Accredited Buildings Require Sustainable PM and FM

Office Market

Market analysts say they see a need for professionals with a knowledge of sustainability issues and integrated PM and FM practices that integrate the different accreditation practices and verification processes.

Danubius Hotel Helia terrace, designed by DVM group.

The WELL Building Standard defines itself as “the premier standard for building interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness.”  

The accreditation system goes on to say that it further ensures that “performance verification is a critical step in ensuring that WELL buildings are performing as intended. The system is designed to grow in specificity and specialty over time, adapting to accommodate diverse space types and geographies and to respond to new evidence and public health concerns.”

This requires property management and facility management systems and professionals able to adapt to sustainability requirements. PM is the operation, control and oversight of real estate management, while FM is a professional management discipline focused on the efficient and effective delivery of support services for the organization it serves.

“PM is rather like being the mediator in the landlord-tenant-provider triangle,” says István Rézsó, head of business development for asset services at Cushman & Wakefield. He says that, with an increased emphasize on WELL, employees are being prioritized as the trend is bending towards satisfying the needs and in-house well-being of the occupants.

Eiffel Palace atrium.

Operation Efficiency

The BREEAM “In-Use” accreditation system also deals with issues of PM and FM. It aims to enable “property investors, owners, managers and occupiers to drive sustainability improvements through operation efficiency, including how to continually manage the operation of the building effectively.”

With sustainability accreditation, this involves the further monitoring of the functions within a building.

“FM is required to perform regular inspections and not only the usual tests on the buildings’ systems, so they have to be more prepared. PM is only affected if the building itself is certified. Then they have to take care of the certification renewals,” explains Edina Hornok, head of sustainability at DVM group.

The technical PM and FM skills needed to meet the challenges of sustainable development are among the most important that should be developed; this includes systematic and long-term thinking from the various stakeholders, according to Zsombor Barta, sustainability expect and president of the Hungarian Green Building Council (HuGBC).

“An integrated design process which integrates and works together with the different specialists – PM, FM, etc. – is highly important. Also the ongoing and further education of the stakeholders, to get the required knowledge and skills that drive sustainability forward,” he comments.

Holistic View

“Sustainability requires a holistic viewpoint and systematic thinking. According to my personal experience, the external and internal design are still not part of the same process, therefore the different stakeholders still need to be educated in terms of the importance of sustainability and the integration of systematic thinking,” Barta adds.

Éva Beleznay, senior sustainability consultant at HuGBC, argues that all project managers, asset and facility managers should have the basic understanding of sustainability requirements.

“On the project management side, more and more PMs meet with the international green certifications during their projects; however, very few have the self-determination of understanding the holistic set of requirements. Most projects have assessors or consultants helping the process, but it is far less integrated, since consultants do not sit in on all cooperation [meetings], and decisions are made without evaluating the overall sustainability aspects,” she notes.

“On the asset and facility management side, the understanding of building efficiency is most critical. By continuously recording and monitoring energy and water use, the inefficiencies of the building can be discovered.

“Commissioning, seasonal commissioning and recommissioning should be taken seriously, as in our existing and even newly built buildings 15-50% energy savings could be reached if building services systems are well-calibrated. The well-commissioned systems also results in an increase of comfort levels and livability,” Beleznay adds.

“Advanced cleaning policy or building operation and maintenance must be measured and documented regularly. The proper operation of a ventilation system in a building should not be an upgrade, but with WELL, tenants have the increased motivation to ask for evidence and measurement data regarding the building operation. It also creates a common platform to avoid problems and unsatisfied tenants in the long-term,” she concludes.

Advance Tower by Futureal.

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