Introduction that ‘Post occupancy Evaluation’ (POE) can bring to


In an era of the evolving building technology and clients wanting
high performance buildings and spaces which foster the performance of users,
Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) has become a tool which has become more
valuable in the design process. But yet, a shockingly low amount of architects
carry out ‘Post Occupancy Evaluation’ (POE). According to a poll on Architects
journal, only thee percent of architects carry out post-occupation evaluation.

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This essay will examine the RIBA plan of work 2013 and examine the
benefits of the new stages stage 0 and stage 7, and the value that ‘Post
occupancy Evaluation’ (POE) can bring to a project.

The essay aims to highlight the benefits and problems with POE and
suggest way to better incorporate architects and clients. This will then be
followed up by examples where POE has been hugely beneficial to a practice and
how the practices used this information to manage their design process.


The RIBA plan of work (POW) was first developed in 1963. Since it
was first developed, it was the ‘definitive’ UK model for the building design
and construction process, having also a significant influence internationally
as well.

The plan of work has been a foundation for both the architectural
profession and construction industry by setting a framework for the
organisation and the management of how architectural projects are run, which
also provides a process map and management tool to architects. The POW Split
into a number of key stages, the Plan of work also provides stage reference
points in a multitude of contractual and appointment documents and a good
practice guide. (RIBAPlan of work overview)

During the time since it had been developed, the POW has evolved
and amended several times during its lifetime to reflect the increasing
complexity of projects, and to incorporate regulatory requirements that
reflects the demand of industry and government reports, which had criticised the

The recent version of the POW, POW 2013, has undergone a drastic
overhaul with the intention of making it as ‘more flexible’. Stages such as
planning permission and procurement are now being described as adjustable (Plan
of work overview). It reflects increasing requirements for sustainability and
Building Information Modelling (BIM) and it allows simple, project specific
plans to be created. Unfortunately the POW 2013 has come under criticism due to
not properly integrating sustainability as they could effectively be ‘turned
off’ which sends the wrong message on sustainability (messag on
sustainability). The POW has also come under criticism as it has significantly
less detail than the plan of work before that (The 2007 plan of work) and that
it’s flexibility and customisability is very limited. The definition and naming
of the work stages didn’t reflect the terminology that is used in the industry
to date leading to some confusion within the profession.

The work stages were restructured with Stages 0 and 7 as new
stages which were included in the POW 2013 and renamed into the following:

Stage 0 – Strategic Definition;

Stage 1 – Preparation and Brief

Stage 2 – Concept design

Stage 3 – Developed Design

Stage 4 – Technical Design

Stage 5 – Construction

Stage 6 – Handover and Closeout

Stage 7 – In Use.

Stage 0 gives the opportunity for the architect and client to
properly appraise a project before the brief is created. There are certain activities
which are derived from the former RIBA POW 2007). In stage 7 we see that things
such as post occupancy evaluation and a review of project performance as well
as other new duties can be taken during this perid. They were introduced in the
POW 2013 as a learning process for the industry to reflect on a project and to
also help better understand similar projects for future references

Although there are many benefits in the RIBA POW 2013 towards the
architectural process, there are many concerns that the POW 2013 doesn’t make
sufficient necessities for the aftercare of construction projects (AJ) Other
architects think that the POW could involve architects in unnecessary and
unpaid soft landing activities, leading to use of resources which some practices
cannot afford to.