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Post Occupancy Evaluation

GSA uses Post Occupancy Evaluations (POEs) to assess how building projects truly perform. Evaluations take a close look at end-user satisfaction, sustainability, operational effectiveness, and compliance with GSA’s design standards. In contrast to GSA’s building Commissioning Program, which evaluates building performance from project planning through tenant occupancy, a POE evaluates how a building performs six months to two years after occupancy. It provides an overview of how a building functions when in operation.

GSA’s POE tools and methods are characterized by evaluation of ‘real world’ performance of occupied buildings:

  • Physical measurements of indoor environmental quality (acoustics, air quality, lighting, thermal conditions) are made during actual business hours.
  • Evaluation tools such as space utilization surveys, floor plan analysis, and social network analysis objectively record as-occupied use of space.
  • ‘As operating’ conditions are assessed by evaluating systems, controls, energy use, and water use, and by interviewing facility managers.
  • Web-based surveys broadly gauge occupant satisfaction with as-delivered building services and design features.

Applied Research has approached POEs from several different angles:

  • The Chicago PBS Renovation Project Post Occupancy Evaluation Report assessed the project’s success in meeting its goals for a workplace redesign.
  • The Assessing Green Building Performance project involves comprehensive evaluations of 12 buildings’ environmental performance, financial metrics, and occupant satisfaction.

The program recently led the effort to establish a standard POE policy for GSA as a whole. The Office of Portfolio Management is now leading the effort to implement the policy.


post occupancy evaluation, POE, surveys, commissioning, occupant satisfaction, building performance, operational effectiveness