Hannelore Christianens, an architect by profession, notes that professionals in his line of work should show concern for the buildings they build after delivery. It is true that in building construction’s formative years, the handover was seen as the last and final stage of their close involvement in the project. Here is where the concept of Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) comes in handy. Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) is an act of scrutinizing buildings after handing them over to the clients to check whether the environmental performance put to use relates to the purpose the building. In many occasions, there is a great disparity between the two. Architects, in particular, carry out Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) for many reasons, the most common being user behavior; but additionally, poor design and construction are also primary concerns.
Importance of a Post Occupancy Evaluation
During the design process, the prioritization of multiple considerations such as efficiency, client goals, function, flexibility, and branding take center stage during this initial stage. A Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) now becomes an ideal tool to assess the success of a design’s success. Traditional designers made no effort to look back at the designs that they would complete (Preiser, Rabinowitz, and White.). Many clients, after about a year of occupancy in a residential house, often deal with construction faults, improper use of design and most of these cases are brought up in anecdotal client reports. The gathering and evaluation of all empirical data from all clients in a residential building allow its designer to develop a complete picture of how the structure is mitigating all external factors together with the conditions that arise inside them.
A Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) is also crucial in correcting the constructional mistakes that might have been made during building. After collecting empirical data from residents who occupy a designer’s structure, the information then goes through an evaluation stage where all the construction flaws that were evident in the building are put under scrutiny. An example is a residential building structure that lets in runoff water during storms. It is clear that individuals living in such a house would have to grapple with the constant headache of having to devise a way which they will always have to remove this water from their houses. Additionally, the water might cause massive losses in terms of property, which mostly includes electronics. Such an analysis would assist the owners of these houses to correct all the flaws and improve client’s satisfaction.
Challenges in collecting and analyzing Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) and how to overcome them
When collecting empirical data from the respondents in a residential area, questionnaires are typically put to use to elicit information. The questionnaire usually contains information ranging from subjects such as the resident’s satisfaction level, dwellings physical characteristics, and the demographic that will be put under study. One common challenge is the timely collection of all this data and its subsequent interpretation. Glitches in the data system are common, especially if it’s large in volume. Additionally, not having enough personnel or staff to work on the database proves problematic especially during the interpretation of this data. This challenge can be dealt with by contacting individuals that fit the bill and with the necessary qualifications for data entry and data collection (Vogt, 2010). Accurate data means that the problems that have been brought to light can be dealt with easily with no wastage of resources by the firm that will be correcting these mistakes.
Another challenge stems from the fact that there are those residents that are weary of strangers or researchers of any kind seemingly invading their space. Others may have day jobs and in essence become unavailable during the day. The collection of data under such conditions would mean that there would be there is a high likelihood that it will be incomplete. Data that is incomplete often leads to an inconclusive inference that in another occasion might not echo all the true sentiments about what those residents have concerning the residential area in which they dwell in (Rea-Dickins and Germaine, 1992). For a start, the researcher can decide to first go through the overall owner of the building structure to first inform him of their intentions. The owner would then have to inform the tenants in this residential building that the research would be taking place and that they should expect them during a specific week. Furthermore, the researchers should choose days that they are very likely to find all the respondents, i.e weekends or national holidays. During the week, it is common to find houses under lock and key when occupants have to go to school or to work. Weekends and holidays, thus increase the chances of finding respondents in their homes.
Recommendations on how to improve the performance of an apartment
It is possible to improve the performance of an apartment to make an even more conducive environment for those who are inhabiting them. A resident that gets the offer of satisfaction often lives a happy life when they know that the apartment, that is their abode, offers them perfect serenity. One way that can improve the performance of an apartment is the building is to ensure that the residents do not suffer from the excessive direct light that enters the house from every direction (Weller and Romney, 1998). If this is the case, the residents are faced with a situation where they live a life devoid of the comfort that one expects to get from being in their home. Furthermore, buildings that have smart windows that control the amount of light entering a house can be a step in the right direction in helping residents find comfort in their homes.
Another simple way in which the performance of an apartment can improve is by communicating with the occupants constantly to know their likes and preference. A tenant’s preference may lead the owner to tweak the house to create an environment in which they feel safe and happy to be in. There are certain clients who would prefer to have a house that is sky blue in color as this is what makes them safe and calm. Working with the client’s preference goes a long way in ensuring that an apartment suits the particular occupant, improving the overall experience.
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