Status (updated 11/1/2009): Ongoing
Funding sources: CBE Industry Consortium, Research Grants
Develop and implement a Web-based survey instrument that quantifies how a building is performing from the perspective of its occupants. Create a reporting tool to allow decision makers to benchmark individual buildings against groups of similar buildings in order to make informed management decisions, and to asses the effectiveness of building features and design strategies.
Significance to Industry
While there has been considerable focus on measuring and regulating the resource efficiency of buildings, less attention has been paid to the issue of how well buildings meet their design intent for the occupants. Building occupants represent a wealth of information about how well a building works. The challenge is to collect and analyze this input in a systematic and meaningful manner.
Surveys of occupant satisfaction allow designers, developers, owners, operators and tenants to objectively gauge how well building services and design features are working. This information is especially useful to building owners and tenants interested in optimizing employee productivity and effectiveness.
CBE has developed a Web-based survey with an integrated, flexible branching structure, and automated, easy to understand reporting. Its branching structure allows for the collection of more detailed data where appropriate, without burdening all survey respondents with overly detailed or inappropriate questions. The current CBE survey focuses on seven areas of indoor environmental performance, including thermal comfort, air quality, acoustics, lighting, cleanliness, spatial layout, and office furnishings. It has been implemented in over 475 buildings to date, with over 51,000 individual occupant responses (as of October 2009). Additional survey modules have been created to gather data on additional topics such as security, accessibility, transportation, and green building features.
Survey results are accessed via an advanced reporting tool. This reporting tool allows researchers, building owners and design teams to view and filter data to study specific questions and trends. They may also aggregate data for a collection of buildings to be sorted and viewed by specific attributes such as building type, region, square footage, or other characteristics. It also allows users to mine the survey data to investigate building performance trends.
We are implementing the survey for a number of private and institutional clients on an on-going basis to build up our database of building benchmaking data. We have also implemented a series of surveys in LEED buildings in order to study the relative IEQ performance of these building in comparison to other buildings in the survey database.
Brager, G. and L. Baker, 2008. Occupant Satisfaction in Mixed-Mode Buildings, Proceedings, Air Conditioning and the Low Carbon Cooling Challenge, Windsor, UK, July.
Weeks, K., D. Lehrer and J. Bean, 2007. A Model Success: The Carnegie Institute for Global Ecology, Center for the Built Environment, University of California, Berkeley, May.
Abbaszadeh, S., L. Zagreus, D. Lehrer and C. Huizenga, 2006. Occupant Satisfaction with Indoor Environmental Quality in Green Buildings. Proceedings, Healthy Buildings 2006, Vol. III, 365-370, Lisbon, Portugal, June.
Huizenga, C., S. Abbaszadeh, L. Zagreus and E. Arens, 2006.
Air Quality and Thermal Comfort in Office Buildings. Results of a Large Indoor Environmental Quality Survey. Proceedings, Healthy Buildings 2006, Vol. III, 393-397, Lisbon, Portugal, June.
Zagreus, L., Huizenga, C., E. Arens and D. Lehrer, 2004. Listening to the Occupants: A Web-based Indoor Environmental Quality Survey. Indoor Air 2004; 14 (Suppl 8): pp. 65–74. December. This is also available online from the publisher. View on-line.
Lehrer, D., et. al., 2006. LEED Post-Occupancy Evaluation: Taking Responsibility for the Occupants. (long version) BetterBricks USGBC Workshops, Portland and Seattle, November.
Huizenga, C., et. al., 2005. LEED Post Occupancy Evaluation: Taking Responsibility for Occupants. (short version) Greenbuild Expo and Conference 2005, Atlanta, November