UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering

Prof Alexi Marmot

Prof Alexi Marmot

Professor of Facility and Environment Management and Director Bartlett Global Centre

Bartlett Real Estate Institute

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2007

Research summary

Alexi Marmot has been responsible for developing innovative methodologies to solve practical problems that face all organisations in using space efficiently and effectively to fulfil their mission. Her research-led approach to professional consultancy specialises in ‘evidence-based design’, development of methods, data gathering, analysis and interpretation of results for application to real-world problems. The WorkWare methodologies she has developed and refined over twenty years, gather quantitative and qualitative data on space utilisation, audit, attitudes and behaviour. Results are interpreted to assist strategic decisions by clients, evidence-based design, and change management for building users.

Alexi has co-authored the definitive book on office space planning in the USA, and another in the UK: Office space planning: Designing for tomorrow’s workplace (McGraw-Hill, 2000) and Understanding offices: What every manager needs to know about office buildings (Penguin, 1995).  Many of her publications are evidence-based guidance for the design and management of different facilities, researched for and published by government departments. They include path-breaking work on spaces for learning, that demonstrate how space can serve pedagogy, enhancing the student learning experience while using resources efficiently. Alexi is frequently asked to teach in the UK and internationally on educational spaces to inspire universities, colleges and schools to reinvent the way in which they work and teach.

Many of Alexi’s articles and lectures are for widely read professional journals and conferences attended by practitioners. This helps ensure that her research findings on issues such as new ways to design and manage the client-professional relationship, workplaces, universities and libraries, are widely discussed, can and have been applied by numerous organisations. She has recently conducted pilot research for the Technology Strategy Board in the Energy Efficient Whitehall project, 2011.

Alexi has been commissioned by many public bodies to research and write guides to improve facilities that affect the working and learning experiences of millions of people. Widely distributed in the UK and internationally, these publications form an impressive body of knowledge on several key themes:

- The invention of innovative environments for 21st century learning, from nursery years through the college and university levels;

- Demystifying the process of creating buildings and masterplans, to help clients achieve the outcomes needed by their organisations;

- Innovative design for special building types.

Launch of the publications has frequently been accompanied by an active national training programme.

For government bodies charged with the delivery of higher and further education, Alexi has disseminated her research on teaching spaces through publications, and via online and face-to-face educational sessions. This includes work commissioned by HEFCE, JISC and SFC, the Scottish Funding Council, and presentations for the Higher Education Leadership Academy, AUDE, the Association of University Directors of Estates, EAUC, the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges, and NIACE National Institute of Adult Continuing Education where Alexi contributed to the 2008 consultation into Lifelong Learning on learning infrastructure. She was invited to speak at the annual conference of SCUP, the Society of College and University Planners, in Portland on knowing what works in the design and evaluation of educational facilities.

Teaching summary

As Bartlett Vice-Dean of Teaching and Learning, Alexi Marmot has initiated action plans to improve the student learning experience, and to prepare for future pedagogies. She has enhanced the UCL MSc Facility and Environment Management, FEM, programme to make it the premier course in the UK, competing with or exceeding the best global programmes. She has pioneered the globalization of FM education, by teaching the UCL MSc FEM cohorts in London and also Singapore. This has been enabled through Alexi’s innovative implementation of ‘blended learning’: a combination of face-to-face and distance learning. This supports UCL’s ambitions as London’s Global University, through internationalisation of the curriculum and embracing appropriate new teaching methods.

The first student cohort on the new international course commenced in Singapore for the BCA, Building and Construction Authority in September 2010. Development of the course is exploring systematically the benefits and applicability of different delivery modes: from intensive block delivery of face-to-face lectures, real-time video linked sessions, video and voice downloads, webinars, live assessment questionnaires, group learning and submissions, and one-on-one Skype tutorials. She is documenting the means by which the two student cohorts in London and Singapore can be drawn together, to internationalise the curriculum and learn from one another, despite the obstacle of distance.

Since arriving at UCL and as Head of School, Alexi has achieved step change improvements in the teaching curriculum, learning modes and the physical environment of space and IT. She created and evaluated the Living Learning Lab for the whole Bartlett School of Graduate Studies. Before and after studies reveal that spatial changes significantly increase the frequency and quality of contact between staff, and play an important role in the flexibility of student learning. This was reported at UCL’s TILT conference in 2008. Lessons learnt have been applied to the 2011 move of the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies into new accommodation. Alexi’s knowledge of educational spaces has been called upon in advising on the design of the new UCL Academy School in Camden, opening in 2012, several projects in Bloomsbury for the Estates Division and the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, and the proposed Stratford campus.

Alexi is a visiting professor in the School of Business in Sheffield Hallam University, and is often invited to lecture in other universities including the Institute of Education. She has recently been an external examiner for doctoral students in Cambridge University, and Oxford Brookes University.

Doctoral students under Alexi’s supervision are researching the relationship between energy use and learning performance in universities as an example of non-domestic buildings; the impact of office design on health and performance; creative workplaces; and summer cooling changes for carbon reduction in office buildings.


University of California - Berkeley
, | 1984
University of California - Berkeley
, | 1975
University of California - Berkeley
, | 1974
University of California - Berkeley
, | 1971


Alexi Marmot is Professor of Facility and Environment Management and Head of the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies. She is an internationally acknowledged expert in the design, management, and use of places for work and for learning. Educated in architecture and town planning, Alexi has spent the last thirty years exploring how people use space, how buildings operate in practice, and how to create buildings that really work for the organisations that inhabit them. During her time at UCL, Alexi has continued to draw on her applied professional knowledge to inform teaching and research in facility management.

As Director of her London-based consultancy firm, AMA Alexi Marmot Associates Limited, Alexi continues to have a successful professional career helping organisations shape their built assets to deliver corporate goals. With its impressive client list of public, private and charitable organisations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest grant-giving foundation, AMA provides an excellent base from which to forge industrial and academic links.

Recent appointments to UK government organisations, the Cabinet Office and Asset Skills Council, demonstrate the value placed on Alexi’s advice on the development of the facility management industry. She has been invited to join the Cabinet Office FM/Soft Landings group, part of the government’s Construction Strategy (2011/12); was invited to address the Government Property Unit as part of the efficiency review of property services (2011), and is on the FM Advisory Board of Asset Skills Council, the body charged with improving the skills of the UK workforce to boost productivity and competitiveness (since 2009). Alexi also played a part in the Foresight enquiry into Mental Capital and Wellbeing during 2008. She has been invited to the FM Advisory Group of the British Standards Institute (2011).

For three terms of three years Alexi has been an Enabler for CABE, advising on the design, management and operations of major public buildings across the UK, including several prize winning projects: Manchester Civil Justice Centre; Newcastle Public Library; Rivington Place, London. For CABE, Alexi has co-authored many publications to improve the quality of the UK built environment, and toured the country giving training seminars on CABE’s behalf to hundreds of clients of public sector buildings.

For EuroFM, the European association of practitioners and researchers in facility management, Alexi was invited to address the 2011 Research conference, and the 2009 Plenary of the annual conference outlining an agenda for the future development of the industry. She addressed the most recent IFMA International Facility Management Association annual World Workplace conference in Phoenix USA and has delivered refereed papers at earlier World Workplace conferences in 2009 and 2005. Alexi is currently on the organizing committee for a research conference in September 2012 to be held by the IFMA Foundation at Cornell University. She is a member of the BIFM Education special interest group, and has twice chaired special sessions in 2011 for Corenet, the corporate real estate network, on Temperature Wars: Balancing comfort, cost and carbon and been invited to speak at Ecobuild.