Gap theory based post-occupancy evaluation (GTbPOE) of dormitory building performance: A case study and a comparative analysis

Huiying (Cynthia) Hou, Joseph H.K. Lai, David Edwards

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Student housing significantly influences the quality and competitiveness of the university education environment. Whereas the traditional post-occupancy evaluations (POEs) of buildings have typically focussed on investigating users' satisfaction, an earlier study developed the gap theory based post-occupancy evaluation (GTbPOE) method, by which both the users' expectation and satisfaction (viz. performance gap) of a university dormitory were investigated. To validate the applicability of the GTbPOE method, further research was undertaken to evaluate the building performance of another dormitory. Using face-to-face interviews, responses of 104 dormitory users were collected, of which the relative importance ratings of six essential aspects (namely: visual comfort, thermal comfort, aural comfort, fire safety, hygiene, and communication via information technology) were analyzed via the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). A series of gap analyses on the users' expectation and satisfaction levels corroborated the existence of the adaptation effect on the users’ perception: that is, the longer the stay, the smaller the performance gap. A comparative analysis on the findings between the two dormitories - one from the earlier study and the other from the present study - further demonstrated the usefulness of the GTbPOE method in benchmarking building performance. Adoption of this method in future POE studies will enable reliable identification of any shortcoming in building performance and hence, can form the basis for improvement measures to augment the performance of buildings within the built environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107312
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Adaptation
  • AHP
  • Perception
  • POE
  • Student
  • University
  • User

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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