FMLink Weekly News Digest I August 9, 2022
With competition for talent high, 61% of companies are investing in the design of the office, according to a recent survey. Creating a space that truly supports all types of workers and cultivates a sense of community, creativity, focus, and well-being can be important for employee happiness and retention.

To reimagine the office as a destination that supports all types of work and work styles, Elise Nicpon from Room & Board Business Interiors (BI) outlines the top 7 spaces that every company needs for a future-focused, employee-oriented workplace. Highlighted with some examples from Room & Board’s headquarters and projects, Nicpon's list showcases real-world implementations of these forward-thinking designs.

This article was originally published on the fnPrime website.

Smart buildings are no longer a new fad that are out of reach for facility managers — smart buildings are now the expectation for running a facility. Connected systems and sensors are requirements for measuring and managing what is going on in your building. But is this enough? Three on-demand education sessions from the Smart Buildings Summit discuss how to move smart buildings into the next era — full optimization of the building. Experts and innovators of smart buildings share how to maximize current standard technology in your building while planning for future technology needs. Sections cover the following topics:

1) From Digital Twins to the Internet of Things, Guiding the Path Towards Digital Transformation
2) 5 Steps on the Road to Smart Buildings
3) On the Move — Getting More Out of Staff and Resources Through Mobile Technology

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2022 issue of ISSA Today

Hospitals are busy, bustling environments, especially emergency departments that see hundreds of visitors around the clock every day of the year. If that wasn’t enough, the situation has been made even worse by the Covid-19 pandemic, with many clinics overwhelmed by an unprecedented number of patients as services reopen. In the United States alone, 10% of hospitals were classified as being under “high levels of extreme stress” during the period of March 4-10.

In this hectic health care environment, it is more important than ever that cleanliness is a top priority. In fact, hospitals are arguably the places where this matters the most due to the nature of their day-to-day activities. Surfaces such as door handles, shelves, privacy curtains, and medical equipment are constantly touched, making them dirty and allowing microbes to grow, even if they are rigorously cleaned on a daily basis.

Any new construction project on a college or university campus is a major financial investment, and it is in the institution’s best interest to design a new facility to be flexible to allow for its fullest use and to maximize fiscal investment, say the design experts at KWK Architects. This certainly holds true for new residence halls; while their primary mode may be living quarters for students during the academic school year, their secondary mode and equally important use is during the summer months, when they often house non-academic groups such as sports camps or conference groups.

With informed planning, a new residence hall can be a multi-mode facility and be used successfully for both the academic year as a dorm and for short-term summer stays. There are some issues to consider when designing a residence hall to work successfully for year-round use. First, there is a difference in the building code use classification for these two modes of operation. The traditional residence hall falls under the building code use group of R-2 Dormitory, which assumes that the residents of the hall will be familiar with the layout of the building, and in the event of an emergency, will know the route to the exits.

Landscape Forms white paper

Furnishing outdoor spaces can sometimes be a complicated task, involving a different set of considerations than those that apply to their indoor counterparts. For facility managers, this job entails achieving a balance between aesthetics and functionality while also reconciling the harsh realities the outdoors bring — weather, UV light, fluctuating heat and cold, and the harder everyday wear and tear to which the furnishings are subjected. Compound these considerations with the increasing expectations surrounding sustainability in production and manufacturing, and you have quite a laundry list of boxes to check.

Solving these challenges is an innovative new category of site furnishings that utilizes recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) to create pieces that are changing minds about the role of plastic in high-profile, high-design outdoor spaces. Because of its durability and lack of required maintenance, HDPE is one of the most common plastics in the world used for countless practical applications like playground equipment, culinary supplies, and industrial and marine products — and now, thoughtfully crafted and often eye-catching modern outdoor furniture.

Facility managers will be walking the line when they reach Nashville to attend World Workplace 2022, Sept. 28-30. The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) has chosen “Take Center Stage” as the conference theme in recognition of the changing role of FMs in the workplace arena. “As the curtain lifts on FM’s shift from purely operational to indispensably strategic, there’s no business like know business,” says IFMA. “Get your act together  this year’s marquee FM event in Music City Center will prepare you to take center stage in making the spaces you manage your tour de force.”

World Workplace is the largest facility management conference in the world, offering discussions and sessions on FM and the wider built environment since 1995. World Workplace offers sessions in tracks, introducing “Emerging Topics” that consist of new or evolving business functions, external influences, or mandates that have a high probability of impacting the FM profession in terms of roles, responsibilities, and skills and knowledge requirements. The other tracks are FM Solutions; Finance & Business; Leadership & Strategy; Operations & Maintenance; Project Management; Risk Management; Facility Information Management & Technology Management; Occupancy & Human Factors; Performance & Human Factors. Sustainability; and Workplace Evolutionaries.

Facilities managers (FMs) were key to keeping traditional workspaces as support mechanisms while people were working or learning from home. In many cases without adequate FM training to perform all the functions that cropped up. Supporting staff with workspace digital access and while at home also caused them to encounter some of the longest work hours ever between coordinating with management, IT teams, remote service providers, energy and power management companies, and building operations support. Further, they had to ensure buildings were secure, protected, and accessible if there were limited staff needing access.

Is it any wonder that facilities managers joined the ranks of healthcare professionals as among the most exhausted?

The Professional Facility Management Institute (ProFMI) conducted its Training Outlook Survey to determine the need for facility management training and credentials from both the management and staff points of view.

Education sessions and Product Zones are the most important reason to attend NFMT Remix in Las Vegas, November 2-3. For Pro and Elite attendees, there are 60-minute sessions focused on foundational principals of Facilities Management. The key trends of technology, safety and sustainability tend to be cross-functional and have a major impact on overall facilities strategies. These sessions are geared as more introductory sessions. Think Tanks, for Elite attendees, are 60-minute informal discussions focused around either a specific building type or trend. This will allow you to network with your peers in a small group environment. Attendees can pull up a chair and ask your questions to like-minded facilities managers from around the country. Each roundtable will have an official moderator to help guide the conversation.

Concurrent Sessions run on Wednesday and Thursday, while Product Zone Sessions are featured during the expo hours between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Women in FM panel and a reception concludes Wednesday’s activities.

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