Last edited 05 Dec 2019

Post occupancy evaluation of completed construction works

Contents

[edit] Introduction

Continual learning and dissemination of acquired knowledge holds the key to shaping the future of projects and practices.

The Home Quality Mark One, Technical Manual SD239, England, Scotland & Wales, published by BRE in 2018, states that: 'Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) is the umbrella term for the process of obtaining feedback on the performance of a recently completed new building or refurbishment. Over time the value of POE has been recognised not only as a one off evaluation of a recently completed project, but as an ongoing assessment process for any building in use that should be conducted at regular intervals over the building’s life cycle.'

Post occupancy evaluation can be used to evaluate a development to determine:

  • How successful its delivery was.
  • How successful the completed development is.
  • Where there is potential for further improvement
  • What lessons can be learned for future projects.

The concept originally surfaced in the 1970s, but the resurgence in POE today is being driven by tighter environmental targets, new regulations and the focus on a more sustainable approach. It is central to improving the performance of low- and zero-carbon building design, and vital for sustainable construction.

The process of post occupancy evaluation can be visualised as part of the building lifecycle, where information learnt from an operational (and occupied) project can be used to inform decisions at all the stages in the design and operational life of a future building.

POE new.jpg

[Image courtesy Buro Happold]

Post occupancy evaluation can be particularly valuable to repeat developers and may be a requirement of some funding bodies. It may be carried out by a consultant, by independent client advisers, or by an in-house team established by the client. It may also be part of a wider aftercare service such as that outlined by the soft-landings framework.

However, as post occupancy evaluation is likely to take place after the main construction contract has been completed, consultant team appointments may also be completed unless post-occupation services were a specific requirement of the original appointments.

Ideally, the client should commit to carrying out post occupancy evaluation at the beginning of the project so that appointment agreements and briefing documents include requirements to test whether objectives were achieved.

Post occupancy evaluation may comprise two studies:

[edit] Post project review

A post project review may begin during the defects liability period.

When the development is first occupied by the client, it is important to visit the site immediately to identify any issues that need to be addressed quickly. It can be beneficial to establish a help-desk and rapid response team to resolve issues as they arise.

A post-project review is undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the project delivery process. To undertake a post-project review, it is important to seek the views of contractors, designers, suppliers and the client about how well the project was managed. This may include assessments of how well the delivery of the project performed against key performance indicators, such as:

An evaluation can then be made of what lessons could be learned from the approach taken and an assessment and lessons-learned report prepared.

See also: End of contract report.

[edit] Performance in use

Generally, performance in use assessments cannot begin until 6 to 12 months after occupation, as operations may not be properly established and the building will not have operated in all seasons. They may then be part of a continuous process.

An assessment of performance in use can include:

[edit] Business objectives

[edit] Design evaluation

[edit] Assessment

The assessment should compare findings to the original targets set out in the business case (the original targets may need to be updated to reflect; changes to the project brief during the design process, inflation etc). It should also compare findings to other projects and industry standards and compare the outcome of the project with the position had the project not taken place.

A report should be prepared that identifies issues, recommends remedies, and makes suggestions for improvements in performance for future projects.

[edit] Other services

Other services that could be provided by consultants during this period might include providing advice on:

NB The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 defines post-occupancy evaluation as; 'Evaluation undertaken post-occupancy to determine whether the Project Outcomes (both subjective and objective) set out in the Final Project Brief have been achieved.'

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references