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Attributes and descriptors for building performance evaluation

Attributes and descriptors for building performance evaluation HBRC Journal (2017) 13, 291–296 Housing and Building National Research Center HBRC Journal http://ees.elsevier.com/hbrcj Attributes and descriptors for building performance evaluation S. Gopikrishnan , V.M. Topkar Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Mumbai University, Mumbai, India Received 31 March 2014; revised 24 May 2015; accepted 23 August 2015 KEYWORDS Abstract The feedback obtained from users/occupants would become the primary data set to eval- uate performance of any built facility. Meeting user needs, expectations and aspirations are the Facility performance evalua- prime objectives of a facility provider. It becomes necessary to evaluate the built facility with respect tion; to meeting user needs/expectations, in order to obtain right feedback during building performance User satisfaction; evaluation. Among various methods being used to obtain user feedback, questionnaire remains the Questionnaire; Attributes; foremost and most commonly used tool. The quality of feedback and its subsequent analysis Descriptors; entirely depend on the robustness of the questionnaire which in turn depends on its content. Such User satisfaction survey survey instrument comprises of questions framed on various attributes of a built facility. The pur- pose of survey dictates the nature of questions and the attributes about which the data are collected. These attributes can be categorized into functional attributes, maintenance attributes, and societal attributes. In order to obtain the right feedback in levels of satisfaction with respect to these attributes, there is a need to have appropriate descriptors for incorporation in a survey instrument. This paper identifies attributes that indicate building performance and provides simple description of these attributes based on which items can be generated for a questionnaire. Such items can enable any user/occupant to easily understand the characteristics of these attributes and offer an objective feedback during questionnaire survey. 2015 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Housing and Building National Research Center. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Corresponding author at: Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Introduction Mumbai University, HR Mahajani Marg, Matunga, Mumbai 400019, India. Tel.: +91 9167009141. E-mail addresses: [email protected] (S. Gopikrishnan), The primary purpose of buildings is to meet the needs/expecta- [email protected] (V.M. Topkar). tions of users/occupants in providing with conducive, safe, Tel.: +91 9167218586. comfortable, healthy and secured indoor environment to carry Peer review under responsibility of Housing and Building National out different kinds of activities ranging from work, study, lei- Research Center. sure and family life to social interactions as brought out by Ibem et al. [1] Meir et al. [2] opine that buildings are con- structed and managed based on standards and specifications Production and hosting by Elsevier established by governments, professionals and experts who http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hbrcj.2015.08.004 1687-4048  2015 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Housing and Building National Research Center. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). 292 S. Gopikrishnan, V.M. Topkar are supposed to have adequate knowledge of user needs and users as part of user satisfaction surveys. A questionnaire expectations. As rightly pointed out by Kian et al. [3], these becomes a good survey instrument when all desired informa- standards and specifications do not conform to the changing tion of the researchers is received in the form of data. The needs and expectations of users. Building performance can contents of the questionnaire generally contain the personal be enhanced by regular performance evaluation, exploring profile of the participant and their satisfaction level on the var- and understanding user needs, expectations and aspirations ious identified attributes distributed on a suitable Likert scale [4,5]. Put succinctly, building performance evaluation primar- preferably on a scale of 1–5. They also suggest that a good ily seeks to improve the quality of design, construction and questionnaire should enable collection of information in a management of buildings and by extension, promotes sustain- standardized manner which when gathered from a representa- able built environment [1]. Vischer [6] suggests that it also tive sample of a defined population, allows inference of the helps in understanding how occupants feel about their results to a wider population. However, the main criterion in buildings, and thus provides basic information on user needs, such a questionnaire is that the underlying assumptions about preferences and satisfaction. User feedback is obtained the language and interpretation of the questions by the through questionnaire and its content depends on the purpose researcher and the participant should be similar. If it is not for which the surveys are carried out. Purposes may be issues so, then the results obtained may not be useful. pertaining to technical, functional, financial, environmental, and societal aspects. The satisfaction level can be measured Stages in formulation of questionnaire through metrics/indicators called attributes. In order to obtain the right feedback, these attributes need appropriate descrip- Janice and Martyn [7] have listed the stages of formulation of tion for incorporation in a survey instrument. This paper any questionnaire undergoes the following stages. identifies attributes that indicate performance of buildings and provides examples for their simple description that can Content of the questionnaire enable user to easily understand their characteristics and offer When developing a questionnaire, items or questions are gen- an objective response during the questionnaire survey. erated that require the respondent to respond to a series of questions or statements. Participant responses are then con- Objective verted into numerical form and statistically analyzed. Hence, the content in the questionnaire must reliably operationalize The objective of this study is to establish a methodology to for- the key concepts detailed within specific research questions mulate questions that can form part of a questionnaire, based and must, in turn be relevant and acceptable to the target on descriptors of attributes in order to elicit more objective group. user response during performance evaluation of built facilities. Range of scale Methodology There are range of scales and response styles that may be used in developing a questionnaire. It is important to be clear on the The methodology to achieve the above objective includes range of scale and the style of response that need to be adopted understanding the stages in formulation of a questionnaire, in formulating the survey instrument. Likert scale is the most identification of attributes that indicate user satisfaction and widely used frequency scale. Likert type scale assumes that description of the characteristics of these attributes. The num- the intensity of experience is linear i.e. on a continuum from ber and nature of attributes are governed by the type of facility strongly agree to strongly disagree and also assumes that the being assessed and the purpose of evaluation. After identifica- attitudes can be measured. Generally, a likert scale of 5 is tion of the attributes, the characteristics of each attribute will adopted for measuring satisfaction levels of participants. be listed based on the theoretical content the attribute repre- sents. Attributes and characteristics once identified will be vet- Item generation, wording and order ted through opinions obtained from a group of selected experts Generation of items during questionnaire development of the construction industry comprising of architects, engi- requires considerable pilot work to refine the wording and con- neers, consultants and academicians. Methodology also tent. Items need to be generated from a number of sources includes transformation of these characteristics into question including consultation with industry experts, proposed respon- items that can be incorporated in the questionnaire to obtain dents and also extensive literature review to avoid any bias in user response. Formulation of these items will be in a manner response. Consideration should be given to the order in which where all types of participants can identify the purpose of items are presented, positioning of questions on demographic questions in consonance with the researcher and furnish feed- details and avoiding double negative or double barreled ques- back accordingly. Methodology also involves customizing the tions. A mixture of both positively and negatively worded rating scale for each question. items may minimize the danger of acquiescent response bias i.e. the tendency of the respondent to agree with a statement Theoretical issues or respond in a same way to questions. Questionnaire Validation In the process of developing a questionnaire, it is very Janice and Martyn [7] have defined questionnaire as a survey important to conduct a pilot survey to validate the survey instrument that has been used to obtain feedback from the instrument. Nasrin and Trisha Dunning [8] have identified Attributes and descriptors for building 293 three stages in validation of a questionnaire, namely transla- grouping them. The methodology for all such assessments tional validity, construct validity and reliability. has been to conduct questionnaire survey to obtain feedback from concerned stakeholders. In all these methods, there is a scope of bringing more objectivity in response of the users Attributes by improving the manner in which the questions are put across to the participants in the user satisfaction surveys. Attributes are indicators through which performance of a facility can be measured. Sarel Lavy et al. [9] have highlighted Question formats that these attributes vary depending on the type of facility and the purpose of performance evaluation. The selection of attri- The contents of a questionnaire comprise of many sections such butes also depends on the type of users such as occupants, as basic information, observation schedule, and technical con- managers, and supervisors. The choice of attributes should tent. The technical content of the questionnaire comprises of be made in such a manner that they are useful in holistic as questions based on the attributes that indicate the performance well as assessment of general as well as any specific aspect of of building satisfying user needs, expectations and aspirations. a facility. Literature survey on building performance evalua- A question that formed part of a questionnaire used by Ibem tion indicates that a number of researchers have selected attri- et al. [1] used to carry out measurement of performance of public butes and have done grouping of these attributes differently housing based on user satisfaction is depicted in Fig. 1. depending on the purpose for which the evaluation is under- In the above format of question, without adequate descrip- taken of the building. While measuring satisfaction of residents tion of the building attributes, different respondents will pro- in a housing colony, Mohit and Azim [10] grouped 46 attri- vide feedback based on their perception of ‘Quality’. Hence, butes in four components viz. housing and physical features, drawing inferences from such feedback for further decision services provided within housing area, public facilities pro- making is likely to be faulty. vided and social environment within housing area. While A sample question of a questionnaire used as part of post assessing maintenance aspects of a high rise office building occupancy evaluation of building performance by Energy Sys- complex, Nik-Mat et al. [11] grouped 16 attributes in three dif- tems Research Unit (ESRU), University of Strathclyde, Uni- ferent heads viz. functional, technical and image characteris- ted Kingdom [17] in 2010 is as shown in Fig. 2. tics. Ibem et al. [1] listed 27 attributes under five factors In the question depicted in Fig. 2, the researcher leaves while carrying out performance evaluation of residential build- ‘Safety’ to the imagination of the occupant. Some occupants ings. Khalil et al. [12] identified 19 attributes for building per- may interpret safety as one among physical safety, fire safety, formance while carrying out post occupancy evaluation of electrical safety, etc. whereas some occupants may perceive public buildings. Meng and Minouge [13] had used 11 indica- safety with respect to their property. tors while measuring maintenance performance of buildings. Hashim et al. [14] had identified 10 attributes in four heads Attributes for building performance evaluation namely space, comfort, serviceability and safety. Case studies of Abdul Lateef et al. [15] and Shohet et al. [16] were also referred to, wherein the performance of a built facility is In the present study, literature survey was carried out to iden- assessed based on a number of attributes without specifically tify the attributes that indicate user satisfaction on building Fig. 1 A sample of the format used by Ibem et al. [1]. Fig. 2 A sample question for occupant of a dwelling unit used by ESRU, UK (2010). 294 S. Gopikrishnan, V.M. Topkar performance. Initially 56 attributes were identified which were Table 2 Illumination characteristics and their description. reduced to 29 after closely scrutinizing these attributes with Characteristic Description respect to the purpose of evaluation. A list of these attributes was discussed with construction industry experts comprising of Uniformity Uniformly lit to perform the tasks and improve architects, engineers, consultants and academicians. These performance Glare Has proper shading devices to avoid glare interactions helped the researcher to check on adequacy and Visual Does not cause any visual discomfort like appropriateness of the attributes for building performance comfort flickering, over lighting evaluation. Based on eighteen responses received, authors have Safety Promotes safety of occupants during movement compiled a list of 13 attributes (Table 1). These attributes are Control Has easily accessible control to both natural and selected in a way to avoid any overlap of characteristics and to artificial lighting have a reasonable number of attributes. A cryptic mention of Lighting type Provides for natural lighting aspects covered by each attribute is also made against each. Appearance Improves the appearance of the area View Provides a choice for view to outside Characteristics of attributes Psychological Provides positive psychological impact on the effect occupant Maintenance Facilitates easy access and handling for Review of question formats as brought out in section maintenance ‘Question formats’ indicates that the design of questions might Energy Facilitates energy savings not elicit the exact response from the users that the researchers savings were looking for. The questions were designed based on the attributes and due to the manner in framing the questions, The characteristics of illumination listed in Table 2 amply the respondent may not truly perceive what the researcher cover all aspects of illumination that a user looks for. The might be meaning about the attribute, leaving it to the imagi- characteristics and their descriptions were identified through nation of the participant to respond. Ultimately, the response literature review of relevant theoretical content of illumina- of the user may be subjective or arbitrary. Collected data may tion. Similarly, characteristics and description of safety and also not be amenable for further analysis and interpretation. security were identified and tabulated in a manner it covers There is a requirement to put across questions in a manner all aspects of safety that a user looks for in a building in that any participant in the survey, irrespective of background, Table 3. understands the requirement of the researcher and offers an objective feedback, though the rating of users may vary Suggested question formats depending on their expectations which may in turn vary based on their social, economic, educational, financial background, etc. The researcher can ensure to convey what kind of response Characteristics of any number of attributes were identified is expected, through adequate description of each attribute. As based on the purpose of evaluation and the type of facility. an example, characteristics of illumination as identified In the present case study, the identification of attributes listed through literature survey are listed in Table 2. Table 3 Safety and security characteristics and description. S Characteristic Description Table 1 Attributes for building performance evaluation. no S Attributes Aspects/characteristics 1 Physical Provides safety against accidents due to no safety falling, tripping, etc. 1 Physical Building integrity such as cracks, leakage, 2 Fire safety With adequate fire extinguishers, water condition seepage, dampness. sprinklers, fire alarms, etc. 2 Space Size/organization of rooms, Common areas, Placed at prominently visible places for open spaces, etc. access 3 Indoor air Ventilation/air conditioning for thermal Has signboards indicating location of comfort equipment, fire exits 4 Illumination For adequacy and visual comfort With passages and fire exits free of 5 Safety and Against fire, lightning, accidents, infections, obstructions security insects and crime level Sufficient ventilation to avoid choking due to 6 Accessibility Connectivity, internal roads, staircases, lifts, smoke during fire escalators With adequate water supply dedicated for fire 7 Air, Noise Quality of air, water and noise fighting and water 3 Electric Against electrical accidents due to loose 8 Waste Including garbage collection and disposal safety fittings, wires, etc. disposal 4 Disinsection Protects from insects in the form of mosquito 9 Drainage Rain water, sewage and sullage proofing, Fumigation, etc. 10 Finishes Internal and external finishes 5 Disaster Against earthquakes, floods, lightning, etc. 11 Amenities Drinking water, washrooms, water and safety electricity supply, etc. 6 Parking Provides safety to the vehicles parked in the 12 Aesthetics Including landscaping, visual comfort, safety parking area psychological comfort. 7 Security Against theft, burglary, crime rate in the 13 Parking Location and adequacy area, etc. Attributes and descriptors for building 295 Fig. 3 Suggested form of a question seeking feedback on a characteristic of illumination. Fig. 4 Suggested form of questions seeking feedback on safety and security. 296 S. Gopikrishnan, V.M. Topkar in Table 1 is keeping in mind a public building. Suggested attributes are likely to elicit more objective response from the question formats for the attributes ‘Illumination’ and ‘safety users. This study elaborates one such approach toward ques- and security’, based on the description of their characteristics tionnaire development for building performance evaluation. are depicted in Figs. 3 and 4 respectively. General rules appli- cable for formulation of questions were followed in this case. Conflict of interest However, description of the rating in likert scale of 5 has been customized for each question which can also contribute in elic- The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest. iting better user response. Similarly characteristics and descriptions for each attribute References identified as relevant to the type of evaluation can be framed based on theoretical content and can be incorporated in the [1] Eziyi Offia Ibem, Akunnaya P. Opoko, Albert B. Adeboye, survey instrument so that the ultimate goal of obtaining objec- Dolapo Amole, Performance evaluation of residential buildings tive response from users is achieved. National Building Code in public housing estates in Ogun State, Nigeria: users’ [18] has been referred to list the characteristics of each attri- satisfaction perspective, J. Front. Archit. Res. 2 (2013) 178–190. bute. A provision for ‘Can’t say’ can also be made for these [2] I.A. Meir, Y. Garb, D. Jiao, A. Cicelsky, Post occupancy questions in order to avoid forced response from users who evaluation: an inevitable step towards sustainability, J. Adv. are unwilling to answer a particular question. Build. Energy Res. 3 (2009) 189–220. [3] P.S. Kian, H. Feriadi, W. Sulistio, K.C. Seng, A case study on Implications total building performance evaluation an intelligent office building in Singapore, Dimensi Technik Sipil 3 (1) (2001) 9–15. [4] S. Kim, I. Yang, M. Yeo, K. Kim, Development of a housing Formulation of questions based on attributes and their charac- performance evaluation model for multifamily residential teristics has been illustrated with examples in the preceding building in Korea, J. Build. Environ. 40 (2005) 1103–1116. paragraphs. It is felt that the user response obtained on perfor- [5] N. Khalil, A.H. Nawawi, Performance assessment of mance of a building based on the above methodology is likely government and public buildings via post occupancy to be more objective than having a broad based question for evaluation, J. Asian School Sci. 4 (9) (2008) 103–112. each attribute. Though this method has an implication of more [6] J.C. Vischer, Towards a user centred theory of built number of questions pertaining to each attribute, the trade-off environment, J. Build. Res. Inform. 36 (3) (2008) 231–240. on the objectivity of response is worth the increase in length of [7] Janice Rattray, Martyn C. Jones, Essential elements of questionnaire design and development, J. Clin. Nurs. 16 (2007) the questionnaire. Moreover, the description of the rating scale 234–243. being customized for each question, is likely to aid the respon- [8] Nasrin Parsian, A.M. Trisha Dunning, Developing and dent in comprehending the question better than a common rat- validating a questionnaire – a psychometric process, Glob. J. ing scale description in the form of ‘Highly satisfied’ to ‘Highly Health Sci. 1 (1) (2009) 2–10. unsatisfied’ to all the questions. Decision making on the efforts [9] Sarel Lavy, John A. Garcia, Manish K. Dixit, Establishment of required by the facility managers becomes easier since the KPIs for facility performance measurement: review of literature, objectivity in response will aid them to pinpoint the areas of J. Facil. (2011) 445–464. concern. [10] Mohammad Abdul Mohit, Mohammad Azim, Assessment of residential satisfaction with public housing in Hulhumale, Conclusion Maldives, Proc. – J. Soc. Behav. Sci. 50 (2012) 756–770. [11] N.E.M. Nik-Mat, S.N. Kamaruzzaman, M. Pitt, Assessing the maintenance aspect of facilities management through a Effectiveness of the questionnaire and utility of data obtained performance measurement system: a Malaysian case study, depend on the choice of correct attributes, appropriate identi- Proc. Eng. J. 20 (2011) 329–338. fication and description of their characteristics and converting [12] Natasha Khalil, Husrul Nizam Husin, Hamimah Adnan, Abdul them into easily understandable questions. There is a need to Hadi Nawawi, Correlation Analysis of Building Performance split the questions pertaining to each attribute to a reasonable and Occupants’ Satisfaction via Post Occupancy Evaluation for extent with respect to their characteristics and descriptors. Malaysia’s Public Buildings, Munich Personal RePEc Archives Characteristics of the attributes are formulated based on theo- 2010 Paper No 19634. retical content representing the attributes. The theoretical con- [13] Xianhai Meng, Michael Minouge, Performance measurement models in facilities management, J. Facil. 29 (2011) 472–484. tent can be identified in the relevant codes and manuals [14] Ahmad E. Hashim, Hasnizan Aksah, Sharul Yani Said, followed for construction. It will enable the respondent to pro- Functional assessment through post occupancy review on vide more objective response to each attribute rather than a refurbished historical public buildings in Kualalumpur, Proc. – generic feedback on a broad based question on a single attri- J. Soc. Behavi. Sci. 68 (2012) 330–340. bute. Questions thus formulated need to be unambiguous, pro- [15] Abdul Lateef A. Olanrewaju, Mohd F. Khamidi, Arazi Idrus, vide clarity to all possible types of participants and be Validation of building maintenance performance model for amenable to analysis and interpretation. However, the ques- Malaysian universities, Int. J. Hum. Soc. Sci. (2011) 159–163. tions formulated based on the above methodology need to [16] Igal M. Shohet, Sarel Lavy-Leibovich, Dany Bar-On, Integrated undergo a process of validation through a pilot survey for its maintenance management of hospital buildings in Israel, J. relevance and reliability. A near correct picture of actual per- Construct. Manage. Econom. 21 (2003) 197–208. [17] Energy System Research Unit, Post occupancy evaluation formance of the built facility from the user point of view will questionnaire, University of Strathcylde, United Kingdom, 2010 enable facility managers to address pertinent issues. Question- [18] National Building Code, Government of India, 2005. naires designed based on the characteristics and descriptions of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png HBRC Journal Taylor & Francis

Attributes and descriptors for building performance evaluation

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© 2015 Housing and Building National Research Center. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.
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1687-4048
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Abstract

HBRC Journal (2017) 13, 291–296 Housing and Building National Research Center HBRC Journal http://ees.elsevier.com/hbrcj Attributes and descriptors for building performance evaluation S. Gopikrishnan , V.M. Topkar Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Mumbai University, Mumbai, India Received 31 March 2014; revised 24 May 2015; accepted 23 August 2015 KEYWORDS Abstract The feedback obtained from users/occupants would become the primary data set to eval- uate performance of any built facility. Meeting user needs, expectations and aspirations are the Facility performance evalua- prime objectives of a facility provider. It becomes necessary to evaluate the built facility with respect tion; to meeting user needs/expectations, in order to obtain right feedback during building performance User satisfaction; evaluation. Among various methods being used to obtain user feedback, questionnaire remains the Questionnaire; Attributes; foremost and most commonly used tool. The quality of feedback and its subsequent analysis Descriptors; entirely depend on the robustness of the questionnaire which in turn depends on its content. Such User satisfaction survey survey instrument comprises of questions framed on various attributes of a built facility. The pur- pose of survey dictates the nature of questions and the attributes about which the data are collected. These attributes can be categorized into functional attributes, maintenance attributes, and societal attributes. In order to obtain the right feedback in levels of satisfaction with respect to these attributes, there is a need to have appropriate descriptors for incorporation in a survey instrument. This paper identifies attributes that indicate building performance and provides simple description of these attributes based on which items can be generated for a questionnaire. Such items can enable any user/occupant to easily understand the characteristics of these attributes and offer an objective feedback during questionnaire survey. 2015 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Housing and Building National Research Center. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Corresponding author at: Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Introduction Mumbai University, HR Mahajani Marg, Matunga, Mumbai 400019, India. Tel.: +91 9167009141. E-mail addresses: [email protected] (S. Gopikrishnan), The primary purpose of buildings is to meet the needs/expecta- [email protected] (V.M. Topkar). tions of users/occupants in providing with conducive, safe, Tel.: +91 9167218586. comfortable, healthy and secured indoor environment to carry Peer review under responsibility of Housing and Building National out different kinds of activities ranging from work, study, lei- Research Center. sure and family life to social interactions as brought out by Ibem et al. [1] Meir et al. [2] opine that buildings are con- structed and managed based on standards and specifications Production and hosting by Elsevier established by governments, professionals and experts who http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hbrcj.2015.08.004 1687-4048  2015 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Housing and Building National Research Center. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). 292 S. Gopikrishnan, V.M. Topkar are supposed to have adequate knowledge of user needs and users as part of user satisfaction surveys. A questionnaire expectations. As rightly pointed out by Kian et al. [3], these becomes a good survey instrument when all desired informa- standards and specifications do not conform to the changing tion of the researchers is received in the form of data. The needs and expectations of users. Building performance can contents of the questionnaire generally contain the personal be enhanced by regular performance evaluation, exploring profile of the participant and their satisfaction level on the var- and understanding user needs, expectations and aspirations ious identified attributes distributed on a suitable Likert scale [4,5]. Put succinctly, building performance evaluation primar- preferably on a scale of 1–5. They also suggest that a good ily seeks to improve the quality of design, construction and questionnaire should enable collection of information in a management of buildings and by extension, promotes sustain- standardized manner which when gathered from a representa- able built environment [1]. Vischer [6] suggests that it also tive sample of a defined population, allows inference of the helps in understanding how occupants feel about their results to a wider population. However, the main criterion in buildings, and thus provides basic information on user needs, such a questionnaire is that the underlying assumptions about preferences and satisfaction. User feedback is obtained the language and interpretation of the questions by the through questionnaire and its content depends on the purpose researcher and the participant should be similar. If it is not for which the surveys are carried out. Purposes may be issues so, then the results obtained may not be useful. pertaining to technical, functional, financial, environmental, and societal aspects. The satisfaction level can be measured Stages in formulation of questionnaire through metrics/indicators called attributes. In order to obtain the right feedback, these attributes need appropriate descrip- Janice and Martyn [7] have listed the stages of formulation of tion for incorporation in a survey instrument. This paper any questionnaire undergoes the following stages. identifies attributes that indicate performance of buildings and provides examples for their simple description that can Content of the questionnaire enable user to easily understand their characteristics and offer When developing a questionnaire, items or questions are gen- an objective response during the questionnaire survey. erated that require the respondent to respond to a series of questions or statements. Participant responses are then con- Objective verted into numerical form and statistically analyzed. Hence, the content in the questionnaire must reliably operationalize The objective of this study is to establish a methodology to for- the key concepts detailed within specific research questions mulate questions that can form part of a questionnaire, based and must, in turn be relevant and acceptable to the target on descriptors of attributes in order to elicit more objective group. user response during performance evaluation of built facilities. Range of scale Methodology There are range of scales and response styles that may be used in developing a questionnaire. It is important to be clear on the The methodology to achieve the above objective includes range of scale and the style of response that need to be adopted understanding the stages in formulation of a questionnaire, in formulating the survey instrument. Likert scale is the most identification of attributes that indicate user satisfaction and widely used frequency scale. Likert type scale assumes that description of the characteristics of these attributes. The num- the intensity of experience is linear i.e. on a continuum from ber and nature of attributes are governed by the type of facility strongly agree to strongly disagree and also assumes that the being assessed and the purpose of evaluation. After identifica- attitudes can be measured. Generally, a likert scale of 5 is tion of the attributes, the characteristics of each attribute will adopted for measuring satisfaction levels of participants. be listed based on the theoretical content the attribute repre- sents. Attributes and characteristics once identified will be vet- Item generation, wording and order ted through opinions obtained from a group of selected experts Generation of items during questionnaire development of the construction industry comprising of architects, engi- requires considerable pilot work to refine the wording and con- neers, consultants and academicians. Methodology also tent. Items need to be generated from a number of sources includes transformation of these characteristics into question including consultation with industry experts, proposed respon- items that can be incorporated in the questionnaire to obtain dents and also extensive literature review to avoid any bias in user response. Formulation of these items will be in a manner response. Consideration should be given to the order in which where all types of participants can identify the purpose of items are presented, positioning of questions on demographic questions in consonance with the researcher and furnish feed- details and avoiding double negative or double barreled ques- back accordingly. Methodology also involves customizing the tions. A mixture of both positively and negatively worded rating scale for each question. items may minimize the danger of acquiescent response bias i.e. the tendency of the respondent to agree with a statement Theoretical issues or respond in a same way to questions. Questionnaire Validation In the process of developing a questionnaire, it is very Janice and Martyn [7] have defined questionnaire as a survey important to conduct a pilot survey to validate the survey instrument that has been used to obtain feedback from the instrument. Nasrin and Trisha Dunning [8] have identified Attributes and descriptors for building 293 three stages in validation of a questionnaire, namely transla- grouping them. The methodology for all such assessments tional validity, construct validity and reliability. has been to conduct questionnaire survey to obtain feedback from concerned stakeholders. In all these methods, there is a scope of bringing more objectivity in response of the users Attributes by improving the manner in which the questions are put across to the participants in the user satisfaction surveys. Attributes are indicators through which performance of a facility can be measured. Sarel Lavy et al. [9] have highlighted Question formats that these attributes vary depending on the type of facility and the purpose of performance evaluation. The selection of attri- The contents of a questionnaire comprise of many sections such butes also depends on the type of users such as occupants, as basic information, observation schedule, and technical con- managers, and supervisors. The choice of attributes should tent. The technical content of the questionnaire comprises of be made in such a manner that they are useful in holistic as questions based on the attributes that indicate the performance well as assessment of general as well as any specific aspect of of building satisfying user needs, expectations and aspirations. a facility. Literature survey on building performance evalua- A question that formed part of a questionnaire used by Ibem tion indicates that a number of researchers have selected attri- et al. [1] used to carry out measurement of performance of public butes and have done grouping of these attributes differently housing based on user satisfaction is depicted in Fig. 1. depending on the purpose for which the evaluation is under- In the above format of question, without adequate descrip- taken of the building. While measuring satisfaction of residents tion of the building attributes, different respondents will pro- in a housing colony, Mohit and Azim [10] grouped 46 attri- vide feedback based on their perception of ‘Quality’. Hence, butes in four components viz. housing and physical features, drawing inferences from such feedback for further decision services provided within housing area, public facilities pro- making is likely to be faulty. vided and social environment within housing area. While A sample question of a questionnaire used as part of post assessing maintenance aspects of a high rise office building occupancy evaluation of building performance by Energy Sys- complex, Nik-Mat et al. [11] grouped 16 attributes in three dif- tems Research Unit (ESRU), University of Strathclyde, Uni- ferent heads viz. functional, technical and image characteris- ted Kingdom [17] in 2010 is as shown in Fig. 2. tics. Ibem et al. [1] listed 27 attributes under five factors In the question depicted in Fig. 2, the researcher leaves while carrying out performance evaluation of residential build- ‘Safety’ to the imagination of the occupant. Some occupants ings. Khalil et al. [12] identified 19 attributes for building per- may interpret safety as one among physical safety, fire safety, formance while carrying out post occupancy evaluation of electrical safety, etc. whereas some occupants may perceive public buildings. Meng and Minouge [13] had used 11 indica- safety with respect to their property. tors while measuring maintenance performance of buildings. Hashim et al. [14] had identified 10 attributes in four heads Attributes for building performance evaluation namely space, comfort, serviceability and safety. Case studies of Abdul Lateef et al. [15] and Shohet et al. [16] were also referred to, wherein the performance of a built facility is In the present study, literature survey was carried out to iden- assessed based on a number of attributes without specifically tify the attributes that indicate user satisfaction on building Fig. 1 A sample of the format used by Ibem et al. [1]. Fig. 2 A sample question for occupant of a dwelling unit used by ESRU, UK (2010). 294 S. Gopikrishnan, V.M. Topkar performance. Initially 56 attributes were identified which were Table 2 Illumination characteristics and their description. reduced to 29 after closely scrutinizing these attributes with Characteristic Description respect to the purpose of evaluation. A list of these attributes was discussed with construction industry experts comprising of Uniformity Uniformly lit to perform the tasks and improve architects, engineers, consultants and academicians. These performance Glare Has proper shading devices to avoid glare interactions helped the researcher to check on adequacy and Visual Does not cause any visual discomfort like appropriateness of the attributes for building performance comfort flickering, over lighting evaluation. Based on eighteen responses received, authors have Safety Promotes safety of occupants during movement compiled a list of 13 attributes (Table 1). These attributes are Control Has easily accessible control to both natural and selected in a way to avoid any overlap of characteristics and to artificial lighting have a reasonable number of attributes. A cryptic mention of Lighting type Provides for natural lighting aspects covered by each attribute is also made against each. Appearance Improves the appearance of the area View Provides a choice for view to outside Characteristics of attributes Psychological Provides positive psychological impact on the effect occupant Maintenance Facilitates easy access and handling for Review of question formats as brought out in section maintenance ‘Question formats’ indicates that the design of questions might Energy Facilitates energy savings not elicit the exact response from the users that the researchers savings were looking for. The questions were designed based on the attributes and due to the manner in framing the questions, The characteristics of illumination listed in Table 2 amply the respondent may not truly perceive what the researcher cover all aspects of illumination that a user looks for. The might be meaning about the attribute, leaving it to the imagi- characteristics and their descriptions were identified through nation of the participant to respond. Ultimately, the response literature review of relevant theoretical content of illumina- of the user may be subjective or arbitrary. Collected data may tion. Similarly, characteristics and description of safety and also not be amenable for further analysis and interpretation. security were identified and tabulated in a manner it covers There is a requirement to put across questions in a manner all aspects of safety that a user looks for in a building in that any participant in the survey, irrespective of background, Table 3. understands the requirement of the researcher and offers an objective feedback, though the rating of users may vary Suggested question formats depending on their expectations which may in turn vary based on their social, economic, educational, financial background, etc. The researcher can ensure to convey what kind of response Characteristics of any number of attributes were identified is expected, through adequate description of each attribute. As based on the purpose of evaluation and the type of facility. an example, characteristics of illumination as identified In the present case study, the identification of attributes listed through literature survey are listed in Table 2. Table 3 Safety and security characteristics and description. S Characteristic Description Table 1 Attributes for building performance evaluation. no S Attributes Aspects/characteristics 1 Physical Provides safety against accidents due to no safety falling, tripping, etc. 1 Physical Building integrity such as cracks, leakage, 2 Fire safety With adequate fire extinguishers, water condition seepage, dampness. sprinklers, fire alarms, etc. 2 Space Size/organization of rooms, Common areas, Placed at prominently visible places for open spaces, etc. access 3 Indoor air Ventilation/air conditioning for thermal Has signboards indicating location of comfort equipment, fire exits 4 Illumination For adequacy and visual comfort With passages and fire exits free of 5 Safety and Against fire, lightning, accidents, infections, obstructions security insects and crime level Sufficient ventilation to avoid choking due to 6 Accessibility Connectivity, internal roads, staircases, lifts, smoke during fire escalators With adequate water supply dedicated for fire 7 Air, Noise Quality of air, water and noise fighting and water 3 Electric Against electrical accidents due to loose 8 Waste Including garbage collection and disposal safety fittings, wires, etc. disposal 4 Disinsection Protects from insects in the form of mosquito 9 Drainage Rain water, sewage and sullage proofing, Fumigation, etc. 10 Finishes Internal and external finishes 5 Disaster Against earthquakes, floods, lightning, etc. 11 Amenities Drinking water, washrooms, water and safety electricity supply, etc. 6 Parking Provides safety to the vehicles parked in the 12 Aesthetics Including landscaping, visual comfort, safety parking area psychological comfort. 7 Security Against theft, burglary, crime rate in the 13 Parking Location and adequacy area, etc. Attributes and descriptors for building 295 Fig. 3 Suggested form of a question seeking feedback on a characteristic of illumination. Fig. 4 Suggested form of questions seeking feedback on safety and security. 296 S. Gopikrishnan, V.M. Topkar in Table 1 is keeping in mind a public building. Suggested attributes are likely to elicit more objective response from the question formats for the attributes ‘Illumination’ and ‘safety users. This study elaborates one such approach toward ques- and security’, based on the description of their characteristics tionnaire development for building performance evaluation. are depicted in Figs. 3 and 4 respectively. General rules appli- cable for formulation of questions were followed in this case. Conflict of interest However, description of the rating in likert scale of 5 has been customized for each question which can also contribute in elic- The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest. iting better user response. 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Journal

HBRC JournalTaylor & Francis

Published: Dec 1, 2017

Keywords: Facility performance evaluation; User satisfaction; Questionnaire; Attributes; Descriptors; User satisfaction survey

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