Post occupancy evaluation of contemporary educational buildings in Ghana. A case study of the KNUST/IDL Building at Kwabenya

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The general notion in most public buildings is that occupants are comfortable with their indoor environmental conditions so long as they report to work and carry out their assigned duties. Such a notion has led to failure to consider it necessary to monitor and evaluate occupants’ perception of comfort in their respective working environments. Essentially, the value of systematic learning from Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) is primarily to identify additional benefits that can be obtained from the evaluation allowing for the fine tuning to enhance the performance of future buildings. The study adopted POE and its rationale as a building feedback mechanism. The aim of the study was to conduct a POE of contemporary educational buildings in Ghana. The study narrowed down to the particular case of the KNUST/IDL building at Kwabenya in Accra. The objectives were to evaluate the performance of the case study building and to identify areas of improvement of contemporary educational buildings in Ghana. The study adopted qualitative research approach to evaluate the subjective responses of occupants in the case study building. Instruments for data collection included interviews, observation and case study approach. 94 respondents out of a population of about 658 participated in the study. Data was presented in the form of descriptive and explanatory narrations using content analysis for analyzing the data. Results showed that extensive use of glazing permit high penetration of solar radiation and heat gain leading to poor indoor environmental conditions. Results also showed that extensive use of glazing has led to the heavy integration of HVAC systems to achieve human comfort in contemporary educational buildings in Ghana. The study concluded that dissatisfaction with the built environment has negative effects on the health, comfort and productivity of occupants. The study recommended that passive design strategies which are sustainable, economical and environmentally friendly can be used to achieve human comfort.
A dissertation submitted to the Department of Construction Technology and Management, College of Art and Built Environment in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science.
Post occupancy, Evaluation, Educational buildings, KNUST/IDL building