Build-Xcellence Series Creates a Culture of Continuous Learning for Facilities and Operations Project Managers

November 30, 2023

Columbia University’s project managers are now equipped with best practices for sustainable construction thanks to the creation of an inter-department learning series launched earlier this year.

Named Build-Xcellence, the professional development program was created by José A. Morel, executive director of Project Controls at Columbia’s Manhattanville Development Group, who saw an opportunity to create a continuous learning environment for project managers across Facilities and Operations that fostered collaboration and empowered professional growth.

Plans for the series include interactive learning sessions, workshops, discussions, and presentations led by industry experts, thought leaders, and experienced project managers at Facilities and Operations on cutting-edge project management methodologies, real-world case studies, and latest trends shaping the construction industry.

The inaugural session centered around sustainable construction to coincide with Climate Week NYC, featuring Skanska, construction manager for several notable Columbia projects including The Forum, as the keynote speaker. Skanska presented on decarbonizing the built environment and discussed solutions to create carbon neutral spaces including using lower carbon materials, designing spaces to have mass timber, incorporating sustainable job practices, pursuing sustainability certification programs, and more.

The session was highly attended by staff across Facilities and Operations including Manhattanville Development Group, Planning and Capital Project Management, Operations, Campus Services, Finance and Administration, and Columbia Residential, as well as construction managers from Columbia’s Irving Medical Center.

The Build-Xcellence series will continue quarterly in 2024 with potential topics such as project case studies, market trends, building electrification, geothermal energy, and automation and A.I. technologies.