Activity 8: In-Use Services
The typical methods of Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) can be expanded to involve the existing lead users from the project, as well as introducing the end-users.
You will have built up a network of lead users throughout the project, and a method such as POE can assess the solutions from their point of view. Refer back to the early stage insights and assess how successful the delivery has been. Discuss variation, and why this has occurred. Consult new users, such as incoming occupants. Existing Inclusive Design guidelines will help steer this activity.
- Post Occupancy Evaluation: This measures people’s satisfaction with buildings, space and surroundings once they are in use. This is done by referring back to the initial vision, objectives and guidelines that were set and honestly assessing whether they have been successfully addressed. In addition to the existing users, think about other lead users who will give interesting feedback.
- Training of occupants: Support people in embedding themselves in the space. Inclusive Design solutions should be easy to understand. However, in-depth explanation or training will introduce facilities in a more intuitive way. This could cover many aspects, from wayfinding, access, fire exits and adjacencies.
- Codes of use: Secure the right code of use for the building. In Norway, this is called the FDV documentation, a regulation that covers management, operation and maintenance. Rules will vary according to local context, but most cities and countries will have codes of use. Although not always directly applicable to Inclusive Design, there will be codes affecting aspects of the design that do.-
- Expert evaluation: Include Inclusive Design experts in the evaluation to enable a large amount of feedback in a short amount of time. Selection of these experts is critical and you should build up a group that you can call on throughout.
If users have been involved in the POE process, they will feel more involved in the building and feel a sense of ownership. This could result in higher POE results. By expanding the POE to include users and experts, you will get a better sense of how successful the project is and how it will be used. This can feed ideas into your next project, future-proofing your practice across evolving legislation. A successful, people-centred POE will improve your next project.