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8| Post Occupancy Evaluation:

Design Process

An informal process that we at GLA have initiated. A post occupancy evaluation is conducted on any buildings that have been completed and occupied. While we are happy to see a building completed we feel that there are still lessons to be learned from our clients and the designs that have been completed. It isn't just about getting that great photograph for submission to design awards or magazines.
As we have noted throughout our web site, we believe in building long term relationships with our clients. Therefore prior to one year from substantial completion, we will conduct our own post occupancy survey. This can be done by simple e-mail or fillable PDFs and only with the permission of the client. It isn't meant to disrupt day to day operations and is purely voluntary.
However it is a good way for the client to actually do a walk thru of the building and maybe re-evaluate how things are working. It's also an opportunity to catch remedial work that still falls within the contractor's warranty period. It works for both client and architect because we will better understand how our design is functioning and gives us an opportunity to improve our services and to continually innovate. This is in addition to our own in house review of projects completed. We understand that as architects, we are far from perfect and there will always be room for improvement. This is the essence of innovation and far better than resting on our laurels and patting ourselves on the shoulder in self congratulations.

Note that is is a informal survey that relies on perception of the client and end users. Known factors like energy savings etc, are requested but only if its convenient for the client or staff. The more information we can obtain, the better we can evaluate the design for performance.
For sustainable or LEED buildings, we do recommend using professional evaluation research facilities (which we can recommend) to carry out a more formal and exhaustive process. Those formal and scientific surveys are a great way for clients to understand their costs savings by utlizing sustainable processes.

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Copyright © 2006 Gerard Lee Architects. All rights reserved.

-last updated November 6,2008