Master of Design Science (Facilities Management)

The Facilities Management stream is available in the Master of Design Science as a secondary stream. See the Master of Facilities Management entry for details of this program which is offered primarily under its own named award courses.

Units of study table

Unit of study Credit points A: Assumed knowledge P: Prerequisites C: Corequisites N: Prohibition Session

Facilities Management Stream

Core units

DESC9200
Introduction to Architectural Science
6      Semester 1
DESC9201
Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
6      Semester 2
DESC9047
Strategic Facility Management
6      Semester 1
DESC9048
Operational Facility Management
6      Semester 2
DESC9049
Financial Decision Making
6      Semester 1
DESC9172
Building Asset Management
6      Semester 2
DESC9183
Risk Management
6    A DESC9047
Semester 2

Optional units

ARCH9028
Conservation Methods and Practices
12      Semester 1
DESC9014
Building Construction Technology
6      Semester 1
DESC9074
Project Management
6      Semester 2
DESC9111
Energy Management in Buildings
6      Semester 2
DESC9153
Graduate Internship
6    A Sufficient coursework to undertake guided professional work

Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Masters students only. Graduate Diploma students with permission of the Program Coordinator. Advanced Standing will not be granted for this unit of study.
Semester 1
Semester 2
PLAN9061
Planning Principles, Systems & Practice
6    N PLAN9020, PLAN9044


Enrolment numbers limited by teaching resources. If your attempt to enrol online is unsuccessful please contact the Student Administration Centre (SAC). Permission required in Semester 1 unless enrolled in Urban and Regional Planning.
Semester 1
Semester 2a
DESC9300
Research in Arch. & Design Science
6    N ARCF9001

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Semester 1
Semester 2
ARCH9031
Research Report
12   
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Submit an Independent Study Approval Form, signed by your proposed supervisor, with your request to enrol. Available to Masters students only.
Semester 1
Semester 2

Unit of study descriptions

Facilities Management Stream

Core units

DESC9200 Introduction to Architectural Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Francesco Fiorito Session: Semester 1 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This unit aims to explore the scientific concepts of heat, light and sound, and from this develops foundational principles and methods applicable to buildings. It is divided into five topics: climate and resources; thermal environment; air movement; lighting; and acoustics. Students will gain an understanding of the terminology, physical values and metrics in each of these topics, and how they apply to the design and function of buildings. Theoretical models to predict key physical values in buildings are presented and used in assessments. Learning is supported by measurement exercises.
This unit has a focused pedegogy intended for all graduate students in Design Science. It is a common core unit for all of the programs (Audio and Acoustics, Building Services, Facilities Management, Illumination Design and Sustainable Design). Students within these programs should undertake this unit in their first semester of study if possible.
DESC9201 Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Humans' thermal, visual, auditory and olfactory senses determine the perceived quality of a built environment. This unit analyses built environments in context of these human factors. This unit relates human experience of buildings to the main dimensions of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ): thermal, acoustic, lighting and indoor pollution. This understanding of human comfort perceptions is contextualised by an understanding of the various approaches to the evaluation of built environmental performance. You will study post-occupancy evaluation tools and workplace productivity metrics. Regulations from Australia and abroad will be explored to understand their impact on acoustics, thermal comfort, lighting, indoor air quality and ventilation. The unit also pays particular attention to sustainability rating tools from around the world, including GreenStar, NABERS, LEED and BREEAM. This unit gives students extensive hands-on experience in laboratory- and field-based methods of IEQ research and building diagnostics. A recurring theme will be instrumental measurements of indoor environments, and how they can be analysed in relation to perceptual and behavioural data collected from occupants of those environments.
DESC9047 Strategic Facility Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 1 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This unit is an introduction to forward planning of facilities and its impact on their management, since adjustments and alterations to facilities occur much slower than corporate decisions can be made. It is a management discipline, and as such relies on the central topics of business finance, information systems, and of course management per se. The teaching proceeds from an examination of the purpose of organisations and how the facility assists (or hinders) it achieving its goals. Explaining this understanding is the subject of the first Coursework assignment. In this first half of the unit we will examine the purpose of 'organisations' and their 'facilities'. This includes examination of facilities and how their performance is measured. We shall consider the procedures necessary to obtain this information, and how to identify those areas that have 'elasticity' and are therefore amenable to management initiatives. In the second half of the unit we will consider the potential improvement of the performance in terms of the user organisation's mission. In this regard, occupational health and safety issues are germane. The second coursework assignment will require attendees to consider the means to measure the performance of facilities in order to relate them to corporate purpose.
DESC9048 Operational Facility Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Operational Facilities Management is a service industry concerned with the day-to-day operations required to run an organisation's facilities. Primarily facility operation has to satisfy the user organisation's statutory responsibilities. Beyond that, whilst some major costs (such as Rates, Land Taxes, Insurance premiums etc.) are fixed, other costs are amenable to management. Operational Management necessarily requires those charged with the task to evaluate where their effort is spent and where the significant resourcing costs lie, thus allowing them to prioritise and match their effort to the effect.
This unit will involve considerations of subcontracting and examine 'best practice' guidelines for both hard and soft service provision.
DESC9049 Financial Decision Making

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 1 Classes: 4 day intensive (9am-5pm) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Facilities management is a subset of business management: As such, no 'management' can be exercised without first matching the need for resources against the resources available. This necessarily involves the financial and accounting information systems of the organisation, and the 'tools' necessary to extract information in order to make informed decisions.
The unit is in two halves: The first deals with management accounting. Students will learn how to interpret the standard historical information regarding organisations via the balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and cash flow forecast. Students will gain an appreciation of the underlying assumptions behind these performance measures and will learn how to interpret this information in order to recognise under- and over-performing businesses. The second half examines cost accounting, i.e. the internal generation and flow of management information for financial control. Students will also gain an appreciation of accounting as a forward-looking managerial tool for controlling the conduct of an organisation. This will include an understanding of the budgeting process and how it can be utilised to achieve the Facility Management mission. The unit will also cover the principles and issues of building, finance and their impact on life-cycling costings.
DESC9172 Building Asset Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This unit will examine the objectives of both private and public building providers and consider the role that the built assets play in organisations. Buildings per se are a means to an end, as well as a 'product' in their own right. They involve a very large capital commitment, thus represent a large proportion of the owner's asset base. The assets suffer degradation from wear and tear over time that needs to be mitigated.The mechanics of maintenance, and the background systems that have to be put in place in order to keep this aspect of operations under control will be considered. The role of Asset Registration, Condition Registration and Maintenance Schedules will be studied. Successful students will be able to structure and implement Management Information Systems from asset registration through condition and maintenance schedules, and be able to demonstrate an ability to create a structured asset register, and to identify key assets; an ability to include condition, and maintenance task schedules, and so be able to map future capital expenditures to maintain the building at an appropriate level.
DESC9183 Risk Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assumed knowledge: DESC9047 Mode of delivery: Block Mode
At the end of the unit successful students will: have an ability to undertake a risk identification study to AS4360:2004; have an understanding of the process of prioritising risk; have an ability to generate and assess risk management options and lead the discussion in the selection of the most appropriate mitigation strategy. The major area of the unit covers OH&S.This requires the student to understand the policies and processes that their organisation need to put in place to satisfy the legislation. Upon completing this unit, students will: be able to undertake an analysis of the areas of risk related to their organisation's workplaces having an impact on their missions and goals; understand the process for assessing risk in terms of 'best practice'; demonstrate their ability to present appropriate risk management options; be aware of the Occupational Health and Safety regulations and will understand the impact of these on their workplaces; and be able to implement OH&S management procedures.

Optional units

ARCH9028 Conservation Methods and Practices

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1 Classes: Lecture 4 hrs/wk + site visits Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) Day
The aims of this unit are to develop practical skills in the methods and practices of conservation at an accepted professional level, and to interpret and apply the theory of practice taught in the mandatory core of the course in practical, on-site projects. The unit focuses on culturally significant structures and cultural landscapes and includes: methods of survey and documentation (locating, describing and recording components with possible heritage value; identifying and reading historic fabric; historic and archival research methods; thematic history methods; pattern recognition; natural systems; settlements; cultural mapping; aesthetic analysis; material and stylistic analysis); evaluation methodology (assigning heritage significance); assessment methodology (establishing conservation priorities); and appropriate conservation actions (conservation and management plans, policies and strategies). At the end of the unit the student will successfully demonstrate: an understanding of the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter and the ability to prepare, in accordance with current accepted professional practice, a conservation plan of a place or places of cultural significance; skill in methods and techniques of analysis, assessment and documentation of cultural significance; and the ability to develop relevant policies and strategies for the conservation of a variety places of cultural significance. The intended outcomes are achieved through inquiry, individual study and research and are demonstrated by each student upon the successful completion of set assignments. The assignments are constructed to allow each student to demonstrate his or her level of understanding of the accepted professional methodology and practice in the preparation and presentation of a conservation plan. Assessment criteria based on unit outcomes are used for the examination of the assignments.
DESC9014 Building Construction Technology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Michael Muir Session: Semester 1 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am - 5pm) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This unit covers three related areas of investigation: basic building construction practices, advanced building construction practices & sustainable construction. It begins by introducing a number of recurrent themes in construction in Australia at the present time including the idea of building culture, the various modes of delivery and variety of classifications of buildings and building elements, rational construction & construction detailing from first principles. There follows a review of construction techniques of domestic scaled buildings using, where appropriate, examples of well documented and/or accessible exemplars. The second part of the unit reviews current approaches to building technologies employed in more complex public and commercial scaled buildings, particularly with regard to processes of structural system selection, fa├žade systems design and construction and material performance. The fundamentals of heat transfer and effects of external conditions on indoor comfort, aspects of the BCA and integration of services into the building fabric relevant to building services engineers will also be reviewed. Again, accessible exemplars will be covered. Finally the unit will review current issues related to key attributes of buildings which make them sustainable, particularly with regard to material selection, appropriate detailing for energy and resources conservation and building reuse and recycling.
DESC9074 Project Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Project Management is specific form of establishing, programming, and coordinating an activity having a specific start point and end point. This body of knowledge - as for example in the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) - needs to be understood in general terms. Initially project managers must identify and define the services that are needed, (scope) and that their employers are willing to endorse. The activities requiring to be carried out need to be sorted and sequenced; the materials, labour and plant required need to be estimated and procured. Projects involve the management of information, and communications. This unit will develop the student's ability to ascertain and document the scope of a project, schedule a programme, and understand the difficulties in directing it. This unit approaches the profession of Project Management as a cooperative undertaking rather than adversarial: It promotes the adoption of soft-skills rather than that of forceful command and supervision.
DESC9111 Energy Management in Buildings

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Alan Obrart/Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
The objectives of this unit are to give students an understanding of energy consumption issues in buildings through both design and operation and to give students an awareness of energy auditing and current energy conservation techniques.
This unit is primarily concerned with the management and control of electrical power delivered via the grid. We start with the commercial electricity sales environment; the rental of transmission lines, the rental of the utility company's infrastructure, the non-fossil fuel obligation, and tariff structures. We will concentrate on the processes and the considerations involved in undertaking an energy audit, which will also be the focus of Assignment 1. The options for demand management, including outsourcing will be examined. Passive energy design, which 'locks in' future energy usage will be presented. Active energy systems and their fundamentals: lighting, air conditioning, hot water, ventilation, vertical transportation, and machinery, will be reviewed. Finally methods of assessing energy performance including computer simulation will be covered.
DESC9153 Graduate Internship

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Dean (Education) Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Fieldwork Assumed knowledge: Sufficient coursework to undertake guided professional work Mode of delivery: Professional Practice
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Masters students only. Graduate Diploma students with permission of the Program Coordinator. Advanced Standing will not be granted for this unit of study.
The aims of the internship are to provide a direct link between the academic core of the course and the disciplines and methods of practice; to enable candidates to experience aspects of practice and provide the opportunity for them to work in areas of the field outside their specific expertise; to enable candidates to observe, analyse and comment on the interaction between theoretical and practical issues of their Program as it is practiced, and to establish connections between practice and the development of relevant research programs. The internship is intended to provide the opportunity for students to work in various situations in their Program's area. A secondary intention is that students use the opportunities of placement to broaden their own experience beyond the limitations of their chosen discipline. Candidates must find a suitable professional placement. Permission to enrol is given after the proposed placement has been approved by the Program Director. The host organisation will nominate a supervisor for the student for the internship. The student must complete at least 120 hours of full or part-time experience, supervised by a practicing designer (or other professional depending upon the field). A log-book of each day's work, signed by the supervisor must be submitted on completion. A 2,000-word report on the benefits of the internship must also be produced. At the end of the internship the student will: demonstrate that they have completed a program of work (through a log-book); present a report; analyse their experiences and compare these to the theoretical content of the units they have completed, and suggest appropriate research directions so as to improve the complementarity of theory to practice.
PLAN9061 Planning Principles, Systems & Practice

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Nicole Gurran Session: Semester 1,Semester 2a Classes: 4 day intensive (9am-5pm) Prohibitions: PLAN9020, PLAN9044 Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Note: Enrolment numbers limited by teaching resources. If your attempt to enrol online is unsuccessful please contact the Student Administration Centre (SAC). Permission required in Semester 1 unless enrolled in Urban and Regional Planning.
This unit aims to prepare you for professional practice as a strategic or development assessment planner. It focuses on social, economic and environmental principles for contemporary planning practice; the systems for land use planning and environmental management in Australia, and the practice of statutory planning and development assessment in NSW.
By the end of this unit of study you will: understand the social, economic, and environmental principles underpinning contemporary planning practice; appreciate key legal and institutional processes for environmental planning in Australia and internationally; be familiar with the various planning state, regional, and local planning instruments in NSW, and understand when and how they apply to planning proposals. You will also be able to assess the social, economic, and environmental impacts of basic planning proposals, and justify these recommendations in professional planning reports. In preparing for professional practice you will gain an understanding of the principles, techniques and requirements for public participation in environmental planning and assessment; and the ethical responsibilities of land use planners, including respect for diversity and the importance of social equity, in guiding decision making processes and assessing planning proposals.
DESC9300 Research in Arch. & Design Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof William Martens Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 5 workshop sessions (1 hr/wk for first five weeks) followed by individual student supervision by an appropriate staff member (chosen according to field of research) Prohibitions: ARCF9001 Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit aims to prepare students for undertaking a research project in the various sub-disciplines of Architectural and Design Science. It begins with the workshop-based presentation of foundations of experimental science relevant to research projects within these sub-disciplines. It highlights principles of experimental design and methods of data collection and analysis. Examples of previous projects undertaken by graduate students in Design Science will be presented, as appropriate, in any of the following areas: Audio and Acoustics, Building Services, Facilities Management, Illumination Design and Sustainable Design). Although this unit has a focused pedagogy intended for all graduate students in Design Science, enrollment may be expected by other coursework students within the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, such as those undertaking the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts (M.IDEA).
ARCH9031 Research Report

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Program Director Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Independent research under academic supervision. Mode of delivery: Supervision
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Submit an Independent Study Approval Form, signed by your proposed supervisor, with your request to enrol. Available to Masters students only.
The report is a substantial piece of research conducted over one semester. It takes the form of report (between 10000 and 15000 words) on an approved subject of your choice. The report is an opportunity to advance your knowledge and skills in a particular area. The objective of the report is to allow you to develop research and analytic skills by undertaking an in depth study of your own selection. The expected learning outcomes of the report include the ability to think critically about a problem and develop an appropriate research methodology or analytical approach to address it; identify and access appropriate sources of information, research and literature relevant to the issues; undertake relevant primary and secondary research; and present your findings in a way that demonstrates academic and professional competence. A report generally includes a literature review to delineate a problem; a statement of research aims or objectives, as well as research questions; an explanation of research methods; presentation and analysis of data; and discussion of conclusions. Permission to continue the Report may be subject to a satisfactory research proposal being approved by your supervisor by week 3 of semester. Reports are due at the end of the first week of exams for the semester in which you are enrolled. The assessment is based solely on the submission of your report. The report is generally marked by two examiners, neither of whom is your supervisor.