In the past several decades, it has been widely recognized that psychological aspects, including perceived control over one's indoor environment, are important to holistic building occupant comfort and satisfaction evaluations. However, current post-occupancy evaluations tend to focus on collecting quantitative data, despite overwhelming evidence that subtle qualitative factors can profoundly impact the quality of occupants’ adaptive opportunities and comfort. This paper presents the development and demonstration of a novel smartphone-based survey that is used to concurrently collect: 1) office occupants’ subjective evaluation of usability and comfort of spaces, 2) participant-sourced photographs of electrical and mechanical systems for improving occupant comfort, and 3) open-ended questions about the uploaded photos. This paper is primarily focused on methodological aspects of the photograph-based smartphone post-occupancy evaluation, while providing select results of a pilot study involving 41 participants in Canada. The photographs yield significant explanatory power and contextual insights for quantitative results, though with significant post-processing effort and a reduced sample size.

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Energy Research and Social Science
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

O'Brien, W, Schweiker, M. (Marcel), & Day, J.K. (Julia K.). (2019). Get the picture? Lessons learned from a smartphone-based post-occupancy evaluation. Energy Research and Social Science, 56. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2019.101224