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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A web-based occupant satisfaction survey for benchmarking building quality


Occupants remain a largely untapped source of information for facility managers interested in improving the performance of their buildings. An appropriate web-based environmental quality survey offers opportunities to broadly include occupants in a building performance feedback loop.

We have developed a survey that can measure occupant satisfaction with indoor environments in a standardized manner while minimizing research costs and inconvenience to the survey participants.

A standard set of core questions is used to measure satisfaction with environmental factors such as indoor air quality, thermal comfort, and acoustics. "Branching" questions are used to capture detail for diagnosing causes of perceived problems. The survey has been extensively tested and refined.

It has been applied in a variety of research scenarios, three of which are presented in this paper: evaluating the effectiveness of a design intervention, informing the development of design guidelines for a new building, and benchmarking facility performance.

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