The Research Centre for Facility Management will perform research into the way in which facility management can contribute to the resolution of social and regional issues relating to two fields, namely care and the quality of life in city districts. On the one hand, this relates to topics such as the ageing population and the current changes in the care sector in particular; and on the other hand it relates to decline, building vacancy and new uses, cut-backs, and developments in social support. The research centre was set up on 1 March 2015, with Joop van Duren as its professor.
Facility Management focuses on making residence, work, spending time in a place, and recreation possible, easy, and attractive. In this regard, it is important to listen well to what clients or users require in terms of service, facilities, spaces, infrastructure, and atmosphere. Services or products are purchased on the basis of this. Next, the facility manager ensures that the products and services that are required and have been paid for are actually delivered. As a whole, this is called Facility Management or Facility Control. The Research Centre for Facility Management focuses on the concepts and notions of Facility Control. With the aid of Facility Control, we expect to be able to make a concrete contribution to:
- Dealing with issues of vacant buildings and finding new uses for them; how can we deal most effectively with the regional qualitative and quantitative mismatch between available and required square metres of accommodation (i.e. residential housing, care facilities, retail facilities, and social property)?
- Quality-of-life issues in districts and neighbourhoods; people are living longer and are continuing to live in their own homes for longer, while local facilities are disappearing under the influence of large-scale competition, and municipalities, housing corporations, care providers, volunteers, and commercial service providers are all trying to find their own roles in this story.
Our knowledge network comprises people who are active both within and outside Zuyd University of Applied Sciences and who have architectural, ICT, facilities, care, or managerial backgrounds. We are convinced that good results can only be achieved for these research fields by means of a multidisciplinary approach; an approach within which researchers, lecturers, students, and practitioners work together, perform research together, carry out tests together - in short, learn together. In this way, we can bring about situations in which facility support contributes to the achievement of goals, by creating, maintaining, and managing environments (including built environments) through the integration of people, processes, space, and technology. That is the aim of facility management, and that is what this research centre contributes.
From this perspective, the research centre sees it as its task to develop new, flexible management concepts and to investigate bottlenecks in these new and existing concepts. In this regard, the focus is primarily on management in respect of the shifts in care and in respect of increasing numbers of vacant buildings, in both the public and private sectors, and consequently the adverse effects on quality of life (cut-backs and shortcomings in economic models aimed at achieving satisfactory levels of service provision in these situations) in areas of decline.
About the chair
Joop van Duren
Joop van Duren (born in 1959) has worked at Zuyd University since 2002, gaining his PhD in Best Value Procurement in June 2013.
From 2003 to 2007, Joop was a member of the knowledge network of the Research Centre for Facility Management Innovation, the other members of which - besides Zuyd University of Applied Sciences - are Saxion University of Applied Sciences and HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. Alongside his professorship, Joop is active as the Course Director of the Zuyd Master's programme in Facility and Real Estate Management in Maastricht.