Occupant requirements in residential buildings – an empirical study and a theoretical model
Occupant needs with regard to residential buildings are not well known due to a lack of representative scientific studies. To improve the lack of data, a large scale study was carried out using a Post Occupancy Evaluation of 1,416 building occupants. Several criteria describing the needs of occupants were evaluated with regard to their subjective level of relevance. Additionally, we investigated the degree to which deficiencies subjectively exist, and the degree to which occupants were able to accept them. From the data obtained, a hierarchy of criteria was created. It was found that building occupants ranked the physiological needs of air quality and thermal comfort the highest. Health hazards such as mould and contaminated building materials were unacceptable for occupants, while other deficiencies were more likely to be tolerated. Occupant satisfaction was also investigated. We found that most occupants can be classified as satisfied, although some differences do exist between different populations. To explain the relationship between the constructs of what we call relevance, acceptance, deficiency and satisfaction, we then created an explanatory model. Using correlation and regression analysis, the validity of the model was then confirmed by applying the collected data. The results of the study are both relevant in shaping further research and in providing guidance on how to maximize tenant satisfaction in real estate management.
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