Researchers measure building well-being

Americans spend 87% of their time indoors, and the environment inside buildings has a great deal of impact on the overall health, mood and performance of the people inside. Minnesota researchers developed the Sustainable Post-Occupancy Evaluation Survey (SPOES) to identify 12 indoor environmental-quality categories that contribute to overall occupant well-being. SPOES is a quantitative analysis that can help pinpoint problem areas in a building’s environment that could potentially reduce the health and satisfaction of employees. With this knowledge, employers and building managers can take steps to improve indoor environments that could potentially address health concerns, and worker-retention issues as well.The team had produced SPOES reports for 46 Minnesota buildings and has been approached by architecture firms to evaluate more buildings. The categories measured include lighting, cleaning and maintenance, furnishings, technology, views, privacy, function, appearance, air quality, vibration and movement, acoustics, and thermal conditions.