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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Where do we go now? Lessons learned from 20 years of CBE’s Occupant Survey

  • Author(s): Graham, Lindsay T
  • Parkinson, Thomas
  • Schiavon, Stefano
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-SA' version 4.0 license

Built spaces have the potential to influence a diverse set of factors like health, well-being, productivity, and social connection. However, most post occupancy evaluations (POE) focus solely on measuring people’s levels of comfort and satisfaction with their indoor environment. With increasing attention and interest in occupant wellness and productivity, there is a need to reassess whether occupant surveys are evaluating all they need to. One of the most widely used online POE tools is the Center for the Built Environment’s Occupant Survey. We analyzed data collected from this tool over the last two decades (>90,000 respondents from ~900 buildings) to summarize the database and evaluate the survey structure. 68% of the respondents are satisfied with their workspace. People are most satisfied with spaces’ ease of interaction (75% satisfied), amount of light (74%) and the cleanliness (71%), and most dissatisfied with sound privacy (54% dissatisfied), temperature (39%) and noise level (34%). Correlation, principal component, and hierarchical clustering analyses identified seven distinct categories of measurement within the 16 satisfaction items. Results also revealed that some items correlate strongly with one another, suggesting reduction in the scale may be possible. Based on these results, we discuss potential improvements and new directions for the future of POE tools.

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