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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Facilities, Volume 28, Issue 7/8
In this month’s issue of Facilities we consider a range of issues, covering both “hard FM” and “soft FM”. In the paper by Hui et al., we consider the possibility of using occupant dissatisfaction as an alerting mechanism to identify problems of indoor air quality (IAQ). If you will excuse the pun, this is a refreshing view on the subject. As we know with sick buildings, the greatest mistake a facilities manager can make is to discard the opinion of users and instead resort to scientific measurements do discredit the original complaints. Users are the best sensors known and we disregard their feedback at our peril, even though our instruments may tell us otherwise.
In the paper by Binyaseen we look at the contentious issue of participation: how do we arrive at a balance between privacy and interaction? The author proposes three fundamental drivers behind participation:
participation motivated by organization structure;
participation motivated by physical layout of offices; and
participation motivated by the personal characteristics of employees.
The paper develops the idea of participation maps to ensure that a good fit is achieved between requirements and design solution. Again, this paper addresses an issue which is little understood, providing a practical space planning approach.
The paper by Adeyeye et al. attempts to answer the question “How can as-built information influence and improve the design decisions made during a hybrid building project?” In this context, a hybrid building refers to a type of adaptation project where new elements or buildings are combined with existing buildings to completely modify it in order to provide better functionality and meet increased spatial requirements. The framework developed in the paper, based on a variety of feedback mechanisms, helps in defining processes, parties, information, decisions and actions required at each stage of a hybrid project. The paper addresses the particularly complex scenario of adaptation which to date has received little attention compared to new build in relation to process modelling.
The paper by Yu et al. looks at Requirements Management (RsM) and suggests that this area has not received the same attention as Requirements Engineering (RsE) in the system and software world. Based on the results of a questionnaire study and interviews, the authors conclude that user dissatisfaction with existing processes arises from three factors:
misunderstanding and misinterpretation of employer’s needs;
the changing of employer’s needs produced incomplete and inconsistent requirements; and
lack of well-documented updates of employer’s requirements which make it difficult to trace changes in employer’s requirements.
The final paper by Jensen considers the European taxonomy use in defining facilities management services.
His hierarchical approach which divides facilities products into space and infrastructure and people and organisations provides a useful binary division akin to “soft” and “hard” FM.
The extensive questionnaire study undertaken in Denmark provides a benchmark for comparison with other countries. As such, it provides a useful basis of comparison, whereby semantics becomes less of a problem and terminology becomes less equivocal: this must be a welcome development for the research community.