How Do Occupants Perceive the Building Performance of Award-Winning Schools in the UK

School design can contribute to reducing carbon emissions and raising environmental awareness among the next generation. A good school environment can have positive effects on occupant behaviour, mood and working productivity, etc. This paper selected three RIBA award-winning schools as research examples in order to investigate how the occupants perceive the actual building performance of their school, and its impact on their use of the building. Post-occupancy evaluation (POE) based on occupant surveys and interview was linked to internal environmental performance and energy use. Generally, the feedback was satisfactory. However, some aspects of the buildings’ environmental performance, such as air quality, lighting environment and thermal comfort, were considered unsatisfactory by school staff at certain times. This study indicated that there are gaps between design intent and actual building performance, and also highlighted the importance of the relationship between school design and school users. Design suggestions to achieve a better school environment are identified in the conclusion.

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