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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Facilities, Volume 31, Issue 7/8
There are researchers out there who believe that case study research is invalid and unscientific. This might be the case in traditional disciplines, such as engineering or architecture; however, in a new and evolving discipline like facility management, case study research is a valid method used to investigate, analyze and deduct from one or several cases in order to identify phenomena that deserve further study. The current issue of Facilities presents six papers from around the world, five of which apply case study research as their primary method of investigation.
Decision making is a process that has gained considerable attention in the scientific and academic literature. Nevertheless, there is very little literature dealing with the applications of decision making in facility management. A paper by Langston aims to investigate the validity that decisions may be influenced by the choice of criterion weighting scores they are assigned. The author tests this hypothesis on a case study, which is selected as a building in Sydney, Australia, that was converted from an industrial warehouse to a modern commercial office building in 2008.
A paper by Klungseth and Olsson maps approaches identified in the literature for cleaning-related research in Norway. The authors’ main objective is to provide the readers an overview of the research on building cleaning services that was published over a period of almost 200 years – between 1814 and 2009. This paper teaches us an interesting lesson of how various trends determined the approach to building cleaning over the course of history.
Siu introduces the idea of design standards for tactile ground surface indicators (TGSI), which are used to guide visually impaired persons. The inconsistency in design standards necessitates a comprehensive study that will help in reaching some level of uniformity. This paper presents a case study of TGSI in five major cities in China, where public places, such as streets, transportation terminals, shopping centers and universities were studies. China is still new to implement such design standards, and so this paper may provide policy makers there, and in other countries, some more input in the development of such standards.
Sustainability and energy performance of buildings are also well-studied topics in the academic literature. A paper by Aaltonen, Määttänen, Kyrö, and Sarasoja aims at identifying the role of FM service processes in the environmental performance of office buildings. The research uses a case study of an office building built in the 1980’s in Finland, and analyzed in reference to its potential level of green building certification and actual energy and water savings. This paper raises the issue of the important role that facility management processes play in achieving a sustainable built environment.
Strategic asset management is the topic of a paper published by Povey and Peach. In this study, the authors describe a case study of how strategic asset management is implemented in the University of Southern Queensland in Australia. It is intriguing to read about the implementation of such an integrated model in a university setting. Even though the authors state that more improvements are still required in the model, by enhancing the capabilities of decision makers, the impact that this model may have over years on the entire campus is significant.
A paper by Gou and Lau takes us back to dealing with the issue of sustainability of the built environment. The authors conducted a post-occupancy evaluation of a green certified office building in China. We know that green standards typically influence the initial design and construction of a building; however, how would that then translate into the long-term operation phase? This is also the case with a relatively new Green Building Label program that was introduced in China in 2007. The authors address this question by conducting an occupants’ survey, as well as by measuring several factors that have a direct effect on their thermal conditions.
Sarel Lavy PhDCo-Editor