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Post Occupancy Evaluation

Post occupancy evaluation (POE) provides a structured review of the process of delivering a capital project as well as a review of operational, functional and strategic performance of the building following occupation. This is a recognised way of providing feedback on the performance of the project throughout a building's lifecycle from initial concept through to occupation.  

Generally carried out over three reporting periods to gain robust data on the building performance, the SFC Post Occupancy Evaluation Guidance [PDF in our archive] promotes that the process follows three consecutive stages:

  • Operational Review undertaken 3-6 months following handover: comprises a detailed post-project evaluation of the procurement and delivery process, as well as an indicative assessment of the building in-use to identify any initial occupational and operational issues.
  • Functional Performance Review undertaken 12-18 months following handover:  allows occupants the opportunity to settle into the building, identify any chronic problems and enables a full seasonal cycle to have been completed so that performance under different seasonal conditions can be captured.  The Functional Performance Review is more detailed than the Operational Review and focuses on the assessment of functional and technical performance through occupant consultation as well as operational issues via energy, water usage and running cost audits.
  • Strategic Review undertaken 3-5 years following handover: takes a longer term view of how far the building has met the original needs stated within the project business case, performance in the longer term and whether changes need to be implemented.  It also provides the opportunity to re-evaluate the whole procurement process and to re-examine the functional and technical performance requirements to inform future estate strategies.

In a bid to capture lessons learned and demonstrate the significant benefits gained from recent substantial investments in the college and university sectors estate, SFC appointed BRE (Building Research Establishment) to undertake the POE of thirteen completed capital projects; twelve college projects and one university project. 

Post Occupancy Evaluation reports

Contact Deanne Holden, Policy/Analysis Officer, tel: 0131 313 6615, email: