BMO-52806 Evidence-Based Facility Management


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper2
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. HB Kok
Lecturer(s)dr. HB Kok
Examiner(s)dr. HB Kok
prof. dr. WA Dolfsma

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

BMO-31806 Facility Management Innovation; BMO-70424 MSc Internship Management Studies; BMO-80433 MSc Thesis Management Studies


“The art of architecture is not only to make things beautiful – nor is it only to make useful things, it is to do both at once – like a tailor who makes clothes that look good and fit well.” (Hertzberger, 1991)

The environment in which we find ourselves does something to us. We are constantly, consciously and unconsciously, influenced by this environment. Some environments evoke positive feelings and contribute to our well-being, vitality and performance. Others do not and you want to get away quickly: too much noise, unpleasant indoor climate, insufficient privacy or unsuitable for what you want to do. Although we perceive individual characteristics such as layout, acoustics, odor and light, the whole determines our response to our environment. There is a so-called holistic effect. The challenge is to design an environment so that it is functional and has the intended effect on its users. After all, with millions of euros at stake, it is wise to avoid expensive design errors.

The purpose of this course is to study a new approach to improve the quality and fitness for purpose of the work and living environment, namely evidence-based facility design. It’s defined as “using the best information available from research when making design decisions that should - in the end - result in demonstrated improvements in organization’s user outcomes, economic performance, productivity, customer satisfaction and cultural measures” (Becker & Parsons, 2007).

After elaborating on environment-user relationships and related measurement models, this course continues consecutively with a specific focus on office environments, healthcare environments (i.e. healing environment), education environments (i.e. learning environment), and retail environments. By doing so, we equip students with the know how to influence appreciable facility design decisions towards their (expert) view and to be able to translate the potential added value of facilities into board room considerations and metrics.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- describe basic concepts and explain basic theories in environment-user relationships;
- understand how the service environment can impact user's behavior and outcomes in different sectors (i.e. office, healthcare, education, retail);
- design empirical research for measuring effects that elements of the service environment have on users;
- critically analyze facility design issues in different sectors, using facility management knowledge;
- reflect on facility design decisions to benefit organizational outcomes on both an operational and strategic level.


The course consists of 12 (guest) lectures, self-study, an individual assignment, group discussions and student presentations. During the course, students will work individually on an essay in which they reflect on how to improve a current facility design of an organization and prove the effects of prospected facility design interventions. You actually more or less write a research proposal. Students present their work and receive feedback in 10-20-minute sessions during the final lecture.


- written examination, consisting of open and multiple choice questions (30%);
- individual essay (70%).
Each component requires a minimum of 5.5 to pass.


Relevant articles will be provided. Furthermore, before each lecture a PowerPoint presentation on the subject will be posted on Brigthspace.