Research proposal on Performance-based post-occupancy evaluation of institutional buildings
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Post occupancy evaluation is a review of a building once it has been in occupation for a while, perhaps nine months to a year. A survey is carried out to look at whether the building is meeting the performance measures identified in the early briefs, as well as how the users are using the building. From this information both the building and organization can be adapted to the new circumstances. It will be worth carrying out similar evaluations periodically after-wards, as this will enable further adjustments to the organization or building to be made. The information from these reviews becomes a vital ingredient for other projects, even those that do not directly involve building (Palermo, Sullivan & Wasserman 2000). Post-occupancy evaluations, on the other hand, study the performance of buildings in use. The findings can be matched against the performance measures established in the brief to identify whether the building meets requirements. A study of the organization and its users will show whether the need has changed and how the building might be tuned to improve the fit. Post-occupancy evaluation studies tend to focus on performance, reflecting on the way that the product and process support client organizational goals. Construction industry post-completion research tends to focus on product and process, and how to improve construction industry productivity. The building project culture means it is more interesting to start on the next new project than to reflect on the uncertain successes and failures of the last. Post occupancy evaluation is seen as an audit to find the failures and distribute blame (Blyth & Worthington 2001). This paper is a proposal to create a study on performance based post occupancy evaluation of institutional buildings.
Aims and objectives
1. Identify the boundaries of post occupancy evaluation.
2. Know the reason why post occupancy evaluation is important.
3. Determine why post occupancy evaluation is not needed.
4. Analyze how institutional buildings undergo post occupancy evaluation.
5. Understand how post occupancy evaluation can cater to a performance based approach.
Properly viewed, architectural enquiry because of its huge scope, its inherent, integrative and interdisciplinary nature, its long time dimension, and its human and political urgency should be recognized as being at the frontiers of knowledge: the kind of intellectual problem that can only be confronted in the late twentieth century. This view is particularly timely not just for architects themselves but for the whole of society given the emerging importance and vulnerability of the environment, the increasing sophistication of clients, the potential of information technology, and the growing power of the consumer (Boersema,Hoonhout & Zwaga 1998). Perhaps the most significant development in architectural research over the last 20 years has been the rise, particularly in the US, of post-occupancy evaluation (POE) or the systematic study of building in use to provide architects with information about the performance of their designs and building owners and users with guidelines to achieve the best out of what they already have. The first reason that learning from feedback was not institutionalized was that no operational distinction was made between the evaluation of process, technique and utility. The evaluation of techniques of building procurement, such as forms of contract and project management, was not clearly distinguished from the appraisal of how well buildings satisfied client requirements. The second reason was that no fee basis was established for what seemed an inherently costly procedure. The perspective has changed. If architects focus on their principal responsibilities to their clients and users, the twin uncertainties about who benefits, and who pays, vanish; it is the consumer who has the motivation to ensure that the supplier performs, rather than vice versa. This argument is considerably reinforced by the increasing understanding of the importance to the consumer of occupancy costs. Post-occupancy evaluation is in the consumer’s interest. It is equally the key to the popular, universal, and practical application of architectural research and to the development of such consumerist techniques as building appraisal (Duffy & Hutton 1998).
The proposed study will use a mix of qualitative and quantitative method to allow for better understanding of the performance based post occupancy evaluation of institutional buildings. Use of a mixed-method approach can make the results more presentable to a hostile audience or in using quantitative work to back up qualitative work. This can be useful where there are concerns about getting a qualitative proposal past a quantitative panel, or getting results of largely qualitative work published in a more traditionally quantitative journal. From the standpoint of those who choose quantitative methods using qualitative methods means debasing psychology as a science. From the standpoint of those using predominantly qualitative methods those who adhere to the quantitative camp devaluate the human being which should be at the centre of psychology as a discipline (Darlington & Scott 2002).
Boersema, T, Hoonhout, HC & Zwaga, HJ 1998, Information for
everyday use: Design and research perspectives, Taylor &
Francis, Basingstoke, England.
Blyth, A & Worthington, J 2001, Managing the brief for better
design, Spon Press, London.
Darlington, Y & Scott, D 2002, Qualitative research in practice:
Stories from the field, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, N.S.W.
Duffy, F & Hutton, L 1998, Architectural knowledge: The idea of
a profession, E & FN Spon, London.
Palermo, G, Sullivan, P & Wasserman, B 2000, Ethics and the
practice of architecture, Wiley, New York
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