Journal Article Review: The Practice of Sustainable Facilities Management: Design Sentiments and the Knowledge Chasm NAME: Kristina M. Sewell I. D #: 0905186 MODULE: Facilities Management MODULE CODE: ADM4008 LECTURER: Keroma Bernard 1. 0 Topic: The Practice of Sustainable Facilities Management: Design Sentiments and the Knowledge Chasm Summary: The construction industry with its nature of project delivery is very fragmented in terms of the various processes that encompass design, construction, facilities and asset management.
The article presents Facilities Managers as being in the forefront of delivering sustainable assets management to hence further the venture for mitigation and climate change. It highlights however, that certain knowledge barriers regarding key aspects of sustainable facilities management may be hindering the successful implementation of the school of thought. 1. 1(Research) Aim: To investigate the nature of sustainable facilities management and its affect on sustainable design management. 1. 2 Objectives: To establish the existing level of perception, understanding and application of sustainable knowledge and practice within the facilities management profession. * To categorize the key area of sustainable facilities management where clearer practice tools, information and industry best practice are required. 2. 0 INSTRUMENT DETAILS 2. 1Aim: To obtain data on the existing level of sustainable knowledge and practice within the facilities management industry 2. 2Sample size: 92 * Data required were collected through an online survey in the form of self-administered questionnaires to establish the level of: * Sustainable nowledge * Commitment * Practice within the facilities management industries * The survey was accessed through the BIFM website and made available to subscribing members for a period of one month in November 2006. * Prior to the distribution of the questionnaire, various workshops were held to raise awareness about the research project among the BIFM members.
* Featured a mixture of closed and open-ended questions * The research utilized critical literature reviews, thinking approaches, workshops and questionnaires to shed light on the wider sustainability debate as well as within the FM industry. 3. 0 Interpretation of Data: The results showed that respondents’ perception and practice of sustainability had a predominantly environmental focus, suggesting a distinct knowledge gap surrounding the general theory and practice of sustainability in its broadest sense. * Classification of respondents by sector: * 39 of respondents were facilities management services providers * 33 were involved in in-house facilities management * Only 3 respondents were product suppliers * 17 respondents were from a different background: property managers, Fm consultants, building maintenance managers, company directors who could not be easily categorized otherwise. Key questions were pulled from the questionnaire and the respective results analyzed 4. 0 Supporting Theories * Diversity and fragmentation of the industry are due to the various cultural values, processes and interests of the many participating organizations brought together to deliver a project (Egan,1998). * Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (Brundtland,1987) 5. 0Research Findings Lofty goals to reduce energy consumption and take better care of the environment are of clear benefit to the facility manager. Achieving these goals, however, is easier said than done. This is due to a discrepancy between the abilities, knowledge, skills, and willingness of facilities managers to implement sustainability in their businesses and the fact that they are very often mandated to manage the facilities at the lowest possible present cost. These are two desynchronized tendencies. * Despite the large market for facilities management, the concept is rather vague.
Facilities Management as a concept and profession is continually developing. * Sustainability is characterized by three strands- environmental, economic, and social- and these were taken as the point of reference in assessing the level of theoretical knowledge, with respondents being required to indicate understanding in their answers. More than 23 (25% ) of respondents showed no understanding of the concept, while 63 respondents (68%) recognized environmental aspects of the term. The results pointed towards a general lack of understanding concerning the holistic nature of sustainability. . 0 Biases and Limitations * The article speaks to damage to the environment as one of the possible factors credited with the increased awareness in sustainable design. However, throughout the article the only environmental damage referred to is that of ‘climate change’. * The research summoned information solely from Facilities Management professionals , however the objectives of the research could have been met and a wider scope of information gathered from other personnel affected by their activities and sustainable design. 7. 0 Implications for Management The lack or limited understanding of the key concept of sustainability and a lack of practical knowledge have severe implications for the effectiveness of sustainable practice in design management and the FM industry. * The fragmentation of the design and construction processes will impede acceleration of the sustainability agenda forward. * The lack of unanimous understanding of /and information on the key issues hinders the implementation of sustainability in the FM industry, which could undermine the benefits of sustainable design. The knowledge “chasm” within the sustainable FM practice and sustainable design sentiments has a great implication on education and training for both FM professionals, and design and construction management professionals. 8. 0 Personal Reaction * The title adequately prepared the reader for the details of the article. Key words of the title: served as key elements of the article. * The abstract is expected to detail a summary of the study’s purpose, methods, findings, and make mention of major premises or findings to be presented in the article, while stimulating reader interest in the article.
The abstract provided all the required information with the exception of details regarding e methodology of data collection * The introduction, though lengthy, clearly outlined a theoretical rationale for the conducted study. * The research summoned information from a variety of sources to include: critical literature reviews, thinking approaches, workshops, and questionnaires * The questionnaire was short and precise featuring eight 8 questions avoiding the usual occurrence of “filler questions”. The mix of open and closed ended questions allowed respondents to elaborate on those areas that needed to be elaborated on Open-ended questions allow respondents to include more information, including feelings, attitudes and understanding of the subject. This allowed researcher to better access the respondents’ true feelings on an issue. Closed ended questions can be more specific and allow for ease of statistical interpretation. * Though the sample size selected was that of 92 respondents. The article did not detail how it arrived at the sample size.
Hence it begs the question as to whether the sample size was appropriate. The smaller the sampling size, the greater the sampling risk. * The results of the research were clearly written and well organized. Results were presented in a question by question format with subsequent narrations. The article did not feature much graphs or diagrams but presented results using basic percentage. The results were directly aligned to the stated aims and objectives of study. * The article does not outline the limitations of the study or mention any constraints taken into account * Implications for future practice are identified in the rticle as it makes reference to the possible impact the knowledge chasm may have on the training of Fm professionals among other mattes. The authors present conclusions that are deemed warranted in light of the results. * The reference list is sufficiently current featuring material published as recent as 2008; and its length suggest wide reading. * The article was a generally well-written and organized one that would make an easy read for persons outside of the relevant discipline.
One major disappointment however was that though a variety of interpretations of “sustainable design” were presented by respondents and quoted from readings, there was no effort to clarify the term or to arrive at a definition that may be accepted by most groups and serve all constituents. 9. 0 References * Elmualim ,A. , Czwakiel, A. , Valle, R. , Gordon,L. , Sunil,S. (2009). The practice of sustainable facilities management: design sentiments and the knowledge chasm. Architechtural Engineering and design Management, Vol. 5,91-102