textual image stating 'Department of Health, Victoria, Australia'

Overview

Post occupancy evaluation (POE) is a structured approach for the evaluation of the performance of a new or existing facility when it is fully operational - after at least 12 - 15 months of occupancy.

A POE focuses on the users’ interaction with a facility and the degree to which the facility is supporting service delivery objectives. This includes measuring the effectiveness of the facility in terms of achieving asset planning requirements.

In addition, it should also examine whether the facility as built, is flexible or adequate to meet current requirements - especially where service objectives have deviated from the original brief and the extent that the original design is meeting current user expectations. These outcomes will give input into the benchmarking of future projects.

A POE may be carried out after at least twelve months of occupancy. This enables users to experience and adjust to their new environment. It also allows for a full cycle of the seasons that provides data for the evaluation.

When is a POE conducted?

A POE is necessary where a capital works project exceeds $4 million, if required in the project consultant brief or significant innovative construction is involved.

A POE should occur when there has been an opportunity to assess performance through a complete cycle of operation. In most instances, this will occur after an asset has been in operation for over twelve months.

Responsibilities

As POE is necessary for the practice of good asset management, quality management and quality assurance, agencies are responsible for ensuring that:

  • cost of the POE is budgeted as part of the project
  • participation in the POE is part of the consultant’s brief.

Benefits

Some of the benefits of POE include:

  • improved project briefing – that promotes increased functionality and cost-effectiveness
  • improved asset management – that identifies maintenance and other recurrent costs
  • improved operational processes – that better services and clients’ needs.

Risks

The risks associated with a POE include:

  • inadequate definition and management of the POE
  • an undisciplined approach
  • invalid or unreliable data collection
  • an exclusive focus on negative aspects
  • unavailability of participants.

The consequences of not doing a POE include:

  • lost opportunities to improve future facilities
  • reduction of asset performance in the support of service needs
  • repetition of current deficiencies in future facilities.

Aspects not covered

The activities and outcomes are described in the page, the POE study. The study does not specifically address the following issues:

  • review of specific projects against the applicable technical standards at the time of the project development
  • issues that require research or in-depth investigation. These would be flagged by the developed POE process but would require further specific investigation to evaluate the issues.