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Integrating views on building performance from different stakeholder groups

Hiral Patel (Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
Gabriela Zapata-Lancaster (Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)

Journal of Corporate Real Estate

ISSN: 1463-001X

Article publication date: 26 December 2023

Issue publication date: 27 February 2024




This paper aims to highlight a broader definition of good building performance that goes beyond the traditional emphasis on technical aspects, only adopting the lens of the social construction of technology (SCOT) in the empirical space of the workplace sector. Several building performance evaluation (BPE) methods focus on technical aspects such as energy consumption, indoor environmental conditions and compliance with building regulations and standards. Technical aspects, albeit important goals, only embed a partial component of what buildings are expected to deliver. There is growing interest in considering the organisational and experiential expectations of building performance, particularly integrating various views of performance as expected by different user groups.


The paper adopts an archival research method to analyse the archive of the workplace consultants DEGW, particularly focusing on their work on London’s Broadgate development in the 1980s and the 1990s.


The findings reveal how voices from a pluralistic client organisation can be addressed to articulate a broad definition of building performance that integrates different viewpoints encompassing technical, organisational and experiential expectations. In DEGW’s work, the views on building performance of various stakeholders involved in the everyday use and management of buildings are identified without imposing predetermined agendas or research notions of performance. Particular emphasis is given to understanding clients as not a homogenous entity but consisting of different interest groups, which implies multiple conceptualisations of building performance and the building itself.

Research limitations/implications

The performance expectations of a building vary between organisations and even within any organisation. Moreover, the needs of an organisation will change over time, and the BPE criteria need to be changed to ensure better alignment between organisations and the physical spaces they occupy. A critical reflection on the conceptualisation of “users” and “building” in BPE methods is required to create an integrated approach towards building performance.


The paper offers insights by adopting the theoretical lens of SCOT to explore an integrated approach to building performance that captures the varied needs of building users through the example of London’s Broadgate development.



The authors are thankful to Sir Stuart Lipton and AECOM for granting permission to reproduce the quoted materials from the DEGW Archive located at the University of Reading.


Patel, H. and Zapata-Lancaster, G. (2024), "Integrating views on building performance from different stakeholder groups", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 21-40.



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