Facility management practices in higher education buildings
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© 2008, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – Facility management (FM) is important to the business success of companies and organizations. Nowadays, teaching FM is often spread over several disciplines, including architecture, management, business, and construction. The purpose of this paper is to present a case study completed by a team of three graduate students in the course “Introduction to Facility Management,” offered by a large southern university in the USA in the spring 2007 semester. Design/methodology/approach – The students studied several aspects of FM, such as strategic and tactical planning, space allocation, maintenance and repair, operations and energy management, benchmarking and condition assessment, and life cycle costs, in buildings on the university's campus. Assisted by the Office of the Vice President for Facilities 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 tasks for the course. Findings – Structured and organized FM has the potential to improve the physical performance and appearance of a building and its systems, as well as to increase the users' level of satisfaction, and to improve the efficiency with which the building is maintained and operated. Practical implications – This course offered the 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. Originality/value – The concepts of teaching FM are discussed in this paper, and demonstrated through real life cases.
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