Awards of Excellence Online System is Up

The new online system for the Awards of Excellence is now open and accepting registrations at http://awards.ifmaboston.org/nominations.  There you can register yourself as a nominator and then select the Award type you would like to do for your first nomination.  As with any online system, save often.  You can save and work on your nomination up to the deadline at the end of the day on April 6th.  When you are completed with your nomination, you can press save and submit.  You can select another Award to nominate from the New Nominations tab. The updated Call for Nominations can be found here.  Any questions, do not hesitate to contact jennessa@ifmaboston.org.

Registrations for the event are now being accepted at: https://2015awardsofexcellence.eventbrite.com

2015 IFMA Boston Scholarship Application

The IFMA Boston Scholarship application is now open for applications and is open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled within a Facilities Management program.  All applicants must be an IFMA Boston member in good standing.  This year, the Board of Directors will award up to two $2,500 scholarships at the 12th Annual Awards of Excellence on Wednesday, May 20th at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.  The deadline for the scholarship is March 31st.  Any questions can be directed to jennessa@ifmaboston.org.

Click here to start your application.

What Tenants Want in a Building

By Marc Margulies, AIA, LEED AP, principal at Margulies Perruzzi Architects

How do tenants decide which building to take space in? What are the factors that inform the leasing decision? Clearly, cost comes strongly into play, but the financials are often very competitive. The decision may thus be swayed by the physical attributes of one location versus another. How can older or “dated” looking buildings be repositioned for maximum appeal? What are savvy landlords doing to their buildings to attract and retain good-credit tenants? A few factors to consider:

 Amenities

Why does Boston’s Innovation District have such great appeal to growing companies? The reason, in part, is because immediately outside the front door there are a dozen funky restaurants, health clubs, Hubway bike racks, and waterfront music and bars. Given a choice, tenants invariably prefer having convenient access to these kinds of amenities, even if it’s in a suburban setting. Companies want a dynamic, energetic environment – one that has both life-style convenience for staff and the facilities to keep employees from losing work-time by leaving the building.

 Ideally, all the conveniences of an active urban environment would be nearby. Food is the most desirable amenity, and a dominant trend is to provide healthy menu alternatives with adjacent outside dining. The most powerful statement about repositioning a building is the creation of an active dining/meeting/community gathering space adjacent to or as part of the main lobby that helps to bring life and energy to the common areas, one that can be used for casual meetings even beyond food-service hours. The lobby and gathering space should be wireless-enabled with comfortable and flexible furniture. When visitors come to the building, it should feel active, productive, and energetic.

 Other attractive services include dry cleaning drop off/pick up and shared conference facilities with robust audiovisual capabilities. A “micro-mart” can offer 24/7 access to a wide variety of fresh products and typical sundries in a secure self-service environment. Some kind of fitness facility is indispensable; in larger buildings, the fitness facility usually has substantial offerings, but at a minimum provides showers, locker rooms, and some aerobic workout machines.

 Aesthetics

Historic buildings have a unique appeal that new buildings cannot duplicate; new buildings have the long-span, light-filled, flexible footprints and modern common-area finishes that are so attractive. Many buildings built from 1960 to 1990 are caught in-between, and if they remain un-renovated, often feel trapped in time. To remain competitive, dated finishes must be judiciously replaced, and the overall aesthetic environment made to feel fresh.

 Some tell-tale signs that new finishes are needed include natural oak (anywhere), drywall stair railing/half-wall, bordered carpet in the corridors, terra cotta floor tile, heavily fissured ceiling tile, two-toned wood paneling, artwork of miscellaneous sizes and frames, walls with multi-colored, heavily patterned marble, or large round recessed lights. Bathroom finishes should not have 4×4 floor tile on the walls and floor, rust on the toilet partitions, or plastic laminate sink counters with exposed plumbing or 2×2 fluorescent lights.

 Instead, the lobby, corridors, bathrooms and elevators should be light, bright, and clean with contemporary colors and furniture. The “wayfinding” (signage) should be visible and designed around a theme consistent with the building marketing. If there is a security desk, it should feel more like a concierge than a guard post.

 Finally, many of the buildings constructed in the 1970’s during the energy crisis had narrow windows with high sills and bronze tinted glass. The color of the light, particularly in the lobbies, is significantly degraded, making the interiors feel darker and less cheerful. This limited window line is an inherent disadvantage relative to newer buildings, but the color of the glass exacerbates the problem. Replacement of some or all of the windows with clear, low-E glass makes an enormous difference.

 Sustainability

With minimal effort, a building can achieve USGBC LEED EB (Existing Building) status, and the plaque in the main lobby is a powerful statement about the building management’s commitment to providing a healthy work environment. While smaller tenants may not pursue LEED certification, tenants often prefer LEED-certified buildings, and a high percentage of large corporations insist on it.

 Few building owners are enthusiastic about the LEED process and cost. Tenants often view it as a statement about the quality of property management. There is a rigor that comes from LEED certification that assures tenants that their office is well maintained, healthy, safe, and environmentally friendly.

 High-quality tenants in the marketplace want to feel comfortable that the building they are moving to is going to be an asset to their successful, profitable, and productive company, and that prospective employees will see it as an attractive place to work. Amenities, aesthetics, and sustainability are three key elements to successfully appealing to them.

 

About the author

Marc Margulies, AIA, LEED AP, is a principal at Margulies Perruzzi Architects. Consistently ranked as one of Boston’s top architectural and interior design firms, Margulies Perruzzi Architects services the corporate, professional services, research and development, real estate, and healthcare communities. For more information, please visit www.mp-architects.com.

Wentworth’s Master’s Program Creating Next Generation of FM Leaders

With the increasing complexity of the built environment—the operation of multi-campus buildings, managing multi-faceted HVAC facilities, understanding intricate security systems—coupled with the ever-growing need to be cost-efficient, there is great demand for facility managers to think more strategically.

 

This growing need for strategic thinking in the field of facility management (FM), in turn, is creating high demand for a more professionalized workforce.  Today’s facility manager must not only have the technical knowledge to manage the 21st century built environment, but must also possess the business savvy to have a seat at the executive table.  The facility manager’s insight and management expertise guide the operation, technology, systems, finance, and innovation for facilities of all types, and help organizations achieve fiscal efficiency, since facilities are typically the second-highest business cost (after labor).

 

In response to the need for a more professionalized, strategic facility manager, Wentworth Institute of Technology launched the Master of Science in Facility Management (MSFM) program in the fall of 2012.  The MSFM program educates students in foundational post-graduate management principles while enhancing facility management skills and knowledge.  Students learn the leadership and business skills necessary to keep their facilities highly efficient and functional.  The program is designed for working adults, and can be completed part-time, either on-campus or online, in 20 months.

 

This past April, Wentworth proudly graduated its first cohort from the MSFM program. The inaugural class was composed of students from various educational and professional backgrounds, all with a common goal of building advanced knowledge in the FM profession. A dynamic mix of students, together with instructors who bring both theoretical and applied knowledge to the classroom, creates an ideal learning environment for future FM leaders and builds stronger networks in the field.  Below, we highlight three of these talented students.

 

Michelle Moffo

Michelle, who currently works as a consultant at Manhattan Software in their Connecticut office, was attracted to the facility management profession because she saw a changing field with a lot of opportunity.  She enrolled in the MSFM program at Wentworth because she believed it would allow her résumé to stand out and help her to get ahead.  One of the key things that Michelle learned is that FM is a very robust, multifaceted profession.  According to Michelle, “Wentworth’s master’s degree crystallized for me the fact that facility management is not just about operations and maintenance—it is a complex field that requires proficiency in a number of areas.  The MSFM program at Wentworth prepared me to excel as a facility management professional.”

 

Anthony Rauseo

After more than 30 years working in the IT field, Anthony made a career transition into real-estate development and property management.  The MSFM program has helped him to launch his own Maine-based business, Big Bear Rentals (also the subject of his master’s capstone project), and provided him with new skills that aided in constructing the nation’s first Energy Star-rated round-log home.  Anthony found the sustainability and operations courses in the MSFM program to be particularly valuable, since they’ve helped him to become more self-sufficient—and save money—in his new venture.  He is very satisfied with the MSFM program’s outcomes and looks forward to growing his business.

 

Randi Eggleston

There were several aspects of the MSFM program at Wentworth that were appealing to Randi, who works as a space planner at Boston Scientific, including the flexibility that the program provides.  The fact that she didn’t have to come to campus every week for every class in the program made it easier to balance her educational aspirations with her obligations as a busy working professional.  The classroom environment itself was also attractive to Randi, and spurred her professional development over the past two years.  “All of the professors work in industry, so they are able to relate the instructional content to the real world,” Randi said. “My classmates work in jobs related to facility management, creating peer-to-peer learning as well as regular opportunities to ‘talk shop.’”

 

For more information on the Master of Science in Facility Management (MSFM) program, contact Phil Hammond @ hammondp1@wit.edu.

 

Coming soon from Wentworth Institute of Technology!

 

The Master of Science in Facility Management (MSFM) Program goes online starting in the fall of 2014.

 

Now Wentworth’s College of Professional and Continuing Education has three graduate programs;

The Master of Science in Facility Management (MSFM)

The Master of Science in Construction Management (MSCM)

The Master of Science in Technology Management (MSTM)

 

Two ways to earn your MS degree from Wentworth Institute of Technology, on-campus and online.