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Specialist Facilities Planning, Facilities Development

Job ID: 31784
Location: Main Campus
Updated May 07, 2024

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We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta.
The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Districts 5 and 6.


The Campus Planning within the Facilities Development is currently seeking a Full-time Regular Specialist, Facilities Planning.

Nature of the Work:

Reporting to the Director, Campus Planning, working closely with the Proposal Process Coordinator, and having management accountabilities for the Space and Utilization Planner, the Specialist, Facilities Planning (the Specialist) works to develop space solutions across various faculties, units, and campuses to meet the university’s growing and ever changing space requirements. As part of the larger Facilities Development group, the Specialist is a member of a team of professionals including architects, engineers, designers, technicians, and project managers, all of whom are dedicated to ensuring that the University of Calgary optimizes the use, development, and renewal of its space resources to support teaching, research, and service objectives.

Given the high volume of work associated with the position, the Specialist is often required to balance competing initiatives with multiple and often simultaneous deadlines. The impact of the work is significant and involves risk at the enterprise level, where error can result in significant cost and time to remediate. The nature of the work requires attention to detail, self-initiative, and a high degree of adaptability and resiliency.

Further, as a limited resource that’s critical to an effective working environment, space is a highly emotional issue for stakeholders (stakeholders will include Deans, Department Heads, Vice-Presidents, and Directors). To help navigate stakeholder emotions and successfully resolve complex space issues, the Specialist will need to be both competent and professional, and will need to bring objectivity, tact, and patience to all discussions of space.

This Specialist works Monday to Friday, regular business hours. Currently the work is hybrid with the expectation of in office work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays with the option to work remotely Monday, and Fridays. Work outside of regular business hours may be required during periods of peak activity. The position is based out of the Physical Plant (a busy, collaborative, open-office environment) located at the west edge of main campus. Travel to main campus and to other university campuses (e.g. Foothills, Spyhill, etc.) is required. Valid drivers license to be able to commute to other campuses is required. Access to a fleet vehicle will be provided.

Primary Purpose of the Position:

The key role of the Specialist position is to be highly familiar with space allocations and space functions across the entirety of the university (Main Campus, Foothills Campus, Spyhill Campus, Priddis, etc). This familiarity is developed over time, through walking tours, renovation project site visits, investigation of space data errors, and day-to-day interactions with faculties and units. The Specialists’ familiarity is then drawn upon to vet the reasonableness of space requests that route to Facilities Development, and to help resolve space issues by leveraging knowledge of underutilized and vacant spaces, and finding synergies in common functions. Through regular communication with leadership in faculties and units, close involvement in larger space renovations, as well as periodic space audits with the Specialist’s direct report (the Planner) the Specialist will remain well-informed on all spaces across all campuses.

A second key role of the Specialist position is to serve as the first line of assessment for all renovation requests that route to Facilities Development and are processed by the Proposal Process Coordinator. In many cases requests are routine and can move directly to other units within Facilities Development for scoping and estimating (e.g. Campus Architecture, Campus Engineering). However, for the remainder, the Specialist may confer with the Director (if needed) and will follow-up with the requesting faculty / unit to obtain additional detail and context, and may partner with the leads in Campus Architecture and Campus Engineering as the proposal moves through scoping and estimating and into construction (becoming a project).

A third key role of the Specialist position is to develop space programs for major capital initiatives (often in consult with the Director), and larger renovation requests. Associated with the development of space programs are various briefing notes and supporting documentation required to meet the university’s governance obligations.

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

Space Planning and Programming:

  • As needed, and generally in response to questions / queries from the Coordinator, contacts faculties and units to obtain additional detail and context on renovations requests (proposals) that route to Facilities Development. Relays details to the Coordinator and / or proposal leads to ensure requests are actioned appropriately.
  • Working in collaboration with space occupants, completes various pre-design deliverables for major capital initiatives (often in collaboration with the Director) and larger renovation requests. In particular, works with space occupants to develop a solid understanding of options, as well as needs versus requests, with the aim of ensuring optimal use of space. Deliverables include space functional programs, test-fits, adjacencies, draft blocking and stacking, area summary tables and governance briefing notes.
  • For major capital and larger renovation projects, participates on project working committees, sharing pre-design work with external design consultants and responding to inquiries from consultants as required. As proposals move into construction, works with the Campus Architecture lead to ensure alignment with pre-design objectives.
  • For minor renovation projects, participates in constructions meetings as needed (generally as requested by the Campus Architecture lead).
  • Working in collaboration with space occupants, Campus Architecture / Campus Engineering leads, and external design consultants, ensures that proposals and projects are in compliance with university design standards, strategic directions, and policies.
  • Supports (or time and resources permitting, potentially leads) the development of spatial master plans for faculties and units. Where external consultants are engaged, participates on project working committees and functions as a resource to consultants. Completes governance briefing notes and supporting documentation as required.
  • In collaboration with the Director, Campus Architecture / Campus Engineering leads, and staff from the Project Management Office and Facilities Management, supports revisions to the annual university capital plan (update existing initiatives / add new initiatives). In particular, supports scoping and estimating updates, revised blocking and stacking, programming for new concepts, and changes to proposed sequencing of initiatives. Supports the Director (as needed) with associated updates to the Government of Alberta’s Building and Lands Information Management System (BLIMS).
  • Maintains knowledge of current and emerging trends in technologies, techniques, and approaches in the design of university and post-secondary educational facilities.
  • Remains informed of key space planning metrics and best practice (e.g. unit rates, benchmarks, etc.) across the Canadian and North American post-secondary education sector.
  • The ability to establish and maintain successful and productive working relationships with all levels of the campus community from senior management to students and support staff, by partnering with them in the planning and design process.
  • A strong knowledge of University of Calgary’s organizational structure and units is required, and a high-level understanding of university academic and research activities, including details regarding facilities use and future needs is of significant benefit.

Space Data Integrity and Analysis:

  • Participates regularly in walking tours, renovation project site visits, and other assessments as needed (often with the Planner and leads) to maintain overall familiarity with university spaces, including allocations and assignments, functions, conditions, and details on specific occupant groups.
  • In collaboration with faculties and units (and potentially with external consultants), leads periodic space audits. Provides direction to the Planner in the preparation of supporting documentation (layouts, data extracts from Archibus, etc.) for reference during walking tours. Where external consultants are engaged, participates / leads project working committees. Provides follow-up direction to the Planner for corrections / updates to Archibus data and utilization analysis.
  • Investigates space errors that are reported through Archibus or relayed to Campus Planning / Facilities Development by the university community.
  • Takes a lead role in considering space audit cycles and priorities, and in consultation with the Director ensures best practice in the acquisition, sustainment, and reporting of space data, including recommendations for process improvement.
  • In close collaboration with the Planner, and often in concert with Campus Architecture, makes adjustments to the university’s space classification system to improve functionality and accommodate broader business objectives.
  • In close collaboration with the Director and Planner, completes various spatial data analyses to support development and delivery of accommodation strategies and space solutions, strategic space planning decisions, and leadership updates.
  • Works closely with faculty and unit representatives from across the institution regarding current programming, allocations, and future space requirements. 
  • Performs periodic environmental scans of existing internal and external systems to identify best practices in the collection, maintenance, and analysis of spatial data.

Management and Administration:

  • Provides day-to-day direction to the Planner, and ensures the Planner has the training and resources required to succeed. Completes annual performance assessments, and coaches and mentors as required.
  • Prepares various ad hoc studies and analyses as requested by the Facilities Development AVP and / or Director (generally in response to short-notice space / funding opportunities that may arise).
  • Responds to various ad hoc space inquiries from the university community and actions (respond or refer) accordingly.
  • Makes recommendations for continuous improvement and streamlining of processes and procedures, including enhancements to the university’s enterprise space management system (Archibus).
  • Represents Campus Planning and Facilities Development on ad hoc and standing committees and initiatives as requested / required.
  • Promotes the university in a positive and professional manner, participates in professional development opportunities, and is an active member of the overall University community.
  • Completes other administrative accountabilities that may come up from time to time (university training, hazard assessment, etc.).

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • As a position that works closely with a range of professionals including architects, engineers, designers, and technicians, the Specialist requires a broad knowledge base, developed over time through relevant education and work experience. The position can be described as a generalist role within Facilities Development.
  • Post-secondary education in a relevant field with an emphasis on architecture, planning, interior design, and / or professional facilities management is required.
  • Experience in managing a small complement of staff is required.
  • Five to seven years of facilities planning experience within a complex, public sector organization (e.g. education, healthcare, government) is considered an asset.
  • Strong numeracy skills are indispensable to the position.
  • Familiarity with a spatial database such as Archibus, GIS, or IWMS is desirable.
  • Experience with AutoCAD, graphics programs (Illustrator, InDesign, etc.) and strong MS Excel skills are essential. Familiarity with other MS Office products (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint) is required.
  • The ability to coordinate and prioritize multiple tasks and demands is required.
  • Excellent communication skills for the development of briefing notes, email memos, etc. are required, as are strong interpersonal skills.
  • A recognized professional certification / membership is considered an asset (Alberta Professional Planners Institute, Alberta Association of Architects, etc.).
  • Of particular need is the ability to bring creative solutions to complex situations and to effectively communicate solutions to diverse stakeholders and decision makers with objectivity, tact, and patience.

Application Deadline:  June 04, 2024.

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

This position is classified in the Technical / Professional Career Band, Level T3 of the Management and Professional Staff Career Framework. 

For a listing of all management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary, view our Management and Staff Careers website

About the University of Calgary

UCalgary is Canada’s entrepreneurial university, located in Canada’s most enterprising city. It is a top research university and one of the highest-ranked universities of its age. Founded in 1966, its 36,000 students experience an innovative learning environment, made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. It is Canada’s leader in the creation of start-ups. Start something today at the University of Calgary. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

As an equitable and inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ([email protected]) and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources ([email protected]).

Do you have most but not all the qualifications? Research show that women, racialized and visible minorities, and persons with disabilities are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At UCalgary we are committed to achieving equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible employment practices and workplaces and encourage you to apply if you believe you are right for this role. 

We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.