POE is the process of understanding how well a building meets theneeds of clients and building occupants. It provides evidence of environmental,social and economic benefits core to sustainability. It can address complexcultural issues such as identity, atmosphere and belonging. A building’s impactis an integral part of the assessment process for funding bodies such as theheritage lottery fund, with money channelled to projects that can prove longlasting contributions to people and communitiesAs mentioned earlier, a study shows that there is a persistentperformance gap between design intentions and how buildings work in use interms of the fabric, service and technologies, as well as user satisfaction andwellbeing. The core knowledge of architectural profession is to know how tocreate appropriate, sustainable and inspiring environments for people.
But theknowledge must be expressed in terms of a rigorous and comparable research if it was to be utilised or value.Architects are often asked how they add value but are oftenunprepared to do so. Given the governmentprinciples on soft landings and BIM level 2, mandated on all centrally fundedprojects from April 2016, gives an indication that the UK government and thewider industry value the integration of POE in project contracts. POE can helpclients meet their requirement to demonstrate value for money, something whichclients can fail to see. New and existing standards such as Pasivhaus and theWELL building standard actually depend upon POE for certification. BREEAM, LEEDand SKArating offer credit for doing POE and drive a large proportion ofprojects’ sustainability agendas.
There has been an effort by practices along with institutes andresearchers to remove the barriers to POE. The RIBA has reintroduced it to thePoW2013 ‘under stage 7: in use’ and is producing a POE guidance along withBuilding Performance Evaluation (BPE) to help practices integrate feedback intotheir work.Whilst there is a growing number of clients who are utilising POEfor their own benefits, there is still a considerable amount of work that mustbe done to demonstrate these benefits to a clientThere are practices who have taken the lead in developing a robustand innovative approaches to POE in order to learn, improve and evidence theperformance of their projects. Instead of tarnishing an architects reputation,it has often enhanced an architects brand and credibility as a professional aspecialist.There are a few architects which are becoming increasinglyinvolved in carrying out POE on their projects collaborating with academicresearchers in order to gain resources and expertise.
They include small scalepartnerships with researchers or research groups or students to a council basedresearch. Practices have adopted POE research and have designated researchleaders with larger practices appointing research specialists to carry out POEwork and distribution.There are architects who have been involved in developinginnovative project delivery frameworks such as Soft Landings that putcontinuous improvement and innovation at the heart of their projects, ensuringthat POE is embedded, valued and remunerated from the start.
There has been increasing evidence that a project teamincorporating a feedback look from previous projects help deliver a betterbuilding performance. A small number of practices have begun to utilise thisknowledge in order to move to a position where they are able to gaurentee theperformance of their buildings and would therefore benefit from the widerintroduction of performance based procurements, an example being the energyperformance contracting model RE:FIT, run by the greater local authority.Despitethe positive developments of POE, there is still much that needs to be done torecognise the constructions industry collective responsibility to collect andgather information and feedback to remove the barriers to POE for it to becomemainstream. Barriers such as who pays for POE. The fear of exposing problemswith the practice and design, impacts on reputation, and the need for thedevelopment of POE education, (explain in next essay) and know how within thepractice