A Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Occupants satisfaction: A Case Study of Indoor Environmental Quality in Classroom Buildings

Presented by: Dr. Abimbola Asojo, Suyeon Bae, Denise Guerin

Overview Post-occupancy evaluations (POEs) have been used to study user satisfaction with the built environment. POEs have been recognized for documenting occupants’ well-being and responses to indoor environmental quality (IEQ) factors such as thermal, lighting, and acoustic conditions. Sustainable post-occupancy evaluation survey (SPOES) developed by a Midwest University interdisciplinary team provides an evidence-based quantitative analysis of occupants’ satisfaction to help direct attention to successful areas and areas that need improvement in buildings. The SPOES questionnaire has several IEQ categories which impact occupant health and well-being. The categories include acoustic conditions, appearance, cleaning and maintenance, daylighting conditions, electric lighting conditions, furnishings, indoor air quality, technology, thermal conditions, vibration and movement, and view conditions. SPOES questionnaire has been tested in office, laboratories, classroom and training center buildings. The authors present a comparison of IEQs in four classroom buildings to highlight their impact on occupants’ health and well-being. Methodology SPOES consists of a self-administered, Internet-based, questionnaire completed by building occupants. Participants rate their level of satisfaction on a Likert-type scale from 1 (very dissatisfied) to 7 (very satisfied). They also rate the influence of their physical environment on their perception of their academic performance and health on a scale from 1 (hinders) to 7 (enhances). Building 1 had five new classrooms constructed in 2012-13 and these areas were distributed across one floor of the facility and amounted to 8,290 square-feet (N=49). Building 2 consisted of seven new classrooms, one computer lab, a student lounge, faculty office suite, and conference rooms and amounted to 12,400 square-feet (N=43). Building 3 is a three-story 108,265 square-feet building that included classrooms and offices (N=35). Building 4 consisted of approximately 14,467 square-feet renovation of six classrooms (N=24). Findings and Discussion Students responded to questions concerning their perception of their health in relation to the building and primary classrooms, and 11 IEQs. Table 1 shows a summary of the students’ perception of satisfaction, learning experience, and health related to the building, as well as to the primary classroom. Overall, students were satisfied with both the building and primary classroom, and perceived that their learning experience and health were enhanced. Table 2 summarizes the students’ satisfaction related to 11 IEQs, which was reported as satisfactory. Table 3 summarizes correlations among the four buildings and the students’ perception of their health related to the building and primary classroom, and 11 IEQs. The correlations which were statistically significant showed a moderate relationship (r=0.35). Even though there were strong and positive correlations between the students’ perception of building’s impact on their health and of the primary classroom on their health, the primary classroom had more statistically significant associations with 11 IEQs. When 11 IEQs were considered together, to compare them across all buildings, the electric lighting IEQ ranked highest on the impact on health in their primary classrooms. IEQs about furnishing, technology condition, and indoor air quality ranked second, followed by IEQs about view conditions, appearance, daylighting and thermal conditions. Conclusion These results show that the 11 IEQs developed by SPOES are highly related to students’ perception of how their primary classroom impact their overall health and well-being. The results can be used to improve the built environment for students and also provide a benchmark for measuring the success of the improvements. Overall, this study illustrates the importance of POEs as means to obtain evidence-based data to improve occupants’ health and well-being.


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