Initial position & background: There are various methods and tools for evaluating facilities. The focus is usually on the technical building performance, function/usability or form/beauty. Examples are: Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) and Usability Appraisal. Nevertheless, evaluations of buildings in use are seldom. They are considered a long and expensive part of the final phase of a building project. Therefore the experiences of finished building projects are not collected and mistakes are repeated. Problem & task description: This paper lists different types of evaluation methods ordered according to focus areas and proposes which evaluation methods to use in different building phases of healthcare facilities. Hospital evaluations with experts and users are also considered; their subjective view on space, function, technology, usability and aesthetics. Results & solutions: This paper presents the different methods for evaluating buildings in use in a new model, the Evaluation Focus Flower, and proposes which evaluation methods are suitable for various aims and building phases, i.e. which is giving best input for the initial briefing process of new hospital facilities with ambition of creating buildings with enhanced usability. Additionally various evaluation methods used in hospital cases in Denmark and Norway are presented. Involvement of users is proposed, not just in defining requirements but also in co-creation/design and evaluation of solutions. The theories and preliminary research results have relevance to researchers and practitioners planning new complex facilities, of any kind, not only hospitals.
International Journal of Facilities Management, 2013, Issue Special issue, p. 215-226