Essay on Indoor Environmental Quality

Essay on Indoor Environmental Quality

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The question of how different building features can affect the building users has occupied the attention of many researchers and building industry professionals the last decades. In addition, many are concerned as well about how to use effectively all this knowledge in that way to influence the decisions about the design of the building. According to Vischer (2009) the research on the building performance and use can be characterized as intelligence gaining. The measures taken for assessing building performance include users' experience of environmental comfort and satisfaction, as well as subjective data and measurements related to different building systems. But these data are not strong on their own unless there is no evidence of how users are affected (Vischer, 2009).

Measuring the level of users' satisfaction with the features of the physical environment they occupy is a key component of the POE model. This concept started in the 60s and 70s, where surveys were conducted on residents' of social housing satisfaction with their residential environment (Vischer, 1985). The evaluation mainly featured collecting information about occupants feelings and building conditions through questionnaires, interviews, site visits, and field observation. It was then widespread to other facilities such as army barracks, hospitals, prisons, courthouses and hospital (Khalil, 2009). In the 80’s the significant advances in theory, method, strategy and application of post occupation evaluation arouse the interest of both managers and designers and resulted in implementing POE methods also in office buildings (Khalil, 2009). One example of considering POE of workplaces in a systematic manner was the PROBE studies (Post-occupancy Review of Build...

... middle of paper ...

...rom their experience, there would appear to be a number of perceived barriers to conducting a POE including:

managers concerns about disruption to business and the sensitivity of the questions asked (BCO, 2007),
the issue of 'ownership' – meaning who is responsible for commissioning such evaluations and who is responsible for undertaking them (BCO, 2007; Turpin-Brookes and Viccar, 2006),
a lack of standardised POE methods across the industry may result in ending up with ambiguous and inconclusive data, as well as the interpretation of the occupancy survey results may prove difficult. (Turpin-Brookes and Viccar, 2006),
the fact that POE is not part of the standard procurement procedure and there is little incentive in the industry market to do anything different than standard practice and to innovate (Zimmerman and Martin, 2001; Turpin-Brookes and Viccar, 2006).

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