For what its worth, here are my top ten themes for the built environment sector in 2008. These are not predications as such but more of an extension of what I have seen emerge in 2007 and will most likely increase their presence on agendas in 2008…and beyond …
1 Carbon supply chain management – with carbon zero and carbon neutral being the buzz for 2008, will we see a re-evaluation of the value that supply chains add from a carbon reduction perspective? Each member of a supply chain will prove its worth to the overall chain through reduction or carbon emissions in the product or service it passes on to its customer. Essential in achieving the targets before us as we move along the route to a low carbon sector
2 Construction (and fm) Carbon footprint – of the construction or maintenance process – we have little understanding of the contribution the construction process itself makes to the life of a building – estimated from 11% to the equivalent of 3 years emissions for a typical home. Not knowing your carbon footprint may well be the equivalent of not knowing your health and safety stats at the end of 2008
3 ouses, ouses, ouses – a recognition of the importance of wilderness, national parks in light of housing expansion, and the importance these areas have – as a contribution to the environmental balance as well as our collective psyche.
4 End of greenwashing – well, at least a move from anecdotal blatant greenwashing to more evidenced based claims – we will still see many guilty of the greenwashing sins though to be caught by bloggers, watchdogs and bloggers alike.
5 Social networking – private facebook type networks such as xing for collaborative working across organisations, projects, supply chains and communities of practice. The use of Web 2.0 technologies to source knowledge and best practice, leading to a re-appraisal of IP perhaps
6 Open source – An increase in the sharing of technology, knowledge on an open source creative commons approach within our industry. Maybe value will come from using technologies and knowledge rather than just ‘owning ‘ it and restricting its real potential
7 From excellence to experience – the world of quality seems to have gotten stuck in excellence mode. Yet organisations are increasingly concerned with the experience – the experience of a journey the customer or end user makes through the facility or with an organisation. Often the level and nature of this experience is determined and shaped by the front of house (or organisation) people – facilities management people!
9 Virtual assets – as more and more organisations move activities and processes on line we see the reduction in need for built physical assets – eg large HQ’s – will the fm sector come to understand the concepts of virtual assets. Will we see FM organisations within Second Life? (we already have a thriving architecture and construction community there)
10 Community based fm – this one has been bubbling around for a while – but with the increase in social responsibility, social enterprises, community owned assets and the regeneration agenda we can see more community based facilities management approaches, some small such as management of village halls, some larger such as Transition Towns
More on these in future posts – your comments and additions are more than welcome