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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Quantitative relationships between occupant satisfaction and satisfaction aspects of indoor environmental quality and building design

Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

The paper examines which subjectively evaluated indoor environmental parameters and building features mostly affect occupants’ satisfaction in mainly US office buildings. The study analyzed data from a web-based survey administered to 52,980 occupants in 351 office buildings over ten years by the Center for the Built Environment. The survey uses 7-point ordered scale questions pertaining to satisfaction with indoor environmental parameters, workspace and building features. The average building occupant was satisfied with his/her workspace and building. Proportional odds ordinal logistic regression shows that satisfaction with all 15 parameters listed in the survey contributed significantly to overall workspace satisfaction. The most important parameters were satisfaction with amount of space (odds ratio OR 1.57, CI: 1.55-1.59), noise level (OR 1.27, CI: 1.25-1.29) and visual privacy (OR 1.26, CI: 1.24-1.28). Satisfaction with amount of space was ranked to be the most important influence for workspace satisfaction, regardless of age group (below 30, 31-50 or over 50 years old), gender, type of office (single or shared offices, or cubicles), distance of workspace from a window (within 4.6 m or further) or satisfaction level with workspace (satisfied or dissatisfied). Satisfaction with amount of space was not related to the gross amount of space available per person.


To maximize workspace satisfaction designer should invest in aspects which increase satisfaction with amount of space and storage, noise level and visual privacy. Office workers will be most satisfied with their workspace and building when located close to a window in a private office. This may affect job satisfaction, work performance and personal and company productivity.

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