After the University of Arizona. This building is designed

After choosing a specific group of users and a sample new building designed for them, the
researcher tried to get the users feedback from their current places and their expectations
of the new design. The result was not used as an evaluation of the new building, as is usual,
but to provide information to simulate experiences in the schematic design of the new
The approach is summarized in the following three steps:
The first step was to choose a sample office building which was designed but not built yet.
The Environmental and Natural Resources Building at the University of Arizona. This
building is designed for environmental sciences at the University of Arizona. The building
aims to achieve LEED- Platinum rating. The projected Budget for the building is
$68,000,000 and the gross square footage of the building is 128000 sq.ft.
The next step was to collect data about the behavior of the future users of the building. This
was achieved based on interviewing the future users of this building from four different
environmental programs on campus and the r searcher’s role as an observer of Users’
Twenty-six users including six professors, six staff members, eight graduate students and
eight researchers, working in Harvill building Marshall building and Campus Christian
Center, were interviewed, each for about thirty minutes and the interviews’ result was used
for a systematic behavioral post occupancy evaluation.
They chose the interviewees to be half male and half female, eight were over forty and 18
under forty, twelve people had worked in their office for one to five years, seven for five
to ten years, five for less than a year and two for more than ten years. twenty-five percent
of the interviewees spent between thirty to forty hours in their office every week and more
than fifty percent of them were there for less than twenty hours.
The last step was to simulate users’ particular behavior in the Environmental and Natural
Resources Building. By simulating users’ behavior in the new design it would be possible
to predict how the design would perform according to their needs.
As mentioned before, different questions were asked in five behavioral categories. The
questions are as below:
1-How do you rate the usability of furniture provided for you? Have you got any other
furniture yourself to enhance what was provided for you?
2-Do you open any windows in your office? Do you have a balcony and a door which can
be opened to it? And How long do you leave them open? Is the air conditioning on while
the window/door is open? Are doors/windows kept closed during heating and cooling
3-What do the rating of this building’s heating/cooling, temperature and air quality in
winter and summer?
4-Is it possible for you to work well in your office temperatures? Do you have control over
air conditioning in your office?
5-Are you happy with the placement of vents in your office?
6-Do you have enough natural light in your office that let you work without using artificial
lighting? How long a day are artificial lights on? Do you have control over them?
7- Do you turn your office’s lights off when you leave your workplace? How about the
lights of corridors, meeting rooms, kitchen and rest rooms?
8- Does the lighting cause you glare? How do you solve this problem?
9- Is lighting on after hours & weekends or is it used only when needed? Do you have
stickers to remind people to turn off lights?
10- Are there any noises from inside or outside that disturb your work?
11- Are there any unpleasant or pleasant smells in your office that disturb your work or
help you work better? Where are they coming from?
12- Do you use the elevator or stairs? Why?
13- Do you recycle paper in your office? Are the recycle bins located near your desk?
1- How many people come to your office wrongly each day? Can visitors find you
2- Can all the users easily find light switches? recycle bins? Which one is easier to
locate: elevator or stairs?
1-Where do you meet and socialize with other people who are in your department? How
often do you see them?
2-How many hours a day do you work with your colleagues? Where do you work together?
3-Where do you meet or work with outside visitors?
4- How much space do you have for you own? What separates your workspace from
5- Do you think there should be windows for everybody?
1-What makes your workspace unpleasant for you?is your office space noisy? Are there
good sounds, smells?
2-Do you like the lighting in your office space? Quality? Are you happy with the
Based on Department of Energy classification, artificial lighting counts for 21.7% of the
total energy used in commercial buildings. Excessive artificial lighting not only results in
wasting energy but also reduces satisfaction of the users and decreases their visual comfort.
In general visual comfort relates to the quantity and size of illumination, contrast, glare and
shadowing. The glare caused by this type of lighting can cause headaches and discourage
the users from staying in their offices.
As a result, seven aspects are essential for influencing the building consumption which are:
Climate, Construction characters, Users features, Establish service system, Occupant
behavior and activity, Social and economic factor, and Indoor air quality requirements.
Researches categorized the occupant behavior into five essential clusters, each one has the
corresponding action characters: Conservers (low temperature, low ventilation), Spenders
(high temperature, high ventilation), Cool (low temperature, high ventilation), Warm (high
temperature, low ventilation), Average (standard). Refer to the average cluster, the
conservers, warm and cool could save energy by 35%, 20% and 17% respectively while
the spenders wasted 36%.
Others concentrate into different family arrangement such as single, couple, family. so
they design four different occupant actions: Convenience/ease, Conscious, Costs,
Climate/environment. Convenience/ease just focus on comfort; the energy waste is 100%.
Conscious concerns comfort, environment and money so that it saves energy by 15%.
Climate/environment takes environment into consideration so that the energy saving is
much higher, 26%. In addition, profile of cost makes a balance between energy and money,
the saving is highest at 41%.
Others distributed the occupant behavior into three groups: Energy conscious (Standard,
concern energy), Habit related, High quality. habit related concerned an energy conscious
lifestyle which lead to an almost 190% waste. Even worse, the high quality just considered
the indoor environmental quality. The energy waste is horrendous, over 1400%.
Human behaviors are the root and the solution for today’s environmental challenges. Proenvironment
behaviors have been stimulated in the design of energy and climate policies.
Pro-environmental behaviors as a range of behaviors that benefit the natural environment,
enhance environmental quality, or harm the environment as little as possible.
Environmental behaviors often involve a conflict between the different goals a person
pursues and suggested a value belief norm model to help understand a person’s
environmental behaviors. Many studies have applied the theory to predict various types of
pro-environment behaviors, such as acceptability of household energy conservation
behaviors, travel mode choices, and workplace energy use behaviors. Studies of proenvironmental
behaviors are going beyond the singular linear process of behavioral
activation and looking at the complexity between two or more pro-environmental
behaviors. Similar behaviors, such as recycling paper and plastics, would fall into distinct
categories; while, when behavior is defined from the inside by the actor’s environmentally
protective intentions, even diverse acts such as recycling and willingness to pay for solar
panels would appear to belong to one class of actions. For example, people are more likely
to recycle plastics when they already practice recycling paper. On the other side, when
people perform one pro-environmental behavior, the successful performance of that
behavior might be perceived as having achieved the goal or having done enough to move
toward the goal. A number of studies pointed out that resources and cost of behaviors could
play a significant role in the link between two pro-environmental behaviors and the
consistency of two pro-environmental behaviors.


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