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Innovations for healthy living and working environments in FM research and practice

20 Nov,2017

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

150 participants from business, administration, industry and academia were greeted by Prof. Antje Junghans, Director of the Institute of Facility Management (IFM) at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). This year`s Symposium was entitled ‘Innovations for healthy living and working environments’ 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). The IFM Symposium 2017 was structured into three main sessions and subsequently, a new doctoral programme in Facility Management was introduced in an international PhD Workshop.

Health-promoting workplaces and sustainable buildings

In the ‘Health-promoting offices and workplace change management’ lecture by Prof. Dr. Lukas Windlinger, 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 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. Nicole Gerber discussed various aspects on ‘Enterprise application integration of non-medical software in hospitals’ and Dr. Andrea Kofler and Paul Schmitter focused on how ‘Digitalisation and new technologies are changing our healthcare environments’.

At the heart of the session was the panel discussion with other experts from science and practice, moderated by Prof. Dr. Susanne Hofer. The topic of FM in healthcare will be examined in more depth at the next annual spring conference "FM Perspectiven" which will take place at the Institute of Facility Management on 20th April 2018.

The internet of things and future work environments

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.

International PhD programme in Facility Management

The Institute of Facility Management (IFM) at the Department of Life Science and Facility Management at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) is establishing the first doctoral programme in Facility Management in Switzerland in cooperation with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway, and the Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) in Liverpool, United Kingdom. The current and potential new doctoral candidates met the board members of the new doctoral programme in the PhD Workshop. Presentations by Prof. Antje Junghans (IFM/ZHAW) and Prof. Tore Haugen (NTNU), as well as video greetings by Assoc. Prof. Matt Tucker (LJMU) introduced the PhD workshop, followed by the discussion moderated by Dr. Andrea Kofler (PhD programme coordinator, IFM/ZHAW) with Marcel Janser, Nicole Gerber, Gabriela Züger and Simon Ashworth (doctoral candidates at international partner Universities and researchers at the IFM/ZHAW).


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


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Antje Junghans, Director IFM Institute of Facility Management, School of Life Sciences and Facility Management, ZHAW / Wädenswil. 058 934 51 15,

Last modified on 20 Nov,2017