FEASIBILITY STUDIES – A DIDACTIC INSTRUMENT FOR INTERDISCIPLINARITY IN REAL ESTATE EDUCATION
||Kyrein, Rolf; Rudolf Schäfer
||FEASIBILITY STUDIES – A DIDACTIC INSTRUMENT FOR INTERDISCIPLINARITY IN REAL ESTATE EDUCATION
||Book of Abstracts: 13th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference in Weimar, Germany
||There is a broad consensus that successful real estate management requires the ability to think interdisciplinarily and across the borders of the stakeholder systems involved in the process of this management. Such thinking is also the fundament to take into consideration that real estate management has to be oriented to the demand of sustainability with its three dimensions of economy, ecology and the socio-cultural context. The implementation of these principles in the field of practical real estate education is complicated. This paper presents and discusses the concept of and the experiences with feasibility studies as strategic element of real estate education in the Real Estate Management (REM) Masters` Course at Technische University Berlin (TUB). This master course addresses to professionals with a diploma (Dipl., Ms., BA) mainly in the field of architecture and planning and with several years of practical experience. Today REM TUB can look back on experiences of 7 semesters with 10 projects in 4 courses. In the curriculum of TUB´s REM Course case studies in form of feasibility studies play a strategic role. They are defined as “back bone” of the interdisciplinary course and should prove as “litmus test” for a successful learning process. To do this they must face a number of demands and conditions examplified and discussed in the paper and described in short as follows. During the whole two-years-course there are three projects according to the following system: 1. semester: “ex post” analysis of a project which has been already realised or at least decided (e.g. “Eastgate” mall in Berlin-Marzahn, partner ECE); 2. semester: Feasibility study (“ex ante”) with focus on site and project development (e.g. former power plant area Berlin Charlottenburg Nord, partner Vattenfall); 3. semester: Feasibility study (“ex ante”) with focus on project realisation (e.g. former Post Station Berlin, partner Deutsche Post Immobilien). The integration of the project work into the context of the semester curriculum seems easy but has proved itself a very complicated procedure. Particularly in the first semester students have to understand, that not all the stuff that is necessary for project work can be presented by systematic lectures in advance or at least parallel. These problems can only be reduced by a tough coordination and communication of teachers. In reality this means at least three meetings of teachers per semester, which means a hard challenge for German university faculty. The projects are coached by a project coordinator assisted by a project tutor. Thus it is possible to accompany the work of the students with high intensity, to organise meetings with the site owners or developers/investors and to organise also special lectures to issues that are relevant for the project work. In general the teachers ofthe main disciplines have to act as an expert panel for the project teams. As methodology is concerned students are trained to systematical work with benchmarks. Particularly in the field of urban design, architectural and infrastructural planning this method leads to fast and realistic solution finding and decision making. Students are obliged to work in teams of 4-6 members, each of them responsible for certain thematic dimensions of the project. Although the teams should be mixed with regard to the professions of their members these have to choose issues that are not identical with their home profession. To enhance their soft skills students are trained in presentation techniques and have to present the results of their work in a session open for representatives of the site owners, developers, investors and invited real estate companies. The experiences within the framework of REM TUB have encouraged TUB to start an initiative for similar project work in “normal” courses of architecture and planning schools in those universities that are members of “agenda4”. Since 2005 an annual students´ competition is organised for these 11 universities in cooperation with and sponsored by prominent real estate companies (2005 aurelis; 2006 IVG and RWE). Of course the project work in this competition cannot have the same professional standard as described for REM TUB. But the substantial conditions of the working process are similar and the results of the first run in 2005 are encouraging: 44 teams with about 300 students participated. One can expect that this initiative is an outstanding contribution for the widening of real estate related contents in the education of architects and planners in Germany and thus for the improvement of this education towards more sustainability in real estate management.
||real estate education; real estate management; feasibility study; interdisciplinarity; benchmarking; case study; integrative projects
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