Building and infrastructure

Operation and management

Establishing operation and management as a continuous improvement process with balanced consideration of economic, ecological, and social aspects

What do we mean by this?

Competent operation and management is essential during the use phase of properties, building stocks, and individual structures. Operation includes, among other things, the supply of media and the disposal of wastewater (supply and disposal management). Management is divided into the dedicated tasks of building management, space management, and commercial and infrastructural facility management. It includes monitoring, assessing, and influencing media consumption and operating costs, as well as analysing and influencing user satisfaction. Constant management ensures that available spaces, rooms, and infrastructures are used efficiently. This area for action also includes work relating to the inspection, maintenance, and repair of buildings and structural facilities.

The operation and management of buildings influences the actual conditions of use, environmental impacts, and costs under real conditions. It involves monitoring or actively controlling the aspects of: 

  • Energy and material flows
  • Effects on the global and local environment including flora and fauna (biodiversity)
  • Operating costs and conservation of value
  • Health, safety, and user satisfaction

The building stock itself must undergo regular review to determine whether and to what extent it can meet current and future requirements, whether any individual structures require action, how a process of continuous improvement can be designed, and how media consumption and operating costs can be minimised. Portfolio analysis and portfolio management support this process by focusing on the quality assessment of entire building portfolios, including their ability to meet future requirements, as a means to derive and implement strategies for further development.

How could a research organisation implement this?

  • Establish a portfolio management system based on indicators in order to document, for example, the energy quality, accessibility, and sound insulation
  • Establish space management for optimal utilisation of existing space capacities
  • Install, employ, and analyse energy consumption monitoring in conjunction with energy and environmental management systems
  • Establish and employ user satisfaction analysis as a part of employee satisfaction analysis
  • Keep users informed and motivated to encourage positive user behaviour; develop incentive systems
  • Maintain and continually develop operator competence (e.g. through staff development and ongoing training)
  • Determine environmental impacts over the life cycles (e.g. in life cycle analyses)
  • Provide and update a user manual to explain the mechanical, electrical & plumbing (MEP) systems
  • Document building-related maintenance, inspection, operating, and care instructions as well as proof of executed work

Practical examples

TÜV certification at Fraunhofer IKTS

The integrated and process-oriented management system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) aims to design and certify procedures and processes for the benefit of best possible quality, occupational safety, and environmental friendliness based on the core requirements of DIN EN ISO 9001, DIN EN ISO 14001, DIN EN ISO / IEC 17025, and EN ISO 13485 across all locations.

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Brief reports

  • Energy consumption monitoring (working aid)
  • Characteristic values and reference values
  • Benchmarks
  • Certification systems (special case of use and operation)

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Further information



  • Workplace Ordinance – ArbStättV
  • DIN EN 15643, DIN EN 15900
  • DIN EN ISO 14040, DIN EN ISO 14044
  • DIN V 18599
  • GEFMA guidelines
  • VDI 3807, VDI 3808, VDI 4662

Sustainability reporting

DNK criteria

  • 12 Resource Management
  • 13 Climate-Relevant Emissions

GRI indicators

  • Economy: EC 1, 2, 7–9 
  • Ecology: EN 1–3, 5, 6, 8–10, 14–26, 29, 31 
  • Society: LA 6,  7;  SO 1,  2,  8; PR 1–3,  8,  9