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All buildings are designed for a purpose. Whether or not they prove to be 'fit for purpose' is another matter entirely.
What is post occupancy evaluation?
Our post-occupancy evaluations focus on the experience of staff and users of those buildings including privacy & dignity, way finding, lighting, noise and temperature control. We also aim to measure causal relationships between the built environment and the general well-being of its staff and users, based on the functional specifications of the building.
Our approach is to use a range of qualitative and quantitative measurement tools throughout our evaluations, to ensure we capture a comprehensive analysis of the built environment’s impact on the experience of staff and users. We are mindful of having a baseline to measure impact against, so we include analysis of the original business cases and design briefs, and the operating policies for the built environment. We develop our own evaluation logic models to ensure they are appropriate for every organisation.
Our experience has shown us that clinicians are not often involved in the planning and design of the physical environments from which they deliver services, and this can impact negatively on the built environments’ capacity to be fit for purpose. We are responding to this problem by offering our services to facilitate bespoke workshops to engage clinical staff in planning and design. We also offer one day evaluations of the built environment by conducting a walk-through observation to identify key issues such as way-finding and sensitivity to users’ needs.
How can we help?
Post-occupancy evaluation is fundamentally a systematic process driven by research covering user and staff needs, building performance and facilities management. We deliver robust findings and recommendations, which can be used to inform design adjustments, and act as an evidence base for future building designs. We encourage our customers to engage in longitudinal post-occupancy evaluations (usually over a period of 1 year, 4 and 7 years post-occupancy) as these produce the most valuable evidence base for design. Longitudinal evaluation is particularly important for addressing the inevitable changes to user demographics, needs and expectations over time.
Drawing upon a wide range of skills, experience and qualifications from our team, we work in partnership with you to tackle these challenges. We offer a range of options for improvement and sustainable practice, including building case studies around excellent practice and developing dissemination strategies, so you can lead improvement across your sector.
Our planning and design workshops include mapping the user journey through the physical environment to ensure that users and staff needs will be met by design.
As members of the UK Evaluation Society we work to promote and improve the theory, practice, understanding and utilisation of evaluation and its contribution to public knowledge.