To read this content please select one of the options below:

Occupant satisfaction with workplace design in new and old environments

Dirk A. Schwede (School of Architecture and Building, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia)
Hilary Davies (School of Architecture and Building, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia)
Brian Purdey (School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 23 May 2008




The aim of this paper is to investigate time‐factors in occupant‐environment relationships.


The paper analyses satisfaction ratings on 12 workplace environment features collected from more than 5,000 occupants in 48 office buildings in Australia. The database is divided into seven environment categories: first occupied after construction; new occupation after major update; recent relocation into an existing environment; re‐occupying an environment after refurbishment; relocation of workspace in an existing environment; acclimatised occupation of a refurbished workspace; and continued occupation of an existing environment. Cumulative frequency profiles of the collected ratings for each of these categories are analysed qualitatively and quantitatively.


The study shows that updated environments which are occupied by the same organisation before and after refurbishment are more successful than environments which are occupied by a new organisation after update. New buildings provide the greatest number of satisfied occupants. While many workplace design aspects are successfully addressed in newly designed and updated environments, satisfaction with acoustic and visual design features is equally poor in all investigated environment categories.


The study develops understanding of which environment categories, defined by the duration of the occupant‐environment relationships, are most successful in providing satisfying design features. The study thereby provides advice for facility management decision making.



Schwede, D.A., Davies, H. and Purdey, B. (2008), "Occupant satisfaction with workplace design in new and old environments", Facilities, Vol. 26 No. 7/8, pp. 273-288.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles