Importance of Occupant Comfort Surveys

By Ariana Nieves,
Marketing Coordinator
Sustainable Investment Group (SIG)

Surveys can be a great tool to utilize when accessing the performance and quality of a completed building project. They create opportunities to gain further insight into the performance of the building from the people who interact with it most by asking questions.

How Surveys Help Occupants

Surveys and questionnaires create an open form of communication. It allows the occupants in a building to vocalize their valuable opinions on the space. Occupants carry insightful thoughts as they are the individuals interacting with the project the most frequently.

Through surveys, occupants can answer a series of questions regarding the building’s performance and quality and indicate if it is up to their standard of comfort. This process allows residents to share what they believe is good and what needs improvement about the building. The collected data is a great source to refer to when maintaining and updating the project in the future.

Additionally, it allows occupants to feel valued and heard by building stakeholders. This type of engagement can boost morale within occupants and increase their comfort.

How Surveys Help Building Stakeholders

The feedback received from surveys helps define the success of the project area. Additionally, it aids in clarifying the strengths and problems of the build.  These indications facilitate more informed management decisions when adding new features to the project with this feedback in mind.

Not only does this aid in effectively upgrading the building to become more successful it also serves as a benchmark. The results can be compared to that of similar building projects within the area. This helps to analyze the project and see what it is doing better than other buildings or what could be improved to make it even better.

For building stakeholders, surveys are amazing tools to assess what design qualities are working and how well received the business services are in day-to-day life.

How Surveys Can Help with LEED Certification

Surveys can help a building become LEED certified; occupant comfort surveys can earn one Indoor Environmental Quality credit point when it satisfies the requirements.

To qualify, at least one comfort survey needs to be dispensed to gather anonymous feedback and must include coverage over at least one of these topics: acoustics, building cleanliness, indoor air quality, lighting, or thermal comfort.

The results must be gathered from a representative sample of the occupants and make up at least 30% of the total building tenants. After the results are documented, a corrective plan of action needs to be set in place to address any comfort issues presented by the results if more than 20% of the building occupants are unsatisfied.

Following these changes, it is also required that at least one new occupant comfort survey be performed once every two years. This ensures the continued comfort of the occupants as time passes. Linked below is an example of the results found from a qualifying LEED comfort survey:

Overall, comfort surveys maintain and ensure a building project is successfully satisfying tenants. It helps boost engagement, feedback and facilitates better decisions for future building updates. The data gained gives insight into effective design strategies. Additionally, it reveals ways in which to improve tactics that were not as effective. Learning these things allows business stakeholders to apply these findings to future projects and continue to improve. Occupant comfort surveys are a valuable tool that is worth utilizing.


Occupant Comfort Survey

Occupant Survey Toolkit

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