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Satisfaction with indoor environmental quality in BREEAM and non-BREEAM certified office buildings

Altomonte, Sergio; Saadouni, Sara; Kent, Michael G.; Schiavon, Stefano

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Sergio Altomonte

Sara Saadouni

Michael G. Kent

Stefano Schiavon


This paper presents preliminary analysis of occupant satisfaction with indoor environmental quality in Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and non-BREEAM certified offices in the UK. Results from cross-sectional questionnaires (N = 121) showed that BREEAM certification per se did not seem to substantively influence building and workspace satisfaction. Conversely, occupants of BREEAM offices tended to be less satisfied with air quality and visual privacy than users of non-BREEAM buildings. Lower satisfaction was also detected in BREEAM offices for occupants having spent over 24 months in their building, and for users working in open-plan spaces. To interpret these findings, a methodology for data analysis was adopted whereas responses to point-in-time surveys (N = 82) were paired with environmental measurements. Broadening the perspective for appraising occupants’ perceptions, these combined techniques led to conclude that certification schemes should balance criteria addressing energy performance with design solutions considerate of issues of privacy, proxemics and perceived control over the qualities of the indoor environment.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 6, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 14, 2017
Deposit Date Mar 13, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 14, 2017
Journal Architectural Science Review
Print ISSN 0003-8628
Electronic ISSN 1758-9622
Publisher Taylor & Francis Open
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 60
Issue 4
Keywords Indoor environmental quality, Occupant satisfaction, BREEAM, Cross-sectional questionnaire, Non-environmental factors, Point-in-time survey, Environmental measurements, Control
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Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Architectural Science Review on 14 June 2017, available online:


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