Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE): A BREEAM Excellent Case Study

Gary Tierney, Stuart Tennant

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Despite many challenges, building industry stakeholders of the early 21st century could be viewed by future generations as pioneers for sustainable development and construction. That is, this industrial chapter may be remembered as one in which the demand for heat and power in buildings and associated carbon emissions ceased to be on an upward trajectory. In addition to the concept of a low carbon, low energy built environment, this period may also be acknowledged as one in which the comfort, health and wellbeing of building occupants is fully included. This honourable legacy is arguably within reach due to clearly-stated national and international policies on climate change, energy consumption, safety and end-user comfort. Post-occupancy evaluation (POE) is an important mechanism for the construction industry to objectively measure building performance against policy targets. A function of POE is to capture the value of ‘in-use’ demand in comparison with theoretical performance. The information gathered can be collated to underline performance outcomes in building energy usage, carbon emissions, wider environmental impacts and end-user satisfaction, thus providing (1) a benchmark for building operation and (2) a route map for future developments and initiatives. This paper draws upon a case study to explore the value of POE of a BREEAM Excellent building. Opened in 2011, the five year occupancy timescale will disclose key performance data. Findings from the POE study will be drawn upon to investigate potential performance gaps that may exist between BREEAM model predictions and actual results for three key parameters: 1) energy (electricity and gas), 2) water (supply and waste) and 3) social performance (comfort, health and wellbeing). Whilst the design of low carbon, low energy buildings is commendable, recording and interpretation of actual building performance is a fundamental step in the continuous improvement of sustainable construction outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference
Subtitle of host publication5-7 September 2016, Manchester UK
EditorsP.W. Chan, C.J. Neilson
PublisherAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management
Pages415 - 424
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-0-9955463-0-1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2016


  • Sustainability, BREEAM, post-occupancy evaluation


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