Conestoga news

August 20, 2021 9:38 AM

Facility management students present capstone projects

On August 16, fourth-year students in Conestoga’s Bachelor of Applied Technology - Architecture - Project and Facility Management (APFM) program presented capstone projects to a panel of judges and special guests.

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Peter Ankerstjerne, chair of the IFMA global board of directors, joined the virtual APFM capstone presentations on August 16, to commend students on their hard work and offer insight to the critical role they will when entering the workforce.

The final studio projects were a culminating component to demonstrate the knowledge and skills students acquired over the length of the program. Working in teams, students prepared and presented a business case proposal for a new student residence at the college. Each group had 20 minutes to demonstrate project key issues, including projected growth, financial feasibility, student needs and sustainability.

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 commended students for their hard work throughout the program and spoke about the critical role they will play when entering the workforce to help the industry navigate challenges related to sustainability and the environment.

“The built environment constitutes 40 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions,” said Ankerstjerne. “Those managing the built environment are going to be absolutely critical to finding solutions to sustainability challenges as we look to the future.”

In early August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported carbon dioxide as the main driver of climate change. Strong and sustained reductions in emissions are needed to limit effects, and while benefits to air quality could come quickly, it could take 20-30 years to see global temperatures stabilize.

“I am looking forward to hopefully discussing solutions with some of you and seeing you as part of the industry as we move into this new era of facility management,” Ankerstjerne continued. “We really need young people like yourself with the right educational background and the right visions for the future to tackle some of these problems.”

Founded in 1980, IFMA is the world’s largest and most widely recognized international association for facility management professionals, supporting over 20,000 members in more than 100 countries. Graduates of Conestoga’s APFM program receive an IFMA Facility Management Graduate (FMG) designation in recognition of the specific qualifications and skillset 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.