Planned Power Outage – January 13th & 14th, 2016

Project Services has been tasked with replacing the emergency generator that services the following buildings:

  • Science building
  • Library
  • Gymnasium
  • Arts Building
  • Central Heating Plant
  • Creative and Critical Studies.

The existing emergency generator is at end of life and provincial funding has been recently granted for replacement.  The province requires project completion before March 31st, 2016.

Replacing this infrastructure is a preventative measure that reduces the risk of loss associated with unplanned power failures.  Extensive planning has been done within Campus Operations and Risk Management and IT Services to ensure the project plan protects health and safety and minimizes disruption to teaching and research.

Impact to Faculty, Staff and Students

Project Services has created an aggressive project schedule and restricted work plan that limits contractor activities between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am.

This project only affect electrical circuits that have emergency backup power (e-circuits). The circuits that are not provisioned with emergency backup power (most circuits) will remain fully functional at all times.  

Affected equipment will include teaching and research equipment, such as fume hoods, -80 freezers, and other research critical equipment that has been connected to emergency power/uninterrupted power supply (UPS).  Equipment with UPS will receive battery power during the outage but the duration is dependent on equipment energy load demands and age of UPS.  Life safety building support systems such as emergency exit lighting may be intermittent.

To protect occupants and comply with Fire Code and WorkSafeBC regulations the project has the following requirements during the project period:

  1. Building evacuation – no occupancy
  2. Early closure of the following buildings:
    • Science Building closure at 9pm (2 hours early)
    • Library closure at 10pm (2 hours early)
    • Arts Building closure at 10pm (1 hour early)
    • Creative and Critical Studies at 9pm (1 hour early)
  3. Lab experiments including unattended operations follow shut down safety procedures. The Laboratory Safety Guidebook can be accessed at

A 4-hour maximum interruption to e-circuits is expected on January 13th.  A 2-hour maximum interruption to e-circuits is anticipated on January 14th, followed by a series of cycles switching between normal and e-power for a period of up to 4 hours.  This process will be closely monitored during the project period by Campus Operations and Risk Management staff.

Campus Operations would like to thank those affected for their patience and cooperation.  Your support will ensure that the replacement of the emergency generator will further strengthen emergency power supply to life safety systems and critical research equipment.  Further inquiries can be directed either of us.  A more details project overview will be available on Project Services website later this week.  See



Shelley Kayfish, Director
Campus Operations and Risk Management

Rob Einarson, Associate Vice President
Finance and Operations


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