Sustainability in facilities management (FM) with the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM)

Project Overview

This research project sought to update and develop new information to support and improve the delivery of sustainable facilities management. Outcomes are provided at www.sustainabilityinfm.org.uk

Background

Research and practice of sustainable facilities management (FM) is rapidly evolving with the increasing interest in the discourse of sustainable development. FM is one of the fastest growing professions in the UK. With the pressing sustainability agenda, the impact of the built environment, including the contribution that the construction industry makes, is vast.

The concept of sustainable FM has developed in parallel with the overarching concept of sustainable development and the growing appreciation of the scale of predicted climate change. The case for change has been successfully made and the need to balance the three strands of sustainable development - social, economic and environmental - is apparent. Facilities managers are at the forefront of organisational behavioural change and in a position to influence the behaviour of individuals working in business, government departments and public services within the facilities they manage. Governments at both national and international level are using regulation to reduce carbon emissions and manage demand. Much of the burden of regulation will need to be picked up by facilities managers at every level.

The need for sustainable FM, and for skilled facilities managers to carry out this function, is therefore growing and the need to develop new ways of working to meet sustainability criteria is of increasing importance. Currently, there are no tools or guidance information available for the FM community. Although there are many guidance documents provided by public bodies on sustainability issues, very little of this information is being used to improve operations due to conflicting information and information overload.

Key Objectives

This fourteen month research project sought to update and develop new information to support and improve the delivery of sustainable facilities management.

The objectives were to:

  • Identify trends in FM research and practice through questionnaires and focus group workshops.
  • Develop a series of strategic concepts for Sustainability in FM
  • Develop, collect and update case studies on best practices of sustainable development in FM and share the knowledge with the FM community.

Produce Guidelines for FM practitioners for sustainability in FM portal.

The outcomes are provided at www.sustainabilityinfm.org.uk, a centralised web-based knowledge portal for the FM community. It highlights existing tools and awareness in a way that is understandable and accessible to all levels of the industry.

Partners

British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM)

DPP

Tremough Campus Services (TCS)

Johnson Controls

Elementus

Ergo Facilities Limited

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