Improving Design Through an Evidence-based Review

Using post-occupancy evaluations for better outcomes, market advantage and robust critique

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1 LU

Post-occupancy evaluation (POE) is critical for ensuring progress and development of ideas. Assessing the school facility is necessarily limited by a singular focus on environment quality performance. Wholistic POEs have emerged from significant research work across the previous decade (for example: Cleveland et al, 2017; Daniels et al, 2019; Prain et al, 2016). A wholistic POE focuses on the lived-experience of teachers and students as they navigate through schools as settings of learning, curriculum and wellbeing. POE tools must be able to respond to the complex settings of schools in order that objective, robust, and evidence-based progress on school design outcomes can occur. This session will present the design and outcomes of a holistic POE tool in detail. The advantages of the POE tool will be explored and include market advantage, generating an evidence trail for improved outcomes, and self-reflection for practice development. Participants will be asked to reflect on the best design of POE tools within their context. Key questions include What would a POE tool look like? What would a POE tool do? Who would use the POE tool?

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe research knowledge specific to post-occupancy evaluation methodologies.
  2. Learn the framework for developing holistic post-occupancy evaluation tools.
  3. Workshop participants will reflect on their own needs in small and large groups.
  4. Session attendees will be able to demonstrate their knowledge through sharing insights specific to the value and shape of post-occupancy evaluation tools.
Dr. Scott Alterator
Dr. Scott Alterator
Alterator Education Design Consultants,

Dr. Alterator is Chair of Learning Environments Australasia and research fellow at Learning Environments Applied Research Network at University of Melbourne. For the past 12 years his research has focused on post-occupancy evaluation and the alignment of practice and design. He is currently researching links between learning spaces and inclusive education. Scott is a teacher 'by trade' and enjoys engaging with schools on a regular basis through consultancy work. Along with a range of design-focused work, he has focused on activating STEAM learning as a means of exploring innovative practices.

Matt Dwyer
Matt Dwyer, AIA, ALEP
Director, Y2Architecture,

As a Registered Architect, Accredited Learning Environment Planner and Director of Y2Architecture, Matt has led a team of committed creatives who were awarded the James D MacConnell Award in 2020. Matt has helped hundreds of clients around Australia, Asia and the Middle East realise their dreams and create ‘community’, using a unique blend of industry insight, ingenuity and vision. Having achieved the ALEP designation in 2019, Matt joined the ALEP Commission providing an international perspective to create legacy pathways for accreditation within the Australasian region. As Director of Unboxy a STEAM focused educational tool, Matt continues to forge relationships across the globe, expanding the initiative into African, South and North American communities sharing the collateral of the ‘not for profit’ tool.

Track: Evidence and Impact

What evidence is there that design matters? That a particular method of delivery is advantageous? That one product is better than another? What lessons have you learned?

Primary Core Competency
Assessment of the School Facility: The ability to objectively evaluate a learning environment post-occupancy and utilize that data to improve future projects. Implements a plan for educational commissioning that provides guidance on how to use and maximize the learning environment to meet the foundational vision established in the planning phase. 

learningSCAPES 2022

October 5-9
Marriott Rivercenter | San Antonio, TX

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