a request is made via the Work Request form (see Exhibit G2), using the procedure outlined under "Request for Services," this section, the Physical Plant will fabricate and install bulletin boards at the expense of the requesting department. Bulletin boards must be placed so they do not interfere with normal building or campus operations and they should be attractive in appearance. If lighting for a bulletin board is required, it must be installed by Physical Plant electricians. Makeshift lighting may not be in accordance with local electrical codes and create a safety hazard.

    Use of bulletin boards by students, faculty and staff is governed by Title V: Rules on Student Services and Activities, a copy of which is available in the Office of Student Services.

  3. Directional Signs - Directional signs, which are designed to temporarily supplement building directories and guide people to specific campus locations, must have the approval of the chief administrative officer of the principal department occupying the building or campus location in which the sign is to be placed with regard to size, arrangement and location. Temporary signs will be fabricated and maintained as a departmental service (see "Departmental Services," this section).

    Permanent directional signs, such as building and functional location signs (campus graphics), are the responsibility of the Physical Plant and will be maintained as an institutional service (see "Institutional Services," this section).

  4. Building Evacuation Signs - Frequently mistaken as building directional signs, these signs are encased in plastic and are located throughout campus buildings at strategic points. Each sign tells the reader exactly where he/she is within the building so as to expedite evacuation in case of an emergency. These signs are maintained by the Physical Plant as an institutional service.

Policy History

  • Issued: 1997-09-29