Edmonton Public School Board

Edmonton Public School board is Alberta’s 2nd largest school board, with over 110,000 students and over 210 operating school buildings. As an ARCHIBUS user since 2009, the Edmonton Public School Division (EPS)’s use of the platform is what some would call a “grassroots movement”. Growing to integrate more out-of-the-box cases beginning in 2017, EPS began adapting some of its business processes to align with ARCHIBUS functionality to take advantage of what the software offered and what it could do for their workflows. Over time, EPS has been expanding its use of ARCHIBUS throughout multiple business units. We are excited to see IWMS be of greater use behind the scenes in Edmonton Public Schools.


ARCHIBUS is an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS). The software leverages existing building and asset data to assist facility managers in maintaining their portfolios. With 35 years of proven success as the originator of IWMS technology, ARCHIBUS has unparalleled leadership in driving workplace performance alongside technology. ARCHIBUS is used in many leading organizations, such as the City of Barrie, the City of Hamilton, PWGSC, WorkSafeBC, and Vancouver Coastal Health.

Horizant Inc. 

Horizant bridges the organizational gap of Facilities Management, Human Resources and Information Technology through implementing and supporting an IWMS. Horizant’s team of industry and subject matter experts guide clients through interactive collaborations, mentoring, business process reviews, and best practice adoption techniques. Leveraging industry-leading platforms like ARCHIBUS, Horizant also assists with technology planning, implementation, and long-term support to ensure return on technology and process investment.

It Starts with Space

Since 2017, EPS has made great efforts to populate the Space Management module in ARCHIBUS with up to date floor plans, to serve as the cornerstone for relating building data to physical space. Provincial reporting on school building area and instructional utilization is the basis for all provincial funding related to building operation, maintenance and capital funding to school jurisdictions. Under a new funding framework established in 2019, ARCHIBUS is used to annually verify gross building areas and space used for instruction as part of the provincial assurance framework. Prior to integrating ARCHIBUS, EPS and the Alberta Government had a manual and user-intensive submission process involving a separate spreadsheet for each school. Switching to a digital platform that houses all data that can be used to pull previous year’s data, input renovations, space additions, and other metrics increased efficiency from manually submitting individual forms. ARCHIBUS data enabled collaboration and streamlined submission and funding processes, ultimately removing roadblocks, bottlenecks, and areas where human errors may occur.

During the pandemic, EPS used the space management module to analyze various return-to-in-person learning scenarios, including testing the ability to apply 2.0 metre social distancing as a  student separation factor. Data was also utilized to help calculate and plan for improved air filtration and exchange protocols for the return of students. This included determining how many HEPA filter units would be needed to be installed in every instructional space in our schools, and in gathering and meeting spaces, all in support of ensuring safe return to school and work as seamlessly as possible. This area can also serve the Division moving forward with planning to implement energy and sustainability initiatives moving forward.

Apart from space management, the Division has been making use of the Building Operations and Maintenance functionality module to track, maintain and complete work requests, manage projects, conduct preventative maintenance, and house building condition data.  By distributing Chromebooks to half of its building operations staff, EPS has begun to move away from paper-laden work requests, and hopes to onboard all staff digitally shortly.

Under the category of Environmental Health and Safety, ARCHIBUS has been used to support Emergency Planning and the Division’s Security Services. Security reporting and incident tracking across many buildings. After one year of use, Edmonton Public Schools successfully recorded, tracked and addressed all security incident tickets in ARCHIBUS. Data analysis has led to improved processes and deployment of resources as patterns could be identified and responded to more proactively. Emergency Plans can also be shared with emergency response providers by drawing information from the system, so they can effectively respond if required to attend to a site.

Another business area that has chosen to utilize the Division’s ARCHIBUS platform is Risk Management. Building on Security Services and building operation and maintenance functionality, capabilities for handling items such as insurance-related incidents was a natural, grassroots fit. Previously using tools like Google Forms, the introduction of ARCHIBUS has streamlined the process for school administrators in submitting and handling claims. Damages resulting from water, fire, vandalism or other causes, and restoration and repair work often funded through insurance, is also a natural fit. Whether it is the construction project team, Security Services or Risk Management, tracking the status of inter-related activities can be contained within a single system for efficiency and effective communication. 

EPS and Horizant have worked together through an ARCHIBUS upgrade to v24.1 starting in 2019, and are now implementing v2023.01. Implementation and activation of the Asset Management module across multiple business units, from Infrastructure to Finance and a new business user – Technology and Information Services will be completed in 2023. This will support the Division in tracking asset data and inventory, and support better preventative maintenance, evergreening and lifecycle replacement programs. 

Grassroots Growth

To date, ARCHIBUS is a highly implemented product growing in use throughout the organizational structure of Edmonton Public Schools, now integrating across major business units of Infrastructure, Finance, and Technology and Information Management. It is also accessed by clients and users across well over 210 distributed sites. It has significantly improved operations and work processes, finding applications and use cases unique to each vertical. With these improvements and obvious benefits, the platform has reached outside these business units. It is beginning to spark innovation thanks to the agility the platform offers across different areas of work.

With more experience and understanding of the software throughout the organization, the potential for further grassroots growth and integration is high. As new opportunities for innovative projects come to the forefront, the internal dialogue has shifted from “what are our options?” to “what else can we do?” surrounding applications for the software. The inherent flexibility of ARCHIBUS means that teams can configure the software to fit various scenarios and opportunities within their respective business units. 

As one of the team leads at Edmonton Public Schools says,

“your decisions are only as good as the data you have.”

ARCHIBUS and Horizant’s expert integration solutions have supported the schools in Edmonton to access and analyze quality data, enabling them to make effective real-time decisions to improve their operations.