African Journal of Physics

African Journal of Physics ISSN 9821-5213 Vol. 10 (1), pp. 001-009, January, 2023. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Modeling relative influence of environmental and socio-cultural factors on context-specific functions

Debajyoti Pati1* and Godfried Augenbroe2

1HKS, Inc., 1919 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX, 75201-1753, USA.

2Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Architecture, PhD Program, 247 Fourth Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0155, USA.

Accepted 2 November, 2022


Traditional models in building physics are based on theories in physics and physiology, typically cha-racterized by a-contextual settings and domain-specific articulations. It is, however, commonly under-stood and appreciated that physics and physiology, alone, do not entirely explain observed patterns of user behavior in buildings- in-use, and that people do not experience various aspects of a setting in isolation. This study at the Georgia Institute of Technology, using Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) data from 26 courtrooms, developed a set of models that: 1) integrated variables from multiple domains, 2)  developed a smaller set of aggregated functional dimensions intuitive to building stake-holders, 3) were context specific, 4) captured instrumental as well as abstract functions, and 5) articulated the relative influence of variables on the aggregated outcome measures. POEs started as a methodology to provide user input in building design and has expanded to a practice that incorporates user feedback along with technical and financial performance. Starting with one-off studies during the late 1960s, POEs have expanded considerably in terms of building types, tools, methods, and scope. The POE data in this study included physical, environmental, as well as user attribute data. Physical and environ-mental data were collected using scientific instruments widely accepted in the building evaluation community. User evaluations of the courtrooms on multiple dimensions were collected using 7-point ordinal scale measures. Environmental and user attribute data were regressed on aggregated perfor-mance dimensions (resulting from Principal Component Analyses) to arrive at the integrated models, presented in this paper. The authors argue that the modeling approach supplements the traditional paradigm in two ways: 1) by validating traditional building physics models, and 2) by enabling validation from the clients’ perspective, focused on higher-level functional requirements.

Keywords: Building Performance, Integrated Models, Post-occupancy Evaluation.