Post-occupancy Evaluation of Facilities Change

Theo J. M. van der Voordt, Iris de Been, Maartje Maarleveld
  • February 2012, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/9781119967316.ch10

Post-occupancy Evaluation of Facilities Change

What is it about?

This book chapter discusses possible aims, tools and deliverables of post-occupancy evaluations (POE) (otherwise known as building-in-use studies), with a focus on interventions in supporting facilities. POE has a long tradition and has been applied in different fields (e.g. offices, educational buildings, healthcare facilities, retail and leisure, as well as residential areas). The objectives of POE are various, such as delivering input to an improvement plan, building up a generic body of knowledge by exploring and testing scientific theories, and developing practical design guidelines and decision support tools. Data collection tools are also varied, ranging from observations, interviews and web-based questionnaires to walk-throughs and use of narratives. A number of different data analysis techniques are available as well, including qualitative methods, such as content analysis, and quantitative methods, such as descriptive and inductive statistical analyses. A case study illustrates the application of different data collection tools. This case study seeks answers to the effects of new ways of working on employee satisfaction and perceived labour productivity. This study has been conducted by the Center for People and Buildings, Delft, the Netherlands, which specializes in research into the relations between people, working activities and the working environment. The case study is an example of physical interventions including changing the office layout, new furniture, new information and communication technology (ICT) and document storage systems, as well as the flexible use of workplaces. A POE of three pilots has been conducted to test if the new environment performed well as perceived by the managers and employees. The research data has been used in the first instance in order to test if the organizational goals and objectives have been attained and to support decisions with regard to the next steps in this change process. The research data has been used in the second instance more generically, as input to a database for cross-case analyses, exploring and testing hypotheses and benchmarking objectives.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr. Theo van der Voordt