Integrating Sustainability In Facilities Management Construction Essay

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Facilities have severe implications on the environment, equally during construction and operation. Related reviews state that facilities consume around 32% of global resources, including 12% of water, and produce 40% of waste traced in landfills and 40% of air emissions (OECD, 2003).

Prior to the publication of these findings, the formation of the Green Building Councils (GBC) occurred at global scale in 1993. There are at present GBCs in Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Taiwan, UAE, UK and the US. Of these, several stand out internationally in the development of rating systems or adopting pre-existing standards on green building.

In the UK, GBC adopted the BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) in February 2007. BREEAM is an assessment framework on the performance of facilities in the areas of ecology, energy use, health and well-being, land use, management, materials, pollution, transport and water. The framework places a basic point score system weighted in relation to the facility type certified: Pass (25-39 points), Good (40-55 points), Very Good (56-70 points), and Excellent (70-100 points).

The prevalence of sustainability regulatory frameworks includes among others, the European Building Performance Directive (EBPD), Energy Performance Certificates (EPC; Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) by the World Health Organization (WHO), effects on worker performance with workplace quality in the Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ).

In effect, facilities are designed with great care of resources consumption, materials evaluation on environmental impact of raw materials, manufacture, transport, emissions, etc, in addition to equipment selection to minimise fuel and power consumption and CO2 emission.

Sustainability facility rating and a number of other assessment tools form a stringent segment of the facilities developmental process. With this growing recognition of the benefits of sustainability, high ratings satisfy facility end users, like so raise the expectation on facilities management.

IFMA defines Facility Management as a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place and science (International Facilities Management Association). It is a decisive responsibility of facilities management to influence balance between ecological preservation, social equity and contributing positively to the economy. The inherent function is the deliverance of an efficient operation at minimal life cycle cost and within acceptable impact on the built environment. Services deliverance must translate to the productivity and profitability for the facility occupants, as much as, lordship return on investment. With facilities management as an expansive interrelation of phases from construction into dilapidation, the chunk of activity occurs in the operational phase of the life cycle. A facilities life cycle completes: design and documentation, construction and commissioning, handover, operation, tenant fit out, refurbishment and liability dilapidation (Moller and McCartner 2007).

Sustainability concepts, its application and importance in respect to facilities management is still for many to better understand. Sustainability defined by the World Commission on Sustainable Development (1987) 'Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.'

The idea put forward in a forum for sustainable facilities management is that 'There is no single, accepted definition of sustainability within the commercial property sector. However, a range of environmental tools is available to help organisations develop their own criteria and work towards greening their property portfolio, acquisition or tenancy in the context of their business goals, corporate values and organisational culture (Sustainable Development Guide: A Roadmap for the Commercial Property Industry, 2001).'

Benefits of sustainable facilities management present in reduced water consumption, energy use and fewer emissions that contribute to climate change. Over the long term, the aspect of efficiency of its resource consumption and enhanced value, and provides a range of social, ecological and financial benefits. Presented in the journals of Cooper (2002), the rule of thumb is buildings increase in value approximately eight to ten times the operational savings.

What is more is how to integrate sustainability in core business activities and functions.

Aims and objectives

The objective of this paper is to define a Facilities Managment tool for occupant fit out in respect sustainability.


Review and synthesize related literature, analyses of interrelationships and correlation of variables, presented in tool visualization.


From the sequel of extensive reviews and forums about sustainable facilities management, a severe concern would be in the implementation of practices and setting up the framework for measuring, monitoring and reporting outcomes consisting of energy efficiency and other performance in the gamut of sustainability issues, such as water efficiency and resource consumption.

The exhaustive study by Lundberg (2006) stressed barriers and drivers of sustainability as the key to knowledge and performance. Proper selection and interpretation of barriers and drivers have direct effect of outcomes.

Barriers to sustainable facilities management

Contradicting or split incentives on financial gain between the lordship and tenant

Lack of knowledge / education

Lack of adequate metering and monitoring

Typical management practices use simplified checklist that do not require interpretation of the measured results. In which case, the improvement opportunity is not effectively captured or is overlooked.

Absence of reward for good management

Building user guides that are too technical and not explained in layman's terms

Facility occupants are not engaged in achieving outcomes

Unsustainable procurement policy

Lack of an 'environmental champion'

Lack of know how among facility management employ

Drivers to sustainable facilities management

Reduced operational costs reached with efficient use of resources and lesser waste volume.

Control and monitor ecological liabilities (slows need for clean-up, minimizes possibility of fines or penalties)

Positive effect on employee turnover (less costs on recruitment, training resulting in high efficiency level)

Positive effect on talented staff and company reputation, encourages community infrastructure)

Prevent project approval delays (minimises processing costs)

Deliverance community expectation, resulting in lesser costs of liaison, collaboration, initiatives for social acceptance, and technical studies.

Achieve customer satisfaction (lesser exposure to highly competitive market conditions)

Increased shareholder value, in effect of high level of community support, improved consumer perception, and less risk on liabilities.

Increased access to capital by financial institutions because of minimal exposure to liabilities and high community regard or social acceptability.

Social acceptance and political support result in low exposure on mitigating costs.

Litigation expense and risks are reduced.

Containment of sustainability penalties on carbon emissions and landfill used on waste management

Overall long-term business growth through sustainability

Economic Indicators

Energy: £/m² per annum

Water: £/m² per annum

Waste disposal: £/m² per annum

Maintenance: £/m² per annum

Cleaning: £/m² per annum

Supplier: £ per annum for consumables

Community investment: £ per annum.

Environmental Indicators

Energy: kWh/m² per annum and MJ/m² per annum and GJ/person per annum

Greenhouse gas emissions: CO2equiv/m² per annum

Water: kL/m² per annum

Waste disposal: tonnes per annum and kg/person per annum

Waste recycled: tonnes/annum, % of total ABGR/NABERS

% recycled materials per m²

% change in natural area due to operations and activities

% recycled product per annum

No. of spills/volume of product per annum.


The critical path in facility management is the segment of the life cycle where the completion of facility construction interfaces the deliverance of shop readiness that is referred to as the Occupant Fit Out. It could happen that the end user is not experienced in occupant Fit Out proceedings.

Occupant Fit Out follows on quickly after practical completion of the base building on the lordship part. A premises conditions survey and handover is carried out once the tenant takes occupation of the premises and the landlord is notified of any defects that the contractor of the occupant needs to make good, then put forward a claim for the cost of the works. Any expenditure by the occupant against this type of work is recorded and notified to the landlord.

A premises is handed in shell-and-core developments that include fully finished landlord areas defined as common areas: main entrance and lobby, lift and stair cores, lobbies and toilets. These areas are not part of the space let to the tenant.

For the duration of occupant fit-out, a rent free period is typically granted. This mechanism of allowing the tenant a period of grace where payment of rent was not required while fit out works ongoing.

Beforehand occupant fit out works are carried out a schedule of conditions is performed to serve as the document used to set out the condition of the premises at let commencement. This document serves as reference in the drafting of the schedule of dilapidations provision and the state of the premises to which the occupant must make good at the end of lease.

Point of intervention of sustainability initiative (management tool)

Dilapidations are breaches of covenant to repair a building contained in a lease

(JSY Properties, 2008). Within six months before the expiry of a lease, a 'Final Schedule' is a Schedule of Dilapidations usually served in relation to work to be done to the premises at the expiry or the earlier termination of a lease. During the term of lease and which the lordship requires to be remedied during the term, a detailed items of disrepair, is called 'Interim Schedule.' When appropriately used, a Schedule of Dilapidations supports the set of procedures set forth in the contract of lease.

To result in a less cumbersome activity sequence all through out the fit out duration, workflow diagram puts in place the step-by-step interface of the lordship and tenant.

Fit-out guidelines consist of a combination of rules and advice can improve sustainability outcomes. In traditional facilities, typical concepts of sustainability were of less concern.

Refer to a sample Traditional Fit-Out Guideline in the appendices section.

Sustainable facilities management is effective if this results in a lesser utilities consumption. Integrating these into management practice the concepts of re-use and recycle that minimize waste disposal costs is expected. Facilities that are environmentally friendly increase indoor environment quality (IEQ) that in effect improves occupant and employee retention. The costs associated with tenant and employee churn, and health related litigations are reduced. An article by the US General Services Administration (2001) suggests that sustainable initiatives result a worker productivity of between 6% and 16%.

Greening facilities as investment tools have also shown positive effect on its market value. A high environmental rating can increase rent values at an additional amount of £13/m² due to its high sustainable performance (Sustainable property guide, 2007).

Knowledge transfer must be facilitated during premises handover. It is quite crucial that facility occupants and employ are familiarized with the building systems and participation is engaged in setting, monitoring and meeting sustainable facilities management targets. During the premises handover, this can be facilitated.

Proper handover documentation begins with a joint measurement of the premises and schedule of conditions, and the issuance of occupant fit out guidelines (Wallbank & Price, 2007). Currently, there is no standard format for this documentation, although Green Star has some requirements on the content.

Key pointers to championing sustainable facilities management

(Sustainability in the Commercial Property Sector 2009)

Recognize and understand the implications of facilities management beyond a compliance perspective (climate change, potable water availability, energy conservation, air pollution, etc).

Take the decisive responsibility of facilities management to influence balance of ecological preservation, social equity and contributing positively to the economy. Trace links between property and social infrastructure; understand the association of healthy workplaces and increased workforce productivity.

Engage facility occupants in knowledge sharing. Define the business value with comprehensive approach to resources consumption. Anticipate and manage risks and opportunities in collaborative manner.

Characteristics of sustainable property development

Adapted from the Sustainable Design and Construction Toolkit, London Development Authority,

prepared by URS Europe 2005,

Land use, urban form and urban quality Applicable?

Good urban design - creating precincts that are designed to encourage and facilitate safe pedestrian movement, link logically with surrounding areas and be complementary to those areas.

Good and attractive site design - designed to meet the needs of the end users, with consideration given to how the buildings, infrastructure or open space will be used in practice, while (although subjective) also creating attractive spaces.

Reuse of land and buildings - using a 'brown field' or contaminated site in preference to a 'green field' site. Reusing buildings on site, either by refurbishing all or part of a building or by recycling demolition material.

Density - having the appropriate density for the location, such as high density around transport nodes, and minimising impacts associated with noise, traffic congestion and privacy.


Access-related issues - having good access to public transport, being situated close to local amenities.

Active transport - providing for cyclists and pedestrians.

Business and community

Local labour and skills - encouraging or giving preference to local labour through the construction process or during the lifetime of the completed development. Providing training as part of the development process that will also help to increase the local skills base.

Local procurement - (ideally) sourcing materials locally or through local suppliers where economically viable.

Community involvement - creating interest and preferably buy-in from local stakeholders, achieved in part through community consultation and engagement initiatives over and above those required by the development approval process.

Community facilities - including facilities for community use or designed for multiple users, helping to create a focus point for the community - could be the residential community as well as local business community.

Designing for community - instigating processes which will facilitate a sense of community as the development matures. This includes considering how people interact and what generates a community, and providing space for people to meet socially and accidentally.

Equality and diversity - designed to support social equality and cultural diversity. This is an important way of ensuring lasting sustainable development and is about fostering equality across the community through the development.

Health and wellbeing - considering the quality of the indoor environment (see Section 3.8) and the impact this has on occupants. Aspects include providing natural and artificial lighting, reducing internal noise, managing internal air quality (ventilation and emission of pollutants) and maintaining services to avoid or reduce additional airborne contamination entering the building.

Safety and security - designed to provide inherent safety and security including accommodation of mixed uses, overlooking walkways and car parks, encouraging ground level walk-through, and providing adequate night lighting.

Accessibility - making the development accessible to a diversity of users including the disabled, mothers with young children, visually impaired and aged people. Much of this is subject to regulation and design codes, but sustainability can be improved through early attention to risks and opportunities during the design process.

Environmental protection and enhancement

Supporting biodiversity - considering and conserving ecological values including locally, regionally and nationally important species as well as retaining or improving habitat values.

Pollution to air, water and land - focusing on minimising, mitigating or avoiding polluting emissions during construction and operation.

Noise abatement - recognising that the ambient noise of the area or within the site will affect the quality of life and health of the occupants and those that live or work nearby. Using design and operational controls to mitigate detrimental noise impacts.

Resource use

Energy efficient design - taking advantage of the many technologies available to avoid energy wastage and track energy consumption during occupation. Efficient energy use is a key measure to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, thereby reducing the effects of global warming and climate change.

Renewable energy - generating renewable energy onsite. This will reduce reliance on more carbon-intense, fossil fuel-derived energy sources.

Water conservation - reducing the demand for potable water supplies and capturing and using rain, storm water and wastewater. This may become mandatory for residential and commercial developments in the future. Current expectations focus on water efficient appliances and fittings, while new design ideas, including water sensitive urban design and water efficient technologies, are becoming more commonplace.

Low-impact building materials - considering the life-cycle environmental impact of materials used in the development to maximise the use of environmentally friendlier alternatives and reduce burdens on virgin material sources.

Minimising waste to landfill - in the design phase: reducing the creation of waste, using recycled or recyclable materials and supporting the recycling industry. In the occupation phase: instigating waste collection systems that help users to sort recyclable materials from residual waste which goes to landfill.


This paper presents a simple management tool to facilitate knowledge transfer, encourage participation and identify responsibility in sustainable facilities management. The assertion is in the mindset that occupants are equally responsible of sustainable facilities management that involvement in decision-making and implementation control processes is a must. This commitment drives down capital cost contributions on lordship as well as occupant organisations. Inescapably, sustainable facilities management by collaborative effort is prescribed. Facilities management need to understand the impact of working more closely with the occupants. Facility occupants and employ should be engaged in the implementation of the management tool. The tool and work diagrams put forward an evolving role of a distant administrator to more collaborative functions.

Sensitivity is placed on the facilities life cycle fraction identified as the occupant fit out, as it is a highly dynamic segment that involves several entities of multi disciplines all at once. Gaining a high rating in sustainable facilities management begins at this point where the transfer of knowledge, objectives and monitor is facilitated.

It is important to note that the generic tool should be customized to specific facility design limitations and to contextualize to the activities taking place within it. Additional checklists are adopted to verify the state of sustainability presently applied in the business procedures of facilities management.

A fundamental point in contributing to sustainability in a facility is an equitable alignment of incentives or beneficial gains to the occupant, lordship, and that it spills over to the community. From which collaborative relationships are forged, thus, exacting effective sustainable facilities management by rigid procedure and clearly UK regulation and other pressure groups.

Given that there is a sense of environmental awareness in advanced nations, community understanding of mechanisms and decisions in this respect comes easy.