Sustainable Facilities Management in the Built Environment: A Mixed-Method Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The significance of facilities management practices in the built environment and the changing focus to include sustainability principles have been acknowledged. However, there is no consensus on the sustainability principles needed to ensure maximal benefits in the built environment. Few studies have systematically analysed and visualised the trends in facilities management sustainability research. This study thus explored facilities management research and its evolving focus over the past decade regarding sustainability. With a focus on the built environment, an exploratory study using scientometrics and content analysis was undertaken based on the extant literature from 2012 to 2022 published in the Scopus database. Keywords including “sustainable facilities management” and “built environment” were used to identify journal articles and conference papers. Interlinks were mapped and visualised using VOSviewer and complemented with findings from the content analysis. Findings showed that current research pathways centred around four clusters, including planning and implementation, community-oriented smart facilities management, innovativeness, and environmental and corporate energy management. These core research focus areas were mostly concentrated in the United Kingdom. The core researchers, institutions, funders, and sources were established. Future research gaps and directions based on knowledge areas and methodological and collaborative endeavours were highlighted. The study offers insights to facilities managers, researchers, analysts, and policymakers on the trajectory of sustainable facilities management research and the extent to which the sustainable development agenda has been embraced. The relations between SFM research and opportunities or areas of stronger focus given contemporary occurrences were identified.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3174
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • built environment
  • community
  • energy management
  • environmental and corporate management
  • facilities management
  • smart and innovative management
  • sustainability
  • sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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