Improving the implementation of sustainable facilities management: the role of end-users in realising energy efficient solutions
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Purpose: The focus on sustainability and circular economy is becoming increasingly important for the Facilities Management (FM) sector. In order to adapt to the recent national and EU-regulations and policies, the sector needs to adapt its practices and processes. Research has demonstrated that FM can play a central role in implementing sustainable solutions, but it appears that practitioners don’t have sufficient access to knowledge and tools to develop their practice efficiently. It is not so much the implementation of technical solutions which are challenging the practices of sustainable FM, but rather the process of ensuring the adequate use of the buildings. In particular, methods to secure that the occupants of the various facilities act accordingly to the new buildings’ prescriptions, indispensable to the success of these initiatives, seem to be missing.
Methodology: Building on a three years research project aiming at strengthening FM competences in the Nordic countries, our study identifies and documents the bottlenecks of sustainable FM implementation related to the participation of end-users as well as the type of tools or solutions that can help to obtain the expected benefits.
Findings: The paper presents the results of two complementary activities: A workshop with more than 40 practitioners and the realization of four in-depth case studies. Whereas the workshop has allowed us to map the different issues related to sustainable FM, the case studies enable a deeper understanding of these challenges. The cases, two renovation projects and two solutions for sustainable operation and maintenance, face similar problems when it comes to realise the energy potential of the implemented technical solutions. As apartment renters or offices workers, end-users tend to ignore the needed adequate comportments and jeopardise the measures taken by the FM practitioners.
Impact: The results of the project are beneficial for the FM sector and the education institutions as they summarise the principal challenges related to the implementation of sustainable FM and as they indicate solutions to successfully reach the sustainable targets.