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Pre- & Post-Occupancy Evaluations - A Means for Contributing to Positive Outcomes

Title: Pre- & Post-Occupancy Evaluations - A Means for Contributing to Positive Outcomes 

Research Team: Debra Harris, PhD, RAD Consultants / Baylor University;Jane Rohde, AIA, ASID, FIIDA, ACHA, CHID, LEED AP BD+C, GGA-EB, Principal, JSR Associates, Inc.; Lauren Erickson, Project Coordinator, JSR Associates, Inc.; Shernise Richardson, NCIDQ, Assoc. AIA, JSR Associates, Inc. 

Institution: Baylor University, RAD Consultants, JSR Associates, Inc.


One of the current issues within the design industry is the lack of consistent criteria being set up at the beginning of a project’s design process for decision-making that can also be utilized to evaluate success of measurable operational and design outcomes at the conclusion of construction and occupancy including the return on investment (ROI) aspects. The research project includes an evaluation of existing evidence based tools and best practices to develop a consistent approach to completing programming and planning information (i.e., Pre-Occupancy Evaluation) that is updated throughout the design process as a framework for decision-making. Part of the planning process includes the establishment of criteria at the front end of a project by incorporating operational inputs and physical space requirements in conjunction with desired measurable outcomes. When completing the Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE), the information, criteria, and measurable outcomes are used as a benchmark to verify compliance with the intended outcomes established at the beginning of a project. 

One of the most important factors is that a POE is a reflection or answer to the Pre-occupancy Evaluation. Changes during the design process requires reevaluation and adjustments to expected final outcomes. Pre-evaluation and preliminary design documentation are imperative to the POE. The outcome from this work is a proposed process for evaluating design in a consistent manner, allowing for critical evaluation on occupant experience, organizational health, and building outcomes that support health, safety, and wellness grounded in evidence-based design. 
-    This tool (spreadsheet) is comprehensive and allows for consistency across Workplace projects for aggregated comparisons and for continuous improvement in design strategies and solutions for the design team. 
-    The tool is to be utilized for two purposes: a) provide a consistent listing of the questions to request client responses – gleaned through surveys, interviews, and/or focus groups, and b) provide a selection guide for materials (as influence by performance and durability as well as COVID-19 and cleaning and disinfection of surfaces as related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
-    The tool can be expandable, scalable, and adaptable based upon type of project, project end-users, operational flows required, supportive design interventions, and physical setting elements.

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