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Institute of Facility Management

«The Institute of Facility Management (IFM) stands for the sustainable development and management of healthy living and working spaces. In times of digital transformation, we are committed to supporting private companies and public organisations by cultivating young specialists and managers. Sustainable real estate, intelligent building systems, healthy workplaces and innovative service offerings are the IFM's teaching and research focus.»

Holistic Facility Management

Highly skilled facility managers are increasingly sought after all over the world, and can choose from a wide range of employers. Facility management is just as essential for a football stadium as it is for an office building or an airport, for example. Facility managers and their teams support the core business activities of their companies through the analytical planning, pragmatic implementation and careful steering of building-related process and employee-related services.

In 2013, the IFMA Foundation certified the facility management programs of the Institute of Facility Management (ZHAW).

One of its kind in Switzerland

The Institute of Facility Management (IFM) at ZHAW's School of Life Sciences and Facility Management is the only university in Switzerland to offer a Bachelor of Science in Facility Management and a Master of Science in Real Estate & Facility Management, which means that it acts as a national centre of competence for application-driven research and development and further education.

Students are taught the latest findings and skills from a carefully curated range of relevant disciplines, including economics, the social sciences, nutritional science and engineering, since this is the only way to ensure that they can rise to the growing demands of this dynamic career field.

A career with a future

The demand for facility managers is higher than ever before and continues to rise sharply, both within Switzerland and abroad. Companies from many different sectors have expressed their high opinion of the holistic teaching approach used in our Bachelor in Science, Master in Science and Master of Advanced Studies courses.

We are always happy to answer queries from prospective applicants for our higher or further education courses or from parties interested in cooperating on service provision or research projects.

About us

The Institute of Facility Management (IFM) is a leading player in the field of facility management, and  the only university-level institution in Switzerland with a broad public mandate for the provision of:

  • Teaching at BSc and MSc level
  • Further education (MAS)
  • Research and development
  • Services.

The Institute collaborates closely with both the private and public sectors, developing new solutions and helping to optimise facility management processes not only by means of application-driven research and development, but also through consultancy on strategic issues and support for change processes. It takes a scientific and application-driven approach to the research and development of new business areas, strategies, processes and applications.

The Institute's research activities help drive forward the development of innovative FM processes, organisational solutions, methods and products, while at the same time promoting a theoretical and methodological understanding of the relevant aspects, issues and activities.

The emphasis is on areas of research which reflect market or social needs and draw on the IFM's competencies, with systematic use of the methodological and technical skills offered by the various sub-disciplines within the field of facility management. Interdisciplinary cooperation within the Institute provides the necessary innovative capital for application-driven research and development.


The Institute of Facility Management is Switzerland's centre of excellence for BSc and MSc courses, further education, research and development and service provision in the field of facility management.

Bachelor's and Master's courses

Facility managers and their teams support core business or organisational activities through the holistic management of buildings, facilities and services, which involves the provision of premises, infrastructure and organisational and employee-related services.

Bachelor in Science (BSc) in Facility Management

Our multidisciplinary BSc course covers a huge range of subjects, from economics and the social sciences to architecture, engineering, domestic and nutritional sciences,  law, ecology, IT and communications. It provides an optimum blend of technical, methodological, social and personal skills to ensure that students are comprehensively prepared for a wide variety of jobs in the dynamic career field of facility management.

Master of Science (MSc) in Real Estate and Facility Management

The MSc course, which is taught in English, builds on the BSc course and allows students to expand their specialist knowledge and scientific skills with an industry-relevant and global focus. It prepares students to take up middle- and high-ranking technical and managerial positions in this rapidly growing sector of the economy.

Continuing education courses and professional collaboration

We develop customised continuing education programmes for businesses and organisations, which are designed to meet the client's individual needs and can be held either at ZHAW in Wädenswil or at the client's premises.

Special symposiums, some of which attract an international audience, offer a further platform for knowledge creation and professional collaboration.

Research and development

The objective of the IFM's research activities is to generate knowledge regarding the strategic and operational design and optimisation of facility management processes and services, with the aim of providing the best possible support for an organisation's core business processes in economic, ecological and social terms. These research activities centre around process-related, organisational, methodological and product-driven development and innovation in the field of facility management with a view to the industry-relevant application of our theoretical work.

Our three Competency Groups offer application-driven research and services in the following fields 

The following forms of cooperation are available:

Student theses: Our students tackle real-life problems within the framework of a thesis (project-based or end-of-course). 

Research and development projects: We translate research outcomes into marketable products and services.


The Institute of Facility Management can provide you with support in the form of consultancy or services. Innovative projects ensure that knowledge is transferred from our Institute to industry, and that industry trends and needs are identified at an early stage.