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Pete Aitcheson, O&M program manager for NASA Headquarters, discusses the organization's post occupancy evaluation program.
O&M program manager
1. What were the reasons for starting the post-occupancy program?
There was no agency-wide feedback mechanism in place to capture how well our construction projects were meeting the needs of our customers. There was also a desire across the agency to establish a "lessons learned" database.
2. How did NASA decide on the systems that would be evaluated?
We wanted a comprehensive program, so we decided to include all facility systems.
3. What kind of impact maintenance and engineering department play in the post-occupancy program?
The operations and maintenance team was surveyed and in some cases had a very different opinion of the facility than the design and construction team.
4. What were the results of the evaluations, and how did NASA respond to the results?
Probably the biggest issue was the POE pointed out the deficiencies in our commissioning
5. Were there any results from the evaluations that surprised you?
a. I wasn't aware of the plumbing issues caused by retrofitting an old facility with low flow fixtures.
b. I expected our energy performance to more closely match the design.
c. I wasn't aware of all the issues with under floor air distribution systems.
6.What are the most important steps in designing an effective post-occupancy evaluation program?
The single most important step is to define up front what you want to accomplish. For us, we didn't just want a "lessons learned" database, we also wanted to benchmark our performance, capture the how well the facilities acquisition process worked, understand what O & M was up against and find out from our customers if we met their requirements.