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Sustainability, Real Estate, Emergency Management Highlight World Workplace 2011

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Energy, Facility Management, FM Alert, Professional Development

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Published on October 05, 2011 with 1 Comment

Heading to Phoenix, AZ October 26 to 28, the World Workplace 2011 Conference & Expo will feature more than 60 educational sessions addressing issues relevant to the performance and safety of the workplace. This year’s sessions will cover topics including carbon footprint reduction, corporate real estate acquisition, emergency preparedness and business continuity planning, energy savings, sustainability, telecommuting and flexible work programs, and workplace productivity.

World Workplace 2011 educational sessions will be held Thursday, October 27 and Friday, October 28 in the Phoenix Convention Center. Sessions will follow 11 topic areas reflecting the facility management competencies defined by IFMA’s most recent global job task analysis, including Finance and Business, Real Estate and Property Management, Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, Leadership and Strategy, and Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity. Conference attendees can earn continuing education units for each session they attend.

The recent economic downturn, coupled with environmental concerns, has left many companies implementing or enhancing sustainability programs or pursuing other energy savings initiatives. World Workplace 2011 will feature educational sessions covering a broad range of sustainability topics, including: comparing sustainable building rating systems; strategies and tactics for achieving sustainability goals; sustainability on a budget; the U.S. General Services Administration’s approach to sustainability; lighting and human health; and sustainable water management.

Real estate issues have also been on the global conscience as many countries deal with an ongoing housing slump and a decline in real estate values. Facility professionals must not only be diligent in making commercial real estate sales and acquisitions, but should also consider how other workplace design, energy management, and sustainability strategies can help them get the best results for their organizations. World Workplace 2011 educational sessions will address real estate and property management issues including how to: bridge the landlord/tenant divide; use workplace design to strengthen business strategies; go green in a leased office space; and make corporate real estate decisions.

“When acquiring corporate real estate for their organizations, it is facility professionals’ responsibility to avoid real estate pitfalls, know the questions to ask, and understand the issues to consider before and after any leasing or purchasing is done,” said Edmond P. Rondeau, AIA, CFM, IFMA Fellow, real estate general manager at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The Indonesian tsunami of 2004, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the U.S., the earthquake in Haiti, and more recent natural disasters along the U.S. East Coast this year have left many around the world more cognizant of the threat disasters and other emergency situations present. Emergencies can be either man-made or natural, and are defined as any event negatively impacting human safety, property assets, or the production capability of an organization, community, or society. World Workplace 2011 will feature educational sessions addressing emergency preparedness, business continuity, and crisis management. Attendees will learn how to: prevent or reduce their organization’s level of internal and external risk; direct and coordinate emergency response and recovery operations; apply disaster management principles to business continuity planning and risk management; improve crisis communication and decision making skills; and develop a disaster preparation, response and recovery plan.

Additional World Workplace 2011 educational sessions will cover a variety of topics, including communicating with senior leadership, maximizing space utilization, and developing successful requests for proposals. A complete list of educational sessions is available online.

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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  1. It’s important that businesses learn how to handle a multitude of disastrous situations. How you handle a natural disaster like a flood is going to be different than how you handle an employee hurting themselves on a piece of equipment. You need to know the proper response to each situation.

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