An Architects' value to a project, and its value to the user, does not end with a certificate of occupancy.
By Alex Wolfrum
The Bob Hull Research Grant (BHRG) is to be awarded to one project annually to carry out research that is of both a personal interest and of benefit to the firm.
Afterthoughts synthesizes a year of indoor environmental quality data from the University of Washington’s Hans Rosling Center for Population Health (UW HRC) in Seattle, WA. The research was funded and made possible by the Miller Hull Partnership, with assistance in data analysis coming from PAE. Special thanks to The University of Washington’s Department of Global Health and Department of Epidemiology for allowing access to their space throughout the period of study.
Over the course of this study, minutely data was collected across representative spaces on level 8 of the UW HRC. The categories of analysis included:
Air Temperature (°F)
Relative Humidity (%RH)
Noise Level (dBA)
Ambient Light (Lux)
Equivalent CO2 (ppm)
Volatile Organic Compounds (ppb)
Particulate Matter PM1 / PM2.5 / PM10 (µg/m3)
This research sought to provide quantitative data that would give reassurance that the UW HRC is performing as designed, or point out issues that could be addressed. Whatever was found would serve to educate the design team for future projects. Some questions that kicked off the research included:
The makeup and detailing of the glass fins on the western façade were a focal point of this design. Are they performing as expected to reduce glare and heat gain?
There is a great deal of research documenting a correlation of occupant comfort with both worker satisfaction and increased performance. How do conditions at the UW HRC stand up to established metrics for temperature, humidity, noise, CO2, and VOC’s on a typical workday?
With global climate change making itself felt, large-scale wildfires have become an annual event in our region. Are the building’s mechanical systems protecting occupants from outside particulate matter?
These questions are still being analyzed, but the process has been a valuable exercise that sets up Miller Hull with the tools and methods for future studies. This type of post occupancy evaluation is important to the profession because as we understand more about the performance of our completed projects, we raise the baseline for future work.
Check back for updates to this page as the data is analyzed and outcomes are published.