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Indoor Environmental Quality Essay

1392 words - 6 pages

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 Buildings and their Engineering) started in 1995, where the findings were published in Building Research and Information Journal. These studies was an attempt of recognizing the value of workplace as a business resource and accepting POE within the facilities managers cycle.

Generally, POE has a long-standing tradition, which is summarized successfully by Preizer (2002) in the National Academy Report Learning from our Buildings: A State of the Practice Summary of Post Occupancy. The same author's book (Preizer, 2004) Assessing Building Performance, sets strong foundations in understanding different methods of assessing building performance including POE and provides all the necessary knowledge and sample questionnaire tools for conducting POEs. In even simpler and more practical terms POE is explained in British Council for Offices Guide to Post Occupancy Evaluation (2007), which makes POE practices accessible to anyone who is interested. These two text books can be considered as a significant guidance for carrying out these often complex techniques.

2.2 Critical review of studies regarding occupants' satisfaction

In recent years building industry has shown growing interest regarding the impact of indoor...

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