UB Sustainability partners with UBIT on tech space upgrade

image of the ub sustainability lobby, with a gray couch, lightly colored wood flooring, and tables in the background.

UB Sustainability lobby

By Michael Canfield, originally published on the UBIT website

Published February 27, 2024

When UB Sustainability moved into its new home in the HRD (Human Resources Divisional/Development) building on North Campus in June 2023, tech connectivity, including fast, reliable Wi-Fi and wired networks, were essential for the organization to conduct its business on a daily basis. 

image of the ub sustainability lounge - couches, chairs, and a center table.

UB Sustainability lounge

Working together for more than a year, UBIT and the UB Facilities design team revamped the telecommunications space for wired and Wi-Fi network services,  providing the state-of-the-art connectivity UB Sustainability relies on.  

In fact, UB Sustainability has been using Zoom and other video conference technology since before the pandemic, in an effort to streamline communications and reduce their impact on the environment.   

“In an effort to drive climate action across all UB campuses, we collaborate with the local community, state policy makers, SUNY administration, other higher education institutions, businesses and most importantly our faculty/staff/students across all three campuses, so having reliable tech is vital,” said Kayla Owen, sustainability operations coordinator for UB Sustainability. “These virtual meetings reduce our overall carbon footprint and increase efficiency and effectiveness.”

Starting in February 2022, the HRD building was upgraded to create new space for UB's Sustainability team, who were previously located in the Statler building. Staff office areas and a collaborative student space were added, as well as a revamped team room and a space for HIRED, a free professional clothing boutique for students and recent grads.

“Our new ‘HQ’ provides a space that brings together our entire team in one location, a central place for students to engage in sustainability initiatives and great space to leverage and connect with other sustainability leaders via remote technology,” Owen said. “In addition, the building is also climate neutral for scope 1 and 2 emissions, meaning it does not use fossil fuels for electricity and heating (in addition to many other sustainable features).”

Led by Brian Przepasniak, UBIT Network Engineer, network and switch gear were relocated from an inefficient "wet closet" to a purpose-built telecommunications room.

Przepasniak not only outlined the technical requirements, but also orchestrated the arrangement of equipment within the new telecommunications room. His planning extended to marking up electrical design plans, addressing the removal of existing cables during the demo phase, and outlining the installation of essential CAT6a cables.   

Image of a black, glass-paned room with a conference table in the middle.

UB Sustainability team room

“The UBIT Network and Communication Services team coordinated all fiber optic and Cat 6a cabling work with Manchester CS,” said Leslie Evans, UBIT Project Manager. “Once this work was completed and tested, [our] Technical Support team activated the ports required to make live all required network cables.”

Instructional Systems Analyst David Shurtleff provided design support, working with the Sustainability team to determine which equipment would best serve the space.  

"We had to consider several factors when completing the design of the space, including how the client intends to use the space, budget, equipment lead times and ease of use of the equipment,” Shurtleff said, adding that he also assisted with the installation and verification of the technology installation.

UBIT’s proactive approach included a comprehensive analysis of all equipment required for the space, serving dual purposes of budgetary planning and generating a detailed list for the Facilities project manager to initiate orders for things like network hardware.  

Other UBIT employees who were instrumental to this project include Vince Fossit, UBIT Network Analyst, who assisted with the installation of the network equipment; Kody Leno, UBIT Senior Desktop Support Analyst, who assisted with device configuration and the move process, and Evans, UBIT Project Manager, who provided project management support and IT coordination.  

UB Vice President and Chief Information Officer J. Brice Bible added, “This project is a great showcase of the work we do on a daily basis and our commitment to excellence.”


9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

17. Partnerships for the Goals