Post Occupancy Evaluation at the 22 Gordon Street, the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture
Post Occupancy Evaluation at the 22 Gordon Street, the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture: Mark Dowson, BuroHappold & David Stevens, University College London
UCL are currently in year 6 of a 10 year £1.25bn Capital Programme with 16 projects on-site and 96 major projects completed. As part of their commitment to sustainability and continuous improvement, UCL have launched their ‘Post Project Review’ (PPR) guidelines developed in collaboration with Buro Happold. For all projects, the PPR will include a Project Implementation Review (PIR) to evaluate how effectively the process of conceptualising and delivering the project was carried out. For building projects that are over £2m or business critical, the PPR may also subject to a full Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE).
One of the first projects to undergo the full post occupancy review is £22 million refurbishment and extension to University College London’s 22 Gordon Street (formally known as Wates House). Prior to its refurbishment, Wates House, a forbidding 1970s building was anonymous on the outside, the interior was cramped; its small rooms, locked doors, dark corridors, and lack of communal spaces contrasting starkly with the luminous quality of its academic output. Through working collaboratively with key stakeholders, the refurbishment has delivered a flexible, modern and robust building to accommodate more than 1,000 students and staff. This more than doubles the building's original capacity of 380 students and 90 staff when it first opened 40 years ago.
In terms of operational energy, compared to the old Wates House a 60% reduction in energy use per m2 has been achieved, equivalent to a 33% reduction in absolute energy use. This is despite floor area increasing from by 40% and greater environmental control now provided throughout many spaces. The project was awarded the CIBSE ‘Building Performance Project of the Year: Retrofit” in 2020.