QUALITY ANALYSES OF FACADES BASED ON POST OCCUPANCY EVALUATION. RESEARCH EXPERIENCE WITH STUDENTS OF ARCHITECTURE PARTICIPATION

J. Tymkiewicz

The Silesian University of Technology (POLAND)
Pilot quality assessment studies based on Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) method, organized and carried out by the author of this paper involved 13 buildings (mainly universities). The main research tool was a questionnaire addressed to users of the examined buildings and focused on the outcomes of applying different architectural solutions of exterior walls (interaction between the external and the internal environment of the tested buildings). The studies described in the paper have been carried out with the active participation of students of Faculty of Architecture (The Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice). In evaluating process - among others, they prepared state of arts, acted as interviewers or observers, and summarized the data.

The research process was divided into two stages. The first stage - precise preparation of the studies - involved the theoretical and organizational preparation of the students’research team, including i. a.:
• Studies on literature and bibliography concerning the examined buildings and sites, including multi-faceted problems of facades of university buildings in Poland and in other countries (professional publications, architectural design manuals, albums, internet sources).
• Collection of the information on the examined objects (their official presentations in branch publications, internet pages, www pages of architectural offices, sometimes interviews with design architects, local Press containing commentaries on architectural investments, their advantages and disadvantages, internet fora containing unofficial opinions about the examined buildings).
• Collection of the information about history and development of given buildings.
• Examination of the architectural and construction documentation (which is not always possible - the reason being intellectual property rights).

The main and the most important part of stage two of surveys was in-situ visits at the buildings, which was a walk-through with the administrator or facility manager, to become acquainted with the examined object and observe the users in their environment, with special focus on the relation between the internal and the external space, detecting the advantages and disadvantages of the examined object from the administrator’s point of view. Such visit was also an opportunity for short interviews with particular users and conducting the main surveys of selected users. Research procedures was ending by summary of the results of the interviews (conclusions and opinions expressed in the answers to open questions) and recapitulation of the collected data. Students actively participated in all of the above tasks.
The organization of the research was, by no means, easy, yet, it turned to be very fruitful for the author and participating students. After several years of this didactic experience in this field it became possible to design a procedure that works out in the studies of successive buildings. It was also possible to prove that users should take part in the studies that involve façade solutions. The conclusions of the study were presented and discussed during the lectures, and students included them in their façade projects.

The confrontation of the results of the conducted analyses with professional literature and publications has shown typical and common problems that, in the Polish building resources and market conditions may still be as new as air conditioned buildings and facades with unopened windows.