1.1 Background of the study
The primary purpose of buildings is to provide occupants with conducive, safe, comfortable,
healthy and secured indoor environment to carry out different kinds of activities such as work,
study, leisure and family life as well as social interactions. A completed building must be able
to perform its functions in the manner that will ensure satisfaction to its occupants in order to
achieve this purpose, buildings are designed, planned, constructed and managed based on
standards and specifications established by governments, professionals and experts who are
supposed to have adequate knowledge of users’ needs and expectations. Studies have however
shown that sometimes these standards and specifications do not conform to the changing needs
and expectations of users; and thus users are not always satisfied with the performance of their
buildings (Kaitilla 1993, Ukoha and Beamish 1997, Zeiler and Boxem 2008, Meir 2009). The
consequences of these are manifested in building related illness and ‘sick building syndrome’
(Kian 2001), increase in the desire for remodeling or modifications or abandonment of
completed buildings (Kim 2005) which cause waste of resources, time, energy and even
damage to the building envelope components and the surrounding environment (Mitterer 2012).
Several reasons may be adduced on why buildings perform poorly in meeting users’ needs and
expectations. The chief among them is the lack of adequate knowledge of users’ changing
needs and preferences by architects and other professionals who design, construct and maintain
buildings. This is obviously due to inadequate research on this subject. Meir (2009) observed
that whereas designers in other fields of human endeavour spend considerable resources in
examining the actual functioning and user satisfaction with everyday services and products and
refining their design accordingly, professionals in the building industry do not. In the light of the above, Kim (2005) and Fatoye and Odusami (2009) suggested that one of the ways to
improve the overall performance of buildings is to explore and understand users’ needs,
expectations and aspirations through regular performance evaluation.
In Nigeria, existing studies (Ukoha and Beamish, 1997; Olatubara and Fatoye, 2007; Fatoye
and Odusami, 2009; Ilesanmi, 2010; Clement and Kayode, 2012, Ibem 2012;) focused on the
general performance of public housing in meeting occupants’ needs and expectations. From
these studies, it is established that the physical characteristics of residential buildings have a
significant influence on occupants’ satisfaction with their residential environment. This implies
that the dwelling unit component of housing plays a vital role in determining the quality of
residential environment in particular and the performance of housing projects in general.
However, only a few studies have specifically examined the performance of housing units built in public housing schemes with a view to satisfying the needs and expectations of the occupants in the Nigerian context.
The purpose of a building is to provide shelter for activities carried out by the building users.
The question is, do the facilities in the building perform well and appropriate for their use? A
completed building must be able to perform its functions in the manner that will ensure
satisfaction to its occupants and when this performance could not be met, it can cause excessive
amounts of damage, nuisance or even death; disserving building owners, occupants and
imposing large amounts of unnecessary costs.
Building Services is that aspect of building components that deal with the provision of facilities
that make such buildings comfortable, safe and convenient for human use. According to
(CIBSE), Building services constitute a significant portion of money within a building. In an
average building they account for around 20-30% of the total capital cost, and on buildings that have large volumes of building services installations like laboratories, hospitals and hotels accounting for about 40-50%. In addition, they are also responsible for majority of the running costs of a building post construction.
Building services play a central role in construction of any building. A building must do what
it was designed to do, not just provide shelter but also provide a safe, comfortable and livable
environment. Building services contribute immensely to the functionality of the
building. So, everything inside a building which makes it safe and comfortable comes under the
title of ‘Building services’.
A building as a basic structure only offers protection against adverse weather conditions, such
as rainfall, snowfall, sunshine, wind etc. For the convenience of the users of buildings, more is
required of this basic structure; these requirements include among others toilet facilities, this
brings up the need for collection, transportation, disposal and treatment of waste. The need for
water to make this modern toilet functional also makes it imperative to provide water. The
waste generated in addition to the collection and disposal of storm water also brings up the
issue of drainage systems in building. The heat generated by the sun’s radiation causes a lot of
inconvenience to building users in form of raised body temperature; this situation requires
adequate ventilation, good air circulation and movement. The natural form of circulation might
not be adequate hence the need for means of artificial air circulation that can only be made
possible by the use of energy the most common of which is electricity.
Closely linked to this is the need to provide lighting to a building. Building being basically a
boxlike enclosure usually requires lighting to allow for visibility of the interior, this is only
made possible by either natural lighting obtained by the creation of openings in building, or
artificial lighting obtained via the use of electricity or any other sources of energy. The
foregoing basically is what services to a building are all about. Put in a different form, building
services or general services are those provisions in and around buildings that make the use of
the built environment convenient for users.
Imagine yourself in the most fabulous building in the world. Now take away the lighting,
heating and ventilation, the lifts and escalators, acoustics, plumbing, power supply and energy
management systems, the security and safety systems. You are left with a cold, dark,
uninhabitable Shell. (Ref. CIBSE)
Everything inside a building which makes it safe and comfortable comes under ‘Building
services’. A building must do what it was designed to do, not just provide shelter but also be
an environment where people can live, work and achieve.
Building services systems are the electrical and mechanical installations inside a building that
provide the internal infrastructure for the proper functioning of the building. Major building
services systems include:
(a) Electricity supply systems.
(b) Air-Conditioning systems.
(c) Lighting systems
(d) Lifts and Escalators.
(e) Fire services systems.
(g) Water services
(h) Earthing system.
Post occupancy evaluation (POE) is a general term for a broad range of activities aimed at understanding how buildings perform once they are built. It is the process of obtaining feedback on the performance of building in use. The value of POE is being increasingly
recognized, and it is becoming mandatory on many public projects. POE is valuable in all
construction sectors, especially healthcare, education, offices, commercial and housing, where
poor building performance will impact on running costs, occupant well-being and business
efficiency. POE has been used by number of researchers over the years as a tool for
documenting, evaluating and improving a building as well as environmental condition.
Building services functionality is an important criterion in the post occupancy evaluation of any
building, hundreds of POEs have been conducted on a variety of building types over the last 25
years but only few focuses on building services performance level of the occupant’s. It is
important to note that building services is an integral part for building functionality in meeting
user needs, if services fails building also fails that’s why much consideration is required
because people stays in a building for a long hours, thus, features like internal temperature,
water services, drainage system, lightning directly affect their well-being in any residential
POE of Building services is a useful management tool for evaluating the effectiveness of the
building services systems in completed buildings, and helps identify improvement measures for
implementing building projects in future.
This research will be used to assess the building services performance feedback, operational
systems satisfaction level of installed building services facilities and occupant’s satisfactory
opinions. Through BSPOE, designers can discover how similar buildings performs once they
are in use, policy makers can also apply it to help in developing and improving on the existing
programmes and projects being delivered. BSPOE is also a valuable tool for assessing installed
building services quality, since building designers, owners and even the government, in the
case of state subsidized buildings are held accountable for the success or failure of the building
and policies creating the buildings, K.C. Lam (2004). BSPOE identifies ways people can use buildings and equipment more efficiently and more cost-effectively. BSPOE also eliminates
dysfunctional and seldom-used facilities in a building and mistakes can be corrected in future
design and policies, Marsh (2003). The greatest benefits from BSPOEs are determine when the
information is made available to as wide an audience as possible, beyond the organization
whose building is evaluated, to all sector and construction industry. Information from BSPOEs
can provide not only insights into problem resolution but also provide useful benchmarking
data to which other people projects can be compared, Armstrong (2008).
1.2 Statement of the Research Problems
Building services engineering installation is worth 30-60% of the total cost of a building
construction. There are certain criteria that building services installation should meet up with in
designing, Marsh (2003, p. 62) states that “The purpose of design is to construct a workable
arrangement of technology that will deliver the technical objectives of the project. Unlike
architecture, building services must deliver the described technical performance exactly. To
under-deliver leaves the client with a building that is unusable, to over-deliver leaves the client
with a building that is too expensive or complex to operate”.
Many building defect complaints are reported in public and privates estates buildings in
Gombe, such as constant tripping off of the Power Distribution board, Neutral and Earthling
failure which results in Electric shock and damaging of electrical appliances, backlash offensive odour from soil waste, leaking pipes in the toilet that causes moisture on the building
walls and inadequate water supply and storage provision and poor waste disposal methods.
Hence, Building Services Post-Occupancy Evaluation (BSPOE) can be seen as a multifaceted
tool to be adopted in solving problems of building services and facilities management in a
building, as it evaluates the performance of buildings and facilities systematically. BSPOE can
also be seen as a systematic way to collect data and information on a particular building
services installation performances. Among the benefits that can result from BSPOE is the
identification of successful standard design features that can be scrutinized repeatedly (Watson,
2003), identification of problems to mitigate or reduce accidents or disaster that can occur due
to installations error or sub-standard works, improvement of building services performance and
environment, identification of redundant or omitted building services features and
empowerment of users to negotiate building issues and reduce maintenance works and cost
(Vischer, 2002; Hewitt et al., 2005).
Hundreds of POEs have been conducted on a variety of building types over the last 25 years,
but all this researches focuses on general building defects while commensurate works have not
be done on building services.
Buildings have started using latest advances in information technology to enhance the way they
work and to deliver new standard of performances and profitability. There is tendency now for
people to go for intelligent building in order to have functional and efficient satisfactions of the
installed facilities which are control by computer and intelligent network.
There are Building codes and standards which set out the rules and regulations that all the built
environment must adhere to when designing and installing building services facilities that
makes them fit for human use for all new and refurbishment work and if these facilities fails the
building fails that’s why much consideration must be given to them. This system can be applied to identify problem areas in existing buildings, to test new prototypes and to develop guidance
and criteria for future facilities. The building should be designed with the aim of producing a
high-quality interior environment so that the health and safety of the occupants are not
When considering purchasing a house or apartment or any dwelling for residence, one of the
major issues should be that it is electrically safe to live in. To this end personal safety and that
of other residents should be assured in the knowledge that all appliances, electrical systems and
components are functioning correctly. This safety aspect if checked on a regular basis also
combines to save the purchaser in energy costs during the lifetime of the system.
The problem this research wants to solve is to define means of tracking performances of these
installations since there is no enough practical information on operational function of installed
facilities in residential estates in Gombe State and to generate information as feedback
mechanism to the designer and explore how this can be made on regular features in building
construction industry to become in comparative that buildings to follow suits.
The outcome of this research is to provide information to the building industry about buildings
in use and abilities to determine how well a new concept of POE of building services works for
the government and public sector.
1.3 Significance of the Study
Current literature indicates that the poor condition of domestic mechanical and electrical
installations throughout Europe has raised concerns in respect of the safety of the
owner/occupier. The awareness of the public in regard to mechanical ; electrical safety seems
to suggest that a greater understanding may be needed and further input from the institutional
bodies in charge of mechanical ; electrical regulations be intensified, Noel Masterson (20I2).
The greatest danger of under-maintained electrical installations is fire. An investigation of the
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (UK) from 17 April 2008 to 8 December 2008 showed
that 79% of the accidental primary fires were caused by faults in the electrical installation
(Leonardo Energy, January.2010)
Building Services Post-occupancy evaluation (BSPOE) of buildings is vitally needed to ensure
that building perform its function and life of occupants and the appliances or the installed
facilities are safe and sustained after the building has been occupy. BSPOE of buildings is of
utmost importance in building performance evaluation, as it comprises the technique that is
used to evaluate whether a building meets the user’s requirements and possess ability to
perform function it was originally designed for. By using occupants as a benchmark in
evaluation, the potential for improving the performance of building services installations is
enormous. When reviewing the safety of a domestic installation of building services there are
quality requirements which must be attained, the main starting point would be the previous and
current condition of the installation if it was ever maintained or renovated. The point being,
safety at all times must be to the forefront of the occupants thoughts. One good reason for
prioritizing electrical safety in the home is the increasing use and abundance of modern
electrical appliances. Overloading of circuits in a house is now a serious concern for most
households due to the fact that when the house was designed the electrical outlet condition was
never perceived to have the growth that it has achieved, Noel Masterson (20I2).
BSPOE is a useful management tool for evaluating the effectiveness of the building services
system in completed building and helps identify improvement measures for implementing
building projects in future. It is also use to evaluate the maintenance and performance of
buildings services installation after they have been occupied. In addition, BSPOE provides a
mechanism for understanding the mutual interaction process between buildings and users’
needs and for recommending ways of improving the environment necessary to accommodate
these needs. Building Services Post Occupancy Evaluation involves systematic evaluation of
opinion on building services installation of buildings in use, from the perspective of the people
who use them and the provision of facilities in the buildings that make such buildings
comfortable, safe and convenient for human use. It assesses how well buildings match users’
needs, and identifies ways to improve building design, performance and fitness for purpose.
Having BSPOE as a measuring tool in any building will be able to detect which elements in
building performs or which elements in building underperforms and affecting the user’s
satisfaction and productivity, according to Riley, (2006), POE is used to consider the extent to
which a building meets the needs of its end-users while also recognizing ways in which design,
performance and fitness for purpose can be enhanced same also applied to BSPOE.
It is important to conduct a POE of building services installation in the residential building or
any other building so that the results can be used to gauge the level of satisfaction of designers,
occupants and owners of the building, and to determine whether the occupants are happy or
not. As the purpose of the building is to serve the needs of the occupants and it is critical that
the building should be evaluated from time to time to ensure that it is serving its intended
purposes. The building is an immovable asset, and it is affected by external factors such as
exposure to the climate, which leads to the necessity for maintenance.
Building should be designed in such a way to provide an environment where people can feel
comfortable, work, live and achieve. To have a satisfactory building services installation, every
building must follow design criteria which are the explicit goals that a project must achieve in
order to be successful, but in most cases the reverse is the case. Building services have certain
design criteria given by regulatory bodies such as CIBSE (Chattered institute of Building
services Engineers), National Building code, ASRHAE (Association of refrigeration, heating
and air condition engineers), British Standard (BS Standard) est., which serve as the
benchmarks against which success or failure in meeting design intent is measures in building
services, it is also a basis against which to evaluate success without any challenges.
This research will be of significance to the owners of public and private housing estates and
occupants, shedding light on the need for adequate provision of building services installation in
line with regulatory body guideline to serve end users better and provide comfortability and
safe environment. It will also provide a mechanism for understanding the mutual interaction
process between buildings services facilities and users’ needs and for recommending ways of
improving the environment necessary to accommodate these needs. It will serves as a tool to
account for building quality because M & E services installation is what makes building to
achieve the purposed it was designed for.
BSPOE is used not only to determine clients’ or users’ satisfaction, but also to fulfil other
objectives, including determining recurrent building services defects, supporting design and
construction criteria, supporting performance measures for asset and facility management,
lowering facility life cycle costs by identifying design errors that could lead to increased
maintenance and operating costs, clarifying design objectives and improving building
performance. The idea of BSPOE is to establish in relations the problems arising from the
building industry, more especially in the care facilities such as mental hospital, nursing homes,
school residence and residential buildings and estates.
Conducting POE of building services in residential estates buildings will assist with the
knowledge base which will be utilized by the owner of the residential estate to improve the standard of the facility. The knowledge base that the POE provides, will serve as the
benchmarks for continuous improvement, instead of waiting the Post Occupancy Phase to kick
and to reduce cost of recurrent maintenance.
This research has the broad aim of developing a general guideline for the BSPOE practice,
specifically for government and public buildings in Nigeria. The objectives were first, to
review and analyze government and public estates building performance, secondly, to
determine the occupants’ satisfaction level and thirdly, and to determine the correlation between
building performance and occupants’ satisfaction level.
1.4 Aims and Objectives
The aim of the research is to carry out POE in selected residential building estates in Gombe
Metropolis with a view to assessing the factors that affect the comfortability, functionality;
efficiency and safety of building services installations and to generate data as an input for
The specific objectives of this research are;
1) Identify and rank building services POE indices and measures.
2) Perform Evaluations of Building Services installation.
3) Determine the operational effectiveness of building services installation in residential buildings.
4) To develop measure for improving services design and installation for future
residential building projects.
1.5 Research Methodology
The data to be use in this research to be derive from both primary and secondary sources. The
primary data to be obtain through the survey method, while the secondary data to be derive
from the review of literature and archival records. The primary data to be obtain through the
use of a structured questionnaire survey, oral interviews and measurements.
1.6 Scope and limitations
The scope of this research is to evaluate building services performances of residential building
and it is confined to multi blocks estate of public and private estates within Gombe and
environs. The research is to cover services installations which are the technical components of
building only to determine level of comfort and functionality and safety of any built facility.
The study is therefore limited to;
I. Narrowness of the subject.
II. Unavailability of occupant’s as at when needed.
III. Availability of technical information from the occupant’s.