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Concordia University Creates “Smart” Building Map Using GIS Technology

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CLIENT: Concordia University

GEOGRAPHY: Mequon, WI

VITALS: 6,000 students

CHALLENGES: Streamlining the moving process for staff

RESULTS: Measured, tracked and visualized spaces with mobile GIS technology

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS: Recorded and stored past facilities data and made it easily accessible

The building and grounds team at Concordia University in Mequon, WI, facilitates many office moves each year among staff. In order to help make that process more streamlined and less manual, Steve Hibbard, Director of Buildings and Grounds, began looking for a solution that would allow them to see how different furniture would fit into various rooms before physically bringing them into the space. They decided to take a look at SchoolDude’s geographic information systems (GIS) technology, ConnectGIS™, since they already use several of SchoolDude’s operations management solutions. They compared SchoolDude’s solution with several similar solutions, but chose SchoolDude for its price and ease of use.

ConnectGIS, a powerful online maintenance management tool designed to provide location-based context to virtually any asset in a facility, does more than map out offices and classrooms. It is an online portal that allows you to get all of your building map data online and make it available to those who need it via the web or a mobile device. As Jon Zickermann, EHS Officer and GIS manager, puts it, “It’s AutoCAD on steroids. Every point on a GIS map is intelligent.” The possibilities are endless. For example, the measuring tool can be used to measure the square footage of a roof replacement. Within the digital map you can track fire alarm systems, underground utilities, outlets, and much more.

This solution is also great for storing historical facilities data. Concordia marks all of their fire extinguishers within ConnectGIS and plans to link their maintenance history to them. They also have a plumber who will be retiring in the near future, so they’ve asked him to mark the valves throughout the campus on the interactive map in their ConnectGIS system. This ensures there will be a smooth transition for his successor. ConnectGIS provides the data that your decision makers are looking for, and the information is easily sharable via email or Excel.

Overall, Concordia has been very happy with ConnectGIS. It was easy to implement, with a straightforward drawing process. The solution provides a graphical database of the interior and exterior of Concordia’s campus. “People are visual, so it’s easier for my team to click on a room and see that it has 8 lights and 100 ceiling tiles without having to walk across campus,” said Steve.

Steve and team continue to think of new uses for ConnectGIS every day. Eventually, they plan to share the building map information with students. But for now, they’re very happy using it to save time, capture staff facility knowledge and be more informed about their overall school environment. And moving furniture is a whole lot easier with a mouse than a dolly!

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