Designing for operational efficiency: facility managers' perspectives on how their knowledge can be better incorporated during design Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. There is a growing agreement among researchers and practitioners that the input of facility managers (FMs) can be a vital resource during the architectural design process. FMs are responsible for the everyday operations of buildings, and are therefore aware of many practical details of maintenance and efficiency that designers may overlook. However, despite the recognized benefits of collaboration between designers and FMs, there are significant obstacles that have so far prevented the widespread implementation of this partnership. The current study used data from 30 in-depth interviews and a widely distributed survey of FMs in three international regions to identify someof the obstacles that prevent collaboration between FMs and designers. Based on these data, the authors also developed specific recommendations for better incorporating the knowledge of FMs into the design process. Difficulties in communication and cultural barriers between the two fields were found to be the most pervasively reported obstacles, closely followed by the perception that designers are unaware or uninterested in the contributions that FMs can offer. Educational initiatives, technology training, and structural incentives were among the proposed solutions. The study resulted in a simple visual model of best practices for promoting collaboration, as well as a separate model for organizing the contributions of FMs during design.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Kalantari, S., Shepley, M. M., Rybkowski, Z. K., & Bryant, J.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Kalantari, Saleh||Shepley, Mardelle M||Rybkowski, Zofia K||Bryant, John

publication date

  • November 2017