Effects of newly designed hospital buildings on staff perceptions: A pre-post study to validate design decisions

Eliane Schreuder*, Liesbeth van Heel, Rien Goedhart, Elise Dusseldorp, Jan Maarten Schraagen, Alex Burdorf

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: This study investigates effects of the newly built nonpatient-related buildings of a large university medical center on staff perceptions and whether the design objectives were achieved. Background: The medical center is gradually renewing its hospital building area of 200,000 m2. This redevelopment is carefully planned and because lessons learned can guide design decisions of the next phase, the medical center is keen to evaluate the performance of the new buildings.

    Method: A pre- and post-study with a control group was conducted. Prior to the move to the new buildings an occupancy evaluationwas carried out in the old setting (n = 729) (pre-study). Post occupation of the new buildings another occupancy evaluation (post-study) was carried out in the new setting (intervention group) and again in some old settings (control group) (n= 664). The occupancy evaluation consisted of an online survey that measured the perceived performance of different aspects of the building. Longitudinal multilevel analysis was used to compare the performance of the old buildings with the new buildings.

    Results: Significant improvements were found in indoor climate, perceived safety, working environment, well-being, facilities, sustainability, and overall satisfaction. Commitment to the employer, working atmosphere, orientation, work performance, and knowledge sharing did not improve. The results were interpreted by relating them to specific design choices.

    Conclusion: We showed that it is possible to measure the performance improvements of a complex intervention being a new building design and validate design decisions. A focused design process aiming for a safe, pleasant and sustainable building resulted in actual improvements in some of the related performance measures.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-97
    Number of pages21
    JournalHealth Environments Research and Design Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


    • Built environment
    • Longitudinal multilevel analysis
    • Nonpatient-related buildings
    • Pre-post occupancy evaluation
    • Staff satisfaction


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