Teaching facility management practices - A case Study
The significance of facility management to the business success of companies and organizations is steadily increasing. Nowadays, teaching facility management is often spread over a number of disciplines, among them engineering, architecture, management, business, and construction. This paper presents a case study of a project completed by teams of undergraduate and graduate students in the courses "Specialty Capstone" and "Introduction to Facility Management", offered by a large university in the US in the spring 2008 semester. Facility management, if well-organized and well-structured, has the potential to not only improve the physical performance and appearance of a building and its systems, but also to increase the users' level of satisfaction, and to improve the efficiency with which buildings are maintained, operated, and managed along their service lives. These two courses offered students an opportunity to encounter real problems and dilemmas that facility managers witness on a daily basis. Students were asked to offer creative solutions to these dilemmas. The students studied several aspects of facility management, such as strategic and tactical planning, maintenance and repair, operations and energy management, benchmarking and condition assessment, space allocation, and Life Cycle Costing on a local hospital campus. The students in each course were given different assignments, based on their skills and level of knowledge. Assisted by the Director of Plant Operations Maintenance and Engineering at the hospital, and using software contributed by an external commercial engineering and construction company, the students collected the data and conducted the analyses shown in this paper as part of their course assignments. The concepts of teaching facility management, as implemented in these courses, are discussed in this paper, and demonstrated through real life cases. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2009.
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