Post Occupancy Evaluation, Building Performance And Soft Landings

An image to illustrate Post Occupancy Evaluation, Building Performance and Soft Landings

Post Occupancy Evaluation, Building Performance and Soft Landings

In 2012, buildings were responsible for 37% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, which we all know is a contributor to global warming and climate change. We also know that we need buildings to live in, work, and learn in and we generally spend a lot of our time in them. So the challenge for the building industry is to create buildings that are sustainable, with a minimal impact on the environment, that still meet our needs. Post Occupancy Evaluation, Building Performance and Soft Landings help achieve this.

As part of meeting our needs, buildings need to be comfortable, consume minimal resources and help the occupants do what they are there to do. Often this is a workplace. Research has shown that in offices, if people are too hot or too cold, their productivity can be very significantly affected. Research has also shown that there is a link between comfortable buildings and health. At Method we think it is really important to review building performance once a development is completed. An occupant survey could also be used to inform the scope of an office re-fit or refurbishment.

Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE)

POE is the final step in the building design process, with Soft Landings, and allows clients to understand how a building is performing, by conducting a user survey, to ask occupants how they feel about their environment. It can be a powerful tool in identifying potential issues that may not have otherwise been thought about.

We are formal partners of the BUS (Building Use Studies) Methodology, which allows us to use an industry-wide benchmarking data set to measure your building against.

We start by discussing your building and the occupants with you and decide whether you would like to choose a paper or online survey method, or a combination of the two. After some preparation work and assisting you with communicating the process to your staff, we spend a day or two at your building, where we will conduct the surveys. During this time we can also gather energy and water consumption data.

The survey results are then analysed and presented in a straightforward report, where we will highlight issues of interest. This might be that staff find they do not have enough control over their heating, or find their desk location draughty, or that they really think the lighting system works well.

Benefits

  • Can be really useful to do a before and after, in an office relocation or refurbishment – to identify staff issues which can then inform the brief for the new works.
  • Shows staff that their opinions are valued and taken seriously.
  • Identifies building systems that might not be working correctly, to allow for re-commissioning or re-training – this is particularly useful in new buildings which often contain complex systems that are not always easy for occupants to understand.
  • Provides feedback for the design industry – designers should check that the systems they design are working for the people who use them every day.
  • Independent review from building professionals.
  • Results will show how the performance of your building compares against a database of others in the UK
  • Provides feedback for the next project.
  • Highlight possible reasons for absenteeism.
  • Gains a BREEAM credit

Post Occupancy Evaluation is part of the Soft Landings approach and is the future of sustainable building.

Our team at Method is able to provide POE and Building Performance services. Visit http://methodllp.busmethodology.org to find out more, or contact Natasha Fox on 01793 836600 or email natasha.fox@methodllp.com (natasha NULL.fox null@null methodllp NULL.com)