Singapore Masters Program Encourages Sustainable FM

UCL (University College London) is launching an MSc in partnership with the Building Construction Authority (BCA) in Singapore to encourage environmentally friendly building practices. The first Masters program at UCL to be taught outside London, the MSc in Facility and Environment Management was established with the goal of helping Singapore reach its target of having 80% of buildings in the city “Green Mark certified” by 2030.

The program is aimed at building professionals who will be taught by experts from UCL’s Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at the BCA Academy in Singapore. Specifically tailored for Singapore students, the program will be delivered through blended learning—a combination of traditional face to face teaching by visiting UCL lecturers and distance learning using live video links, one-to-one Skype tutorials, podcasts, and video seminars.

The need for the course has arisen out of the increasing call for more sustainable cities, especially in tropical zones such as Singapore, where more than 50% of carbon dioxide emissions can be attributed to buildings. To address this issue, the government of Singapore has identified a need to train 6,000 green facility managers over the next 10 years. The top tier of these professionals will be taught in the UCL masters program, with the first students due to start in September 2010 at the BCA Academy.

Commenting on the signing of the Collaboration Agreement, BCA Academy Managing Director Benedict Tan said, “This MSc program will be an excellent avenue to nurture leaders and professionals who will one day lead us in our journey to make Singapore a sustainable city of the tropics. Graduates of this program will have the expertise to manage, maintain and operate green buildings in Singapore. Having a strong pool of these professionals for the future will take us a step closer in making Singapore’s built environment more sustainable.”

“We are privileged to collaborate with UCL a university globally renowned for its facility and environment management discipline. I am encouraged by UCL’s efforts in adapting their existing curriculum for our industry and to our local built environment and ‘importing’ it to the BCA Academy,” Tan added.

Leading experts in space and workplace management, Professor Alexi Marmot, service operations, Peter McLennan, and sustainable facility management, Dr Marcella Ucci, will be involved in teaching the course. The program also includes industry site visits to provide students with practical insights into facilities management issues first hand.

Professor Alexi Marmot, head of UCL’s Bartlett School of Graduate Studies explained, “The MSc in Facility and Environment Management at the Bartlett has been running since 1992 with many graduates from the UK and all over the world. The Singapore program is a way for us to extend our expertise globally, while at the same time bringing an international focus to our London program.”