A user pre-occupancy evaluation method for facilitating the designer-client communication

Weilin Shen, Qiping Shen, Zhang Xiaoling

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper introduces a building information model (BIM)-based user pre-occupancy evaluation method (UPOEM), which is applied in architectural design stage to narrow the gap between inexperienced clients and designers. It aims to improve the communication efficiency. Design/methodology/approach: The literature review studied the related technologies applied in the UPOEM, which includes building information modeling, user activity scheduling, and requirements documentation method. Based on the building information model, a virtual environment involving the end-users' daily activities was built up. In this virtual environment, the clients can observe how their organization will be accommodated in the built environment according to their daily work routines. A requirements and feedback interface was designed to facilitate the clients to conduct a pre-occupancy evaluation and store the relevant information into the database. Findings: In briefing and design stages, there is a considerable gap between the inexperienced clients and designers when the clients specify requirements and review the design solutions. In the UPOEM, the user activity simulation model can facilitate clients to obtain a better understanding of the design. The requirements and feedback interface can also help them specify requirements and give comments to the design. Thus it provided an alternative tool to improve the efficiency of the designer-client communication. Research limitations/implications: This research established a virtual platform which involves both building information and the user activity information. This platform can be further extended by the integration of more building performance simulation tools. Thus it provided a potential to bring the traditional post occupancy evaluation process to the pre-construction stage. Practical implications: The implementation of this method in practice can improve the efficiency of the designer-client communication, and also maximize the clients' satisfaction during the requirements specification and design review process. Social implications: This study built up a collaborative working environment for both designer and clients. It can strengthen the designer-client relationship during the briefing and design stage. Originality/value: The user activity simulation and requirements management methods are innovatively applied together to enhance the clients' performance during designer-client communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-323
Number of pages22
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


  • Building information model
  • Communication
  • Designer-client communication
  • Modelling
  • Pre-occupancy evaluation
  • Requirements management
  • User activity simulation
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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