Fourth-year students in Conestoga’s Bachelor of Applied Technology - Architecture - Project and Facility Management (APFM) program presented capstone projects on August 21 to a panel of judges and special guests.
A culminating component to demonstrate the knowledge and skills students acquired over the length of the program, each capstone focused on a business case proposal for a new student residence at the college. Working in teams, students were required to demonstrate the feasibility of their proposed residence based on projected growth, financial feasibility, student needs and sustainability. Each group had ten minutes to present a high-level case touching on the development of project key issues.
Among the special guests in attendance was Peter Ankerstjerne, chair of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) global board of directors. Conestoga’s APFM program is the only in Canada to be accredited by the IFMA Foundation, which supports the development of highly-skilled and capable future practitioners in facility management.
Joining the virtual presentations from Copenhagen, Denmark, Ankerstjerne congratulated students on their hard work over the last four years and spoke about the important role they will play as the world navigates the global pandemic.
“The APFM program at Conestoga is a unique combination of design and workplace management, which is extremely relevant, especially in the COVID-19 world that we are unfortunately living in at the moment,” Ankerstjerne said. “There’s no doubt that the pandemic will forever change the way we work and the workplace along with it, and I believe that with your background you’re uniquely positioned to address the changes we’re going to need.”
Conestoga closed physical campuses in mid-March to adhere to Public Health guidelines amid the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, students and faculty quickly transitioned to a new online learning environment.
“Apart from the newly learned skills you gained via your four years at Conestoga,” Ankerstjerne continued, “you’ll also be known as the class of 2020 and for your ability to quickly adapt, to be resilient and to be technology savvy because those are the skills you had to build during the pandemic. You’ll be well equipped to help get the world back in shape once we get to the other side of this crisis.”
Founded in 1980, IFMA is the world’s largest and most widely recognized international association for facility management professionals, supporting over 23,000 members in more than 100 countries -- together, they manage more than 78 billion square feet of property. Graduates of Conestoga’s APFM program receive an IFMA Facility Management Graduate (FMG) designation in recognition of the specific qualifications and skill set they possess as well as a one-year IFMA Young Professional membership.
Conestoga’s unique four-year APFM co-op degree program focuses on the entire architectural process from the planning phase through to occupancy and the adaptive re-use of buildings. Students gain strong foundations in architecture, construction, basic engineering and business; insight into project and facility management; and have additional exposure to liberal arts disciplines and practical applications for the business enterprise.