BOX 2.10 Goals of Postoccupancy Evaluations
tive performance for the facility. The team should visit the facility and inspect all exterior and interior elements of the facility and site. The survey report should discuss the use of alternate materials and/or systems (i.e., those not called for in the original specifications), and comment on the cost-effectiveness of the installed systems. During the visit, survey team members should interview the facility managers and occupants to determine their reactions to the building. In conducting the survey, the team should not limit their observations to design or construction deficiencies, but should also note facility features, efficient operation, maintenance, and design elements pleasing to the occupants and to visitors.
When a construction or renovation project is completed and commissioned, the owner's responsibility for communication does not end. It will shift, however, into a new arena. Users and others within the institution will clearly maintain contact with the administration, and there may be some need for further contact with design and construction experts if problems are discovered at a later time. But the most important—and often overlooked—area of communication to be addressed is the interaction with the laboratory's neighbors. These issues are discussed in the NRC report Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals, which addresses a variety of such interactions, ranging from the need for contact and joint planning with emergency response teams to the need for public notification and outreach.
The financial responsibilities of ownership commence before the laboratory renovation or construction is initiated and continue after it has been completed; they run from the selection of building materials and methods through its continued maintenance and repair. To neglect any of these is to trivialize the effort that has gone into the project.