Transition Towards Green Facility Management: Bridging the Knowledge Gaps of Facilities Managers
Min Li Joyce Ngiam
|Published in:||Journal of Green Building, June 2018, n. 3, v. 13|
The building industry has experienced a widespread transition towards green buildings and consequently a growing need for green facilities professionals to maximize green building potential in terms of energy efficiency, water conservation and waste reduction in their operational stage. Green buildings have unique technological systems that require facility managers to have relevant knowledge and skills to conduct proper facilities management and maintenance planning to maximize the potential of green buildings. It is important, then, to investigate whether knowledge gaps for facility managers exist with respect to green buildings, and if so, how these knowledge gaps could be bridged. Though several studies have investigated the operation and maintenance processes of green buildings, few studies considered facility managers' knowledge and skills regarding green facility management (GFM). Set in the context of Singapore, this study aims to holistically investigate the knowledge and skills of managing green buildings in the community of facility managers, including their perceived differences between green and conventional buildings, the difficulty of GFM, the knowledge gaps of GFM and the underlying reasons, as well as how the gaps could be bridged. A total of 90 survey responses were collected and eight interviews with key stakeholders were conducted, which indicate facility managers believe green buildings do have special features that require unique knowledge and skills, and currently knowledge gaps do exist hindering the transition towards GFM. Therefore, this paper derives plausible solutions to bridge the knowledge gaps, such as establishing holistic subsidies for those facility managers participating in training programs of GFM. This study provides references for researchers and relevant governmental departments to better understand industry professionals' knowledge gaps in the transitioning process towards a green built environment, and to make better policy decisions bridging the knowledge gaps and thereby facilitating the green transition process.
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