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Three variations of the Koblenz Architecture Questionnaire

  • Abstract for the print-book: Walden, R. (2008). Architectural Psychology: School, University Campus, and Office Building of the Future. Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers (in German). The need for display of self in architecture and for users' self-regulation of stress factors, which demonstrate that users crave individual control of their environment (cf. Flammer, 1990; Burger, 1992) motivated this study to use the concept of environmental control as a central criterion for the evaluation of built environment. It was applied to three case studies: a school, a university campus, and an office building. Advantages and disadvantages of the data- gathering methods of architectural Programming, User-Needs Analysis, and Post-Occupancy Evaluation were analyzed to highlight their significance in terms of Building Performance Evaluation as described by Preiser and Sc hramm (1997, 2005). The “Koblenz Architecture Questionnaire” was used as an instrument for assessing the built environment of the three case studies, and the study reports selected findings from these questionnaires. The investigation seeks to determine the effect of architecture - especially buildings' provisions for user control of environmental conditions - on user performance (cf. BOSTI studies, 1984, 2001) in three innovative buildings: the Waldorf School in Cologne, the new campus for the University in Koblenz, and the Office Tower of the Deutsche Post World Net AG in Bonn. Performance is measured in terms of (1) Lear ning and Work Efficiency, (2) Well-being, (3) Environmental Control, (4) Social Behavior (the latter just for the school project), and by means of 21 and 16 additional psychological criteria for success of the organization in the cases of the university and the office building, respectively. The study aims, among other things, at reassessing the theoretical concept of 'environmental control' and at making recommendations for both improvement of existing buildings and the design of new projects. Two central questions are: In User-Needs Analysis, what is the difference between the assessment of a building for its current use and its estimated performance in future? Do certain architectural features influence user assessments on the given performance criteria? In the studies, three mapping sentences were developed according to the 'facet approach' (Borg, 1996) as well as two systems to judge the quality of school and office buildings. Using these systems, information was obtained in all three studies to construct questionnaires. In the school study, teachers were asked 139 questions, pupils 86 questions. Responses were obtained from 26 teachers and 122 pupils. For the university, 147 students and 28 faculty members responded to 203 questions. For the office building, 56 student-experts were asked 254 questions. Characteristics of the built environment were rated using the following scale: +2 ☺☺ (very good “at present”, and accordingly very important “in the future”) down to –2 // (very bad “at present”, and very unimportant “in the future”). A general finding was a high and significant co rrelation between the responses for the three main performance criteria in all three case studies, especially for the 'importance for the future' aspect. This supports the conclusion that a perception of higher degree of environmental control by users will lead to an increased sense of well-being and consequently, there will also be a higher expectation of improved work or learning efficiency 'in the future'. The three studies further show for example that users in all three environments desire 'retreat opportunities' which may take the form of student offices in schools, niches and small group seating in classrooms, and sheltered seating in outdoor areas and work tables in the cafeteria for the university. For the offices, users wanted more visual privacy (less transparent office partitions in Combi Offices) for less visual control of their activities by supervisors and co-workers. The relationships found by the studies between the responses on the central performance criteria and the spatial characteristics of the three buildings support the contention that focused improvements in the built environment, especially with respect to features that enhance user control of environmental conditions, will influence users’ well-being as well as work performance and work or learning efficiency in a positive way.

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Author:Rotraut Walden
Publisher:Pabst Science Publishers
Place of publication:Lengerich
Document Type:Other
Date of completion:2010/01/01
Date of publication:2022/05/25
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz, Universitätsbibliothek
Release Date:2022/05/25
Tag:Building Performance Evaluation; Facet Theory; User-Needs Analysis; environmental control (displays of self, control of stress factors, social control), well-being, work or learning efficiency, social behavior, co mmunication; systems to judge the quality of buildings
Number of pages:86
Publikation wird nur campusweit freigeschaltet
Institutes:Fachbereich 1 / Institut für Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG