Post Occupancy Evaluations

Appropriately designed environments for older adults can provide many benefits such as enhancing resident dignity and quality of life; maximizing a residents’ ability to maintain an independent lifestyle despite physical or mental constraints; providing workplaces for care givers that maximize their efficiency and efficacy; fostering connections between residents, staff , family and neighbors to create a strong sense of community and personal fulfillment. Design can also generate a sense of pride in where people work and live. Environments that are uplifting, visually appealing and non-institutional should be noted and recognized.

Which designs achieve those results? How do they do it? “Hands-on” experiential data is certainly available yet it is often untapped and undocumented. Unique approaches to design and care remain unshared.

Post occupancy evaluations (POEs) help identify which design approaches are beneficial and why. Through data collection and analysis, interviews, on-site observations, graphics and images, POEs evaluate what design features work well, which do not, and provide the foundation for evidence-based design.

Prince of Wales Apartments
Written & Edited by Jeffrey Anderzhon, FAIA

Querencia at Barton Creek
Written & Edited by Tom Hauer ​

Mission Creek
Written by Dorit Fromm, AIA, Edited by Jeffrey W. Anderzhon, FAIA

Carol Woods Cluster Home and Child Day Care Center
Written & Edited by Ingrid Fraley, ASID​


La Cascada II
Written & Edited Jeffrey W. Anderzhon, FAIA

The Summit at First Hill
Written by Wolf Saar, AIA, Edited by Jeff Anderzohn, FAIA​​


Collington Episcopal Life Care Community
Written by Amy Carpenter, AIA, Edited by Jeffrey W. Anderzhon, FAIA

Evaluator's Tool Kit

A POE is “structured hindsight” to review and criti que the design and operati ons of senior-living communities. Aft er a facility is open with residents and staff in place, there is an opportunity to review the design team’s original assumpti ons and to assess whether goals have been met. It is a chance to observe the interacti on of residents and staff and to evaluate how the design promotes that interaction. Download the toolkit.

Design for Aging Post-Occupancy Evaluations Book

What is a postoccupancy evaluation (POE)? What can we learn to improve our design of senior living environments? The book features well-researched post-occupancy evaluations for 21 senior living facilities previously featured in the Design for Aging Review and four comparative Scandinavian senior living facilities. This publication is loaded with data and examples of well-considered design solutions. Purchase the book online.