Gap theory based analysis of user expectation and satisfaction: The case of a hostel building

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The need of satisfying the expectation of building users has been well recognized. Few studies, however, have scrutinized the expectation and satisfaction of building users in detail. To contribute knowledge to this underexplored area, a study, based on the gap theory and an indicative post-occupancy evaluation approach, was conducted on a large hostel building. Through a walk-through visit and a focus group meeting, six main performance aspects of the hostel's facilities were identified, namely visual comfort, thermal comfort, aural comfort, fire safety, hygiene, and communication via information technology. By interviewing 204 users, their expectations of, and satisfactions with each performance aspect were solicited. While indicating their highest expectation of the performance of the thermal aspect, the users were most satisfied with the visual aspect. Analyzing the rank orders of the expectation and satisfaction levels revealed the existence of strong to perfect positive correlations between the female and male subgroups of users and between user subgroups of different room types. Common to all the performance aspects, the gaps between the levels of expectation and satisfaction diminished with the residence periods of the users. Using regression analyses, performance gap models representing the relations between proportion of users and performance gaps of the main aspects of facilities were developed. The approach of this study may be adopted in similar research on other hostel buildings or where examination of the expectation and satisfaction of building users is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-193
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013


  • Expectation
  • Facilities performance
  • Gap analysis
  • Post-occupancy evaluation
  • Student hostel
  • User satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction

Cite this