Assessment of changes in building performance from the users’ point of view: a before-and-after case study of an academic department

  • YEAR
    Baird, George
    Chun, Saera
    Gandhi, Avinash
    Gjerde, Morten
    2019 Conference Papers
    Building Performance Evaluation
    Conference Papers


When Victoria University of Wellington proposed to move the School of Biological Sciences from its existing 1972 building to a new one, it had the foresight to first conduct of an evaluation of the existing premises. This was carried out in 2014 to provide a baseline for a repeat survey following the
School’s move to the proposed new building. This was duly undertaken at the end of 2018, following the
first year of occupancy. This kind of before-and-after survey is only very rarely undertaken – in this case, the well-established Building Use Studies Methodology was used to assess the users’ perception of both buildings. Overall, users’ perception of the new building had significantly improved in comparison to the older premises. Notably, the technologically advanced facilities and the contemporary aesthetics of the new building provide a positive, pleasing image for both occupants and their visitors. However, noise and shortage of storage were sources of dissatisfaction. With a drastic jump from the 18th to the 77th percentile within the context of New Zealand commercial and academic buildings, the new building sets a favourable benchmark for academic buildings in New Zealand.

Keywords: User survey; building performance; academic buildings; BUS methodology.


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