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Internship: Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) at the University of Cambridge: past practice and future opportunities

Status: Completed | Date: August 2014

Person: Ishbel Cullen (IARU Intern) | Subject: IARU Sustainability Fellow (Australian National University) | Supervisor: Claire Hopkins and Toby Balson

Project summary: A review of past practice and future opportunities in Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) at the University of Cambridge. This included a review and examination of the POEs that have been completed with special attention to energy and environmental issues; research into best practice in POEs across the sector with specific attention to environment and energy for developing best practice guidance; and specific recommendations for Estate Management regarding methodology for POEs.

Key findings: POE offers opportunities to improve building performance now and in the future. Current implementation of POE at the University of Cambridge is not realising the potential benefits. Making POE methods and formal processes more rigorous, and increasing the resource capacity to carry them out, as well as a cultural shift, will make POE more effective in the future.

Read the full report here.

Recommendations: Estate Management should adopt a clear set of goals for POE requirements. As part of the POE process, carry out a workshop, energy audit, expert walk-through and occupant survey to give a detailed picture of performance. Use established tools such as CIBSE TM22 and BUS Occupant Survey. An independent party should complete POEs. Those involved in design, construction and handover should be obliged to participate in its POE.

How has it been used? There is a lot of work being done on cataloguing lessons learnt to be taken into account in new projects. The report is informing the creation of a new approach to POE within the University of Cambridge, currently being undertaken.