Specialized Equipment

Specialized equipment consists of systems and equipment attached to the building mechanical, electrical, plumbing and communication systems that:

  1. are not required to maintain the whole-building environment or to provide for life safety,
  2. do not support the teaching and instruction functions, and
  3. are department specific.

Maintenance, repair and replacement of specialized equipment are departmental responsibilities.  All work, including maintenance, repair, renovation, replacement or upgrade, must be done in accordance with UW Reg 6-4

Funding sources used in the past do not establish any precedent or relieve the department from its responsibility for the maintenance of specialized equipment.  Responsibility for specialized systems or equipment purchased and installed as part of a capital project reverts to the department at the end of the warranty period.

Installation of equipment that does not follow UW Construction and Design standards or is not recommended by Operations for installation may be subject to designation as Specialized Equipment. Examples of specialized equipment and systems that Operations is not funded to maintain includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Non-building-wide specialized water systems (RO, DI, RO/DI, UV sterilizers, filters) for small lab units and data centers. This also includes small water softening systems to support these systems.
  2. Fume hoods or laminar flow benches or similar equipment that are not attached to a central ventilation system or not required for the building’s general function. This includes all bio-hazard, radioactive and HEPA filtered hoods that meet these conditions.
  3. Non-building-wide humidification systems such as those for data centers; special lab and research equipment such as autoclaves, environmental chambers and lysimeter rooms.
  4. Washing machines, cage washers and dryers.
  5. Uninterruptible Power Systems and Generator sets (gensets) that are not part of the building life safety system or are for third level backup power for data centers, including their battery systems, automatic transfer switches and static switches.
  6. Non-building-wide air-conditioning systems for special purpose areas such as small data centers, labs, freezer rooms, isolated offices, local server rooms.
  7. All kitchen type operations, including walk-in coolers, freezers, refrigerators, ovens, cabinets, microwaves, garbage disposals, dishwashers, ice machines and other miscellaneous kitchen equipment (Likewise, the cleaning of kitchen hood exhaust ductwork is the responsibility of the department).
  8. Furnishings, including compact shelving, laboratory cabinets and benches, and office partitions.
  9. Specialized fire suppression systems serving kitchen equipment, data centers and laboratories.
  10. Air compressors and vacuum equipment serving only one room or contiguous suite of rooms.
  11. Portable, plug-in heating or cooling equipment.
  12. Equipment that is maintained by departments other than Operations, like telephone and communications systems, and audio visual equipment.
  13. Specialized non-standard “full spectrum” lighting.
  14. Lab greenhouses and associated heating and ventilation systems.
  15. Special plumbing systems such as blood, sediment or grease traps, small-interior acid-neutralization basins.
  16. Stand-alone Security Systems and customer requested access control systems.
  17. Incinerators
  18. Carpeting and painting in offices, conference rooms and other departmental spaces not open to the general public.
  19. Special wall and window treatments including wallpaper, blinds, draperies, etc.
  20. Specialized air filtration systems (e.g. HEPA filtered systems).
  21. Stage equipment including rigging, lifts, and other specialized theatre and art equipment.
  22. Kilns, forges, welders and other equipment used in the visual arts.
  23. Hoists
  24. Oil and other chemical storage facilities specific to an area of research
  25. Low and Ultra-Low Freezers and other cold storage devices.


Examples of equipment and systems that Operations is funded to maintain includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Building mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems that condition and support the building use and provide for life safety. Conditioning equipment includes heating, ventilating, air conditioning systems and their associated control systems.  Support systems and equipment includes piping and sewer systems; building wide specialized water, compressed air and vacuum systems; electrical distribution gear and wiring including transformers and metering equipment.   Life safety equipment includes gensets, transfer switches, emergency lighting, fire alarm systems, fire suppression systems (excluding small systems for data centers, labs or kitchens), fire pumps, and general purpose fire extinguishers installed in common areas and fire hoses.
  2. Fume hoods for classroom and instructional use.
  3. Water treatment systems that serve the entire building, including RO/DI/UV sterilization and softened water systems.
  4. Building envelope including exterior walls, windows, doors, roofing, and glazing with the exception of window cleaning.
  5. Window screens on buildings without dedicated air handling systems.
  6. Interior and exterior structural systems.
  7. Elevators and lifts.
  8. Interior walls, ceilings, windows and doors.
  9. Flooring and ceiling systems with the exception of carpeting in areas not originally constructed with carpeting. Generally these areas include corridors, main lobbies, auditoriums and classrooms.