Occupant surveys reveal how people in buildings perceive their internal environments. The Soft Landings extended handover process, which requires project teams to focus more on operational outcomes, has led to the use of occupant surveys during a three year Soft Landings aftercare period to provide a means of checking whether the desired outcomes have been met. However, little is known of the longitudinal perceptions of occupant satisfaction in buildings, and the relationships between those perceptions and the many environmental, seasonal and functional comfort variables that act upon occupant satisfaction. This paper reports the results of time-series surveys on two office buildings.
Occupant satisfaction scores have been compared with the technical, organisational and functional contexts in the work environments, such as density, workgroup sizes, and cellular and open-plan layouts, to determine whether changes in these parameters have significantly altered levels of perceived occupant comfort and productivity. The research found stability in some contexts but statistical declines in others. Conclusions are made regarding the key operational factors that may contribute to changes in occupant satisfaction over time. Factors that might constitute limits to office carrying capacity are discussed.