Evaluating design strategies, performance and occupant satisfaction: A low carbon office refurbishment

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Journal Article
Building Research and Information, 2010, 38 (6), pp. 610 - 624
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Existing buildings present the best opportunity for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developed economies, given that only 2-3% of the building stock is newly built each year. Insights from a post-occupancy evaluation of a large-scale refurbishment project of a head office building in Sydney, Australia, are presented to inform future refurbishment strategies. The study evaluates occupant satisfaction and energy performance, and elicits influencing factors arising from the design process and interventions, ongoing building management, and operational performance. Occupants returned a high level of satisfaction across the range of environmental variables for overall comfort, temperature, lighting, and air quality as well as perceived productivity and health. These outcomes highlight the importance of improving indoor environmental quality for occupants particularly through increased fresh air, daylight, glare control, access to views, and noise management. The positive results reinforce the value of an integrated and user-responsive approach that was adopted for building design, development, and management. The reduction in operational energy (in this project, coupled with carbon reduction) as a consequence of refurbishment and positive user feedback demonstrates the potential to future-proof existing buildings in the context of climate change. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
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