STEPHEN BALLESTY of Rider Levett Bucknall provides an overview of World Workplace Asia 2012.
Singapore was the site chosen for the recent second World Workplace Asia, which was held over 25 to 27 July 2012 at the Raffles City Convention Centre. The event, hosted by the Building & Construction Authority (BCA), the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and the Singapore Chapter of IFMA, was opened by Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Singapore’s Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Defence and National Development.
Dr Maliki stressed the importance of a productive and sustainable built environment, announcing that the Singapore government would be raising the prevailing Green Marks Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings (GMIS-EB) from a co-funding program of up to 35 percent (capped at S$1.5 million) to co-funding of up to 50 percent or S$3 million for Green Mark Platinum projects. Owners who plan to retrofit their buildings to Green Mark GoldPlus can receive co-funding of up to S$2.25 million and S$1.5 million for building projects rated with Green Mark Gold.
The conference was deliberately focused on Asia-Pacific facilities management with a theme of Smart Facilities, Unlimited Opportunities. Some 450 delegates from 22 countries gathered to hear from leading presenters from Singapore and internationally from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Presentation tracks covered real estate and property management, best practice and quality, sustainable facilities management, global trends and innovation. In addition, there was a range of green facility site tours.
Power speaker, Professor Steven Sonsino from the Tomorrow Leaders Institute explained how in an upside down world that the centre of gravity of the global economy has shifted forever – putting the Asia Pacific region front and centre. He not only provided insight into how the world has changed, but also made the case for the requirement of new approaches to the management of human capital for innovative and high performance outcomes.
The conference provided the opportunity to recognise facilities management via numerous awards being presented. This included the presentation of Accredited Degree Program (ADP) certificates to SIM University’s Bachelor of Facilities & Event Management and the University College London’s Master of Science in Facility & Environment Management (offered in Singapore in partnership with BCA). These are now the second and third ADP’s offered in Singapore, joining the other higher education providers accounting for now 22 programs worldwide accredited by the IFMA Foundation.
“SIM University looks forward to a long-lasting and successful partnership with IFMA to provide a robust, industry-relevant and ready-for-use curricula to develop well-informed and competent facilities managers of tomorrow,” Dr Luke Peh Lu Chang, head of program, facilities and events management at SIM University School of Science and Technology, commented.
The conference concluded with a gala dinner and the IFMA offering a post-conference Certified Facility Manager exam review course on 28 and 29 July.
World Workplace Asia 2012 in Singapore was an outstanding event, representing the best the facilities management world has to offer in terms of ideas, energy and leadership. Jon Seller, Optegy Group general manager and first vice chair of IFMA, concludes, “It was an outstanding event demonstrating IFMA’s commitment to facilities management leadership in the Asia-Pacific region.”
World Workplace Asia 2013 will be held in Shanghai on 5 and 6 September 2013.
Stephen Ballesty is director of Rider Levett Bucknall, immediate past chair of the IFMA Foundation, and past chairman and life member of the FMA Australia.