Public project: post occupancy evaluation
Post occupancy evaluation is the process of evaluating the development to determine; how successful the delivery of the project was, how successful the completed development is, where there is potential for further improvement, and what lessons can be learned for future projects. Post occupancy evaluation can be particularly valuable to repeat developers and may be a requirement of some funding bodies.
In practice, post occupancy evaluation may begin during the defects liability period. Ideally the client should commit to carrying out post occupancy evaluation at the beginning of the project so that appointment agreements and briefing documents can include a requirement to test whether objectives were achieved.
 Appointing independent client advisers.
Post occupancy evaluations may be carried out by an in-house team, by independent client advisers, or may be part of the contract with the integrated supply team. However, as post occupancy evaluation is likely to take place after the construction contract has been completed, some appointments may also be completed unless post occupation services were a specific requirement of the original appointment agreements. If such services were not a requirement of the original appointment then new appointments or re-appointments may be necessary.
 Carrying out a post project review.
A post project review may commence during the defects liability period. Its purpose is to evaluate the project delivery process rather than to assess performance in use (which is assessed later in this stage).
The independent client advisers and client hold a start-up meeting to confirm the scope of evaluation required and agree the reporting procedures and programme. The client issues relevant information that may have been compiled during the design and construction phases to the independent client advisers.
The independent client advisers make site visits to identify any issues that need to be addressed immediately. They may establish a help-desk and rapid response team if this has not already been done by the client or (integrated supply team).
The independent client advisers monitor completion of the building owners manual (operation and maintenance manual) and ensure that other project documentation has been properly completed and handed over to the client such as 'as built' or 'as manufactured and installed' drawings.
- The quality briefing documents.
- The effectiveness of communications.
- The performance of the entire integrated project team.
- Quality issues.
- Health and safety issues.
- Claims and disputes.
- Collaborative practices.
The independent client advisers consider how well the delivery of the project performed against key performance indicators and evaluate what lessons can be learned from the approach taken. They then prepare an assessment and lessons learned report for the client.
 Assessing performance in use.
Performance in use assessments cannot begin until at least 6 to 12 months after occupation, as operations may not be properly established and the building will not have operated in all seasons. It may then be part of a continuous process.
The independent client advisers and client hold a start up meeting to confirm the scope of evaluation required and agree the reporting procedures and programme for the assessment. The client issues relevant information that may have been compiled during the design and construction phases to the independent client advisers.
The independent client advisers carry out evaluations of business objectives, which may include:
- The achievement of business case objectives.
- Whole-life costs and benefits against those forecast (including assessment of capital vs running costs).
- Whether the project continues to comply with the business strategy.
- Whether operations have improved.
- The resilience of the development and business to change.
- Business and user satisfaction (including staff and user retention and motivation).
The independent client advisers carry out evaluations of the design, which may include:
- The effectiveness of the space planning.
- Aesthetic quality.
- The standards of lighting, acoustic environment, ventilation, temperature and humidity.
- Air-pollution and air quality.
- User comfort.
- Maintenance and occupancy costs.
- The balance between capital and running costs.
- An assessment of whether the development is being operated as designed.
- Environmental and energy consumption in use.
The independent client advisers prepare a report that:
- Compares their findings to the original targets set out in business case (the original targets may need to be updated to reflect changes to the project brief during the design process, inflation etc).
- Compares findings to other projects and industry standards.
- Compares the outcome of the project with the position had the project not taken place.
- Identifies issues and recommends remedies.
- Makes recommendations for improvements in performance on future projects.
 Gateway review 5: operations review & benefits realisation (or benefits evaluation).
The client (senior responsible owner (SRO)) commissions an independent peer review of the project: gateway review 5: business evaluation. The review '...confirms that the desired benefits of the project are being achieved, and the business changes are operating smoothly' ref OGC introduction to gateway 5.
The review team issue a confidential review report to the senior responsible owner who then implements any actions necessary.
Gateway review 5 may be repeated through the life of the building.
NB other services that could be provided by independent client advisers during this period might include: providing advice on letting, rating, maintenance, insurance, tenants queries, facilities management, BREEAM assessments, the preparation of tender documents for maintenance and operation contracts and so on.
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