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Structural Equation Model of Occupant Satisfaction for Evaluating the Performance of Office Buildings

Abstract

Measuring occupant satisfaction and collecting feedback is critical for evaluating building performance, shaping comfort, effective decision-making in building improvements, and consequently enhancing the well-being of occupants. Numerous post-occupancy evaluation tools have been developed for examining occupant satisfaction in different building types; however, they are criticized in the recent studies for failing to (1) empirically examine the interrelated influence of a broad range of factors on occupant satisfaction, (2) include expert opinion from the industry in the indicator determination process, (3) collect contextual information along with the feedback in real-time and in a continuous manner and (4) provide effective mechanisms to integrate occupant feedback in the building models to enable visualization and performing queries on feedback items. The purpose of this paper is to develop an occupant satisfaction measurement model for monitoring the perceived performance of office buildings. A hierarchical structural model was developed based on the literature review, analysis of occupant feedback records in office buildings, and focus group meetings with facility managers to determine the constructs of occupant satisfaction. This model was empirically validated via structural equation modeling (SEM) using the survey data collected from 300 office occupants. The proposed SEM model, which adopts a total of 27 indicators across six dimensions, is found to be highly satisfactory indicating a strong association between dimensions and occupant satisfaction. The findings emphasize that building design and facility service dimensions need to be considered along with physical comfort dimensions when determining occupant satisfaction. The main contribution of the paper is the empirically validated, holistic, SEM model of occupant satisfaction, which is developed based on current practice and industry practitioners’ feedback and integrates building design and facility services with physical comfort dimensions. In the following phase of the research, the developed occupant satisfaction measurement model was used as the basis for designing a prototype, which enables decision-makers to collect occupant feedback continuously and integrate it with building information modeling to visualize and perform queries on feedback items. Eventually, this measurement model is expected to contribute to making more effective decisions based on the actual performance of the facility in the post-occupancy phase and enhance building performance as well as occupant well-being and productivity.

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Availability of Data and Materials

Some data generated or used during the study are proprietary or confidential in nature and may only be provided with restrictions (i.e., anonymized survey data).

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank M. Can Özkan for his contribution to data collection.

Funding

This research was funded by a grant from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), under Grant No. 116M177. TUBITAK’s support is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Esin Ergen.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Appendices

Appendix A. Questionnaire form

Section 1: Background

Name, Surname (optional):

Gender (optional):

Position:

Number of employees in the office:

Section 2: Occupant Satisfaction

How satisfied are you with the following criteria? Please indicate your satisfaction level.

  Occupant Satisfaction Dimensions & Indicators Questionnaire (1 = very dissatisfied, 2 = dissatisfied 3 = neutral 4 = satisfied 5 = very satisfied)
1  2  3  4  5
(TC) Thermal Comfort  
(TC1) Temperature How satisfied are you with the temperature in your office?
(TC2) Radiant temperature How satisfied are you with the radiant temperature in your office?
(TC3) Relative humidity How satisfied are you with the relative humidity in your office?
(TC4) Temperature variation How satisfied are you with the temperature variation in your office?
(TC5) Air flow How satisfied are you with the air flow in your office?
(IAQ) Indoor Air Quality  
(IAQ1) Fresh air amount How satisfied are you with the fresh air amount/air quality (i.e., stuffy/stale air) in your office?
(IAQ2) Natural ventilation How satisfied are you with the natural ventilation in your office?
(IAQ3) Odor How satisfied are you with the odor (e.g. from air pollution, materials, WC, humidity) in your office?
(AC) Acoustical Comfort  
(AC1) Noise levels How satisfied are you with the noise levels (e.g. outside, people, HVAC, lighting equipment, office equipment, background noise) in your office?
(AC2) Echo How satisfied are you with the echo levels in your office?
(AC3) Acoustic privacy How satisfied are you with the acoustic privacy in your office?
(VC) Visual Comfort  
(VC1) Daylighting How satisfied are you with the amount of daylight in your office?
(VC2) Artificial lighting How satisfied are you with artificial lighting (sufficiency, flickers) in your office?
(VC3) Glare How satisfied are you with the glare levels (i.e., sun, sky, lights) in your office?
(VC4) Reflection How satisfied are you with the reflection levels (e.g. on a computer screen, on reflective surfaces) in your office?
(VC5) Visual privacy How satisfied are you with visual privacy in your office?
(VC6) View from window How satisfied are you with the view from window in your office?
(BD) Building Design  
(BD1) Amount of space How satisfied are you with the amount of space in your office?
(BD2) Layout How satisfied are you with the layout (i.e., supports/barriers interaction, connections/distance between service spaces, degree of enclosure/layout of the workspace) in your building?
(BD3) Interior Design How satisfied are you with the interior design (i.e., aesthetic, durability of materials, functionality, colors, patterns, greenery, customization, availability storage/meeting rooms) of your office?
(BD4) Furniture How satisfied are you with the furniture (i.e., adjustability, ergonomy, comfort) of your office?
(BD5) Exterior design How satisfied are you with the exterior design (i.e., image, accessibility) of the building?
(BD6) Vibration conditions How satisfied are you with the vibration conditions (e.g. mechanical equipment, human activity, wind) of the building?
(BS) Building Services  
(BS1) Personal Control How satisfied are you with the personal control options (i.e., windows, blinds, electronic appliances, heating/cooling/ventilation) of the building?
(BS2) Usability of control devices How satisfied are you with the usability of control devices (e.g. availability and clarity of user manual and availability of fine-tuning options of control devices) of the building?
(BS3) Facility Management/Service Quality How satisfied are you with the facility management/service quality (i.e., availability of amenities/facilities, safety, cleanliness of the building, complaint response rate/speed, waste management services, pest control services) of the building?
(BS4) Maintenance-Repair How satisfied are you with the maintenance-repair services (i.e., maintenance and repair period and repairing leakage and cracks) of the building?
(OS) Overall Satisfaction from Office Building All parameters considered, how do you rate the overall satisfaction of the office building environment?

Appendix B. Intercorrelations

Correlations

   TK1 TK2 TK3 TK4 TK5  
TK1 Pearson Correlation 1 .631** .503** .698** .615**  
Sig. (2-tailed)   .000 .000 .000 .000  
N 300 300 300 300 300  
TK2 Pearson Correlation .631** 1 .544** .612** .521**  
Sig. (2-tailed) .000   .000 .000 .000  
N 300 300 300 300 300  
TK3 Pearson Correlation .503** .544** 1 .592** .586**  
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000   .000 .000  
N 300 300 300 300 300  
TK4 Pearson Correlation .698** .612** .592** 1 .640**  
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000   .000  
N 300 300 300 300 300  
TK5 Pearson Correlation .615** .521** .586** .640** 1  
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000   
N 300 300 300 300 300  
   IHK1 IHK2 IHK3    
IHK1 Pearson Correlation 1 .664** .540**    
Sig. (2-tailed)   .000 .000    
N 300 300 300    
IHK2 Pearson Correlation .664** 1 .339**    
Sig. (2-tailed) .000   .000    
N 300 300 300    
IHK3 Pearson Correlation .540** .339** 1    
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000     
N 300 300 300    
   AK1 AK2 AK3    
AK1 Pearson Correlation 1 .608** .520**    
Sig. (2-tailed)   .000 .000    
N 300 300 300    
AK2 Pearson Correlation .608** 1 .428**    
Sig. (2-tailed) .000   .000    
N 300 300 300    
AK3 Pearson Correlation .520** .428** 1    
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000     
N 300 300 300    
   GK1 GK2 GK3 GK4 GK5 GK6
GK1 Pearson Correlation 1 .522** .409** .367** .435** .615**
Sig. (2-tailed)   .000 .000 .000 .000 .000
N 300 300 300 300 300 300
GK2 Pearson Correlation .522** 1 .636** .570** .391** .435**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000   .000 .000 .000 .000
N 300 300 300 300 300 300
GK3 Pearson Correlation .409** .636** 1 .744** .393** .392**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000   .000 .000 .000
N 300 300 300 300 300 300
GK4 Pearson Correlation .367** .570** .744** 1 .432** .393**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000   .000 .000
N 300 300 300 300 300 300
GK5 Pearson Correlation .435** .391** .393** .432** 1 .425**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000   .000
N 300 300 300 300 300 300
GK6 Pearson Correlation .615** .435** .392** .393** .425** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000  
N 300 300 300 300 300 300
   BT1 BT2 BT3 BT4 BT5 BT6
BT1 Pearson Correlation 1 .698** .631** .555** .324** .369**
Sig. (2-tailed)   .000 .000 .000 .000 .000
N 300 300 300 300 300 300
BT2 Pearson Correlation .698** 1 .760** .622** .445** .494**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000   .000 .000 .000 .000
N 300 300 300 300 300 300
BT3 Pearson Correlation .631** .760** 1 .651** .472** .506**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000   .000 .000 .000
N 300 300 300 300 300 300
BT4 Pearson Correlation .555** .622** .651** 1 .439** .537**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000   .000 .000
N 300 300 300 300 300 300
BT5 Pearson Correlation .324** .445** .472** .439** 1 .532**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000   .000
N 300 300 300 300 300 300
BT6 Pearson Correlation .369** .494** .506** .537** .532** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000  
N 300 300 300 300 300 300
   BH1 BH2 BH3 BH4   
BH1 Pearson Correlation 1 .681** .564** .565**   
Sig. (2-tailed)   .000 .000 .000   
N 300 300 300 300   
BH2 Pearson Correlation .681** 1 .635** .616**   
Sig. (2-tailed) .000   .000 .000   
N 300 300 300 300   
BH3 Pearson Correlation .564** .635** 1 .712**   
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000   .000   
N 300 300 300 300   
BH4 Pearson Correlation .565** .616** .712** 1   
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000    
N 300 300 300 300   
  1. **Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)

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Tekce, I., Ergen, E. & Artan, D. Structural Equation Model of Occupant Satisfaction for Evaluating the Performance of Office Buildings. Arab J Sci Eng 45, 8759–8784 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13369-020-04804-z

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Keywords

  • Building performance evaluation
  • Occupant satisfaction
  • Office buildings
  • Post-occupancy evaluation (POE)
  • Structural equation modeling (SEM)