An effective POE measures theoretical design intent against tangible results.

A Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) is one of the best tools for assessing a design’s success, examining the intended goals of the design against the actual results. But there is no one set of criteria to follow when performing such an evaluation. Lab Design News offers some suggestions rooted in successful POE examples – notably, the efforts of Pfizer’s Center for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) to establish their local headquarters at Boston’s Center for Life Science building. A team of experienced design and construction professionals laid out the criteria, ranging from the optimal time to collect data to the best way to meet budgets. For instance, they recommend one to two years post-occupancy as the ideal time frame to furnish the best data, noting:

This duration offers the client time to settle in and acclimate to their new surroundings, experience the functionality of the space and receive feedback from all occupants. Based on this information they can form conclusions, while still familiar with design goals and the intentions of pre-construction.

Of course, time is not the only consideration. Cost considerations come into play, requiring a time- and budget-efficient plan that still allows for exploring innovative ways to make square footage more versatile. Adaptability and collaborative work were also key factors in the design process. After Pfizer CTI had occupied the space for a little over a year, a POE indicated that an open office environment and adaptable functions such as storage space need a more prevalent role in the lab planning and design process.

See the full set of evaluation criteria that Pfizer CTI and Boston’s Center for Life Science followed at Lab Design News.