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What is a Post Occupancy Evaluation?

A Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) is a comprehensive examination of the performance of a project or installation after it has been built and used or occupied. A POE answers questions about whether the design goals were met and whether the project satisfies the needs of the users, and makes recommendations for changes or remediation if these needs were not satisfied. A POE, if it goes beyond mere compliance standards, will also reveal the beneficial contributions that the project makes, which can be used towards building a greater foundation of knowledge in design, as well as public relational efforts.

 Why is a Post Occupancy Evaluation Important?

 ▪A Post Occupancy Evaluation helps to point out whether the initial design and programming efforts were on target;

 ▪It evaluates whether the project satisfies the needs of it users;

 ▪It makes recommendations for change if the needs are not satisfied;

 ▪It helps to quantify the contributions of the design, potentially to a larger audience where it could increase your visibility and economic status;

 ▪It helps you to save money on renovations and re-design of problematic places;

 ▪It builds credibility for the client as a responsible entity that cares about how people use places and how places reinforce the efforts of the people who use them;

 ▪It contributes to the body of design knowledge (not to mention the individual public relational efforts) about this type of place, its client and designers, including:

            ▪Human Environment Needs

            ▪Construction, Codes and Regulations


            ▪Products and Materials

            ▪Professional Practice


 Who performs a Post Occupancy Evaluation?

Post Occupancy Evaluations are performed by individuals and companies who are familiar with both design and human behavior. Ideal candidates have backgrounds in both design and environmental psychology or environmental design.

While many design firms include evaluations into their design packages, few of these evaluations go beyond measuring how well the design goals were met. It is important that the changing needs of the users are satisfied. If these needs were not adequately determined at the time of Design Programming, the design will not serve its users well. Even if the design considerations were well researched, the users’ needs often change from the initial design goals. An individual or company that is impartial to the initial design determinations is often the best selection in making an equally impartial evaluation that takes the users’ needs into consideration.

Such an impartial consultant should have experience with both design (construction, codes, regulations, design, materials and professional practice) as well as in evaluation methods (observational, interview, survey techniques at the minimum) and can communicate the strengths and weaknesses of the project.

 Why should you select Carol A. Krawczyk, ASLA, to perform your Post Occupancy Evaluation?

I have over 27 years of experience in both design and planning experience, including teaching about materials and methods used in design. Over 10 of these years have been in the design and research of children’s environments, especially those for children with special needs.

In addition to my experience in the performance of Post Occupancy Evaluations from the standpoint of Environmental Psychology, I have developed new, innovative techniques that help to provides you, the client, with a comprehensive analysis of the project and its affect on users.

Furthermore, I also believe that Post Occupancy Evaluations contribute to the greater foundation of knowledge regarding the built environment and I have showcased, wherever possible, the contributions of successful places to wider audiences, such as conferences, academic and professional journals.

Methods I Use in Post Occupancy Evaluations:

I use an innovative mixed methods approach which investigates your project from multiple angles. This is not used by other evaluators. Depending upon your specific need, this approach may include among the following:

▪Archival research into the initial design deliberations, research and decisions and changes throughout the research, design and construction phases;

▪Observations of the place to identify who, where, when and, possibly, how users spend their time;

▪Survey determination and administration to users of the place for quantitative (statistical) measurement of the environment;

▪Interviews of users (including staff, maintenance and administration) regarding their experiences with the place, preferably over time; this helps to qualify where and how people spend their time in certain places and not others;

▪Behavioral and Preference Mapping of the place, possibly at different scales, to delineate those areas that receive the most and least amount of use, as well as to quantify and qualify the reasons for the use;

▪Photographic analysis of how people use the space, as well as key measurements that demonstrate how people are either engaged or not connected to the environment;

▪Other participatory methods that engage the users in helping with the evaluation (and programming changes).

What will you receive as your Post Occupancy Evaluation?

The Post Occupancy Evaluation is traditionally a written summation report which is based on the collected and analyzed data. This includes all field notes and results of methodologies used in data collection. 

Fee Structure?

Fees are based upon a mutually-determined scope of the project. Call or email me so we can discuss the methods that best meet your needs and time frame.


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