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Innovations for healthy living and working spaces at the IFM Symposium 2017

There is a great deal of activity in facility management research and practice. This was demonstrated by the ZHAW’s IFM Symposium on 6th October 2017 at the Technopark in Zurich.

IFM-Symposium from left to right: ZHAW specialists Marcel Janser, Nicole Gerber, Gabriela Züger, Simon Ashworth (front), Thomas Leiblein, Dr. Andrea Kofler with the Institute Director, Prof. Dr. Antje Junghans, and Prof. Dr. Tore Haugen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim

150 participants from business, administration and science were greeted by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Antje Junghans from the Institute of Facility Management. The Symposium at the Zurich Technopark was entitled ‘Innovations for healthy living and working spaces’ and united experts from Switzerland and abroad, including Finland (Tampere University of Technology), Great Britain (University of Oxford), Norway (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim) and the USA (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh). Subsequently, an international doctoral workshop opened the door to a new doctoral programme in Facility Management.

Health-promoting factors in the workplace

In the ‘Health-promoting offices and workplace change management’ lecture by Prof. Dr. Lukas Windlinger from the ZHAW, health-promoting factors for the design of workplaces and their impact on users were analysed. The view from inside to out was addressed by Heinz Bernegger, ZHAW lecturer in life cycle management, in his talk entitled ‘Presentation of the SGNI's new Swiss DGNB certification for interior spaces’. The German Society for Sustainable Building (DGBN) has developed an internationally recognised certification system for the sustainability of buildings, and Mr. Bernegger explained, among other things, the cooperation between research and practice for the certification of sustainable buildings. The highlight of the first session was the ceremonial presentation of the DGNB Platinum Award to Urs Frey, Product Manager for Greenproperty at Credit Suisse, by the President of Swiss Society for Sustainable Real Estate (SGNI), Ronald Schlegel, following his lecture entitled ‘Projects with the Swiss DGNB certificate’.

New developments in facility management in healthcare

The second session focused on the topic of facility management in healthcare. Various aspects were discussed in the lectures by ZHAW specialists Nicole Gerber on ‘Enterprise application integration of non-medical software in hospitals’ and Dr. Andrea Kofler and Paul Schmitter on how ‘Digitisation and new technologies are changing our healthcare landscapes’.

At the heart of the session was the panel discussion with other experts from science and practice, moderated by IFM / ZHAW specialist Prof. Dr. Susanne Hofer. The topic of FM in healthcare will be examined in more depth at the "FM Perspectives" network meeting on 20th April 2018.

Looking to the future

A look at the future was provided in the third session with the lectures from Prof. Vivian Loftness from Carnegie Mellon University on how ‘The internet of things is transforming indoor environments for comfort and energy efficiency’, and the session by Dr. Suvi Nenonen from the Tampere University of Technology on ‘Innovative work environments’. The integration of high-tech and low-tech solutions to increase sustainability in built-up environments represents a solution for the development of healthy living and working environments. Dr. Nenonen's lecture focused on the usability and functionality of innovative working environments. She presented a model of the interaction between emotions and real estate in connection with process optimisation and profitability.

Symposium photography - © RGB Photo, Zurich

IFM specialist for media enquiries:

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Antje Junghans, Director of Institute for Facility Management, School of Life Sciences and Facility Management, ZHAW / Wädenswil. 058 934 51 15, antje.junghans@zhaw.ch