UNFORGIVABLE: Exploring comfort, adaptation, and forgiveness in a problem green office building
Authors: Healey, Kathryn
Adaptive and green buildings have been positively correlated with thermal comfort and occupant satisfaction. Similarly, occupants with pro-environmental attitudes have been observed to exert a greater willingness to overlook suboptimal indoor conditions. It may therefore be expected that a building which is green both in its design and in the profile of its occupants is set up to succeed. This paper ex-plores the results of a field study of a mixed-mode office building which is of an adaptive and bioclimatic design, and accommodates occupants of a strongly pro-environmental profession, but which is performing poorly. The study comprised a thermal comfort field study and post-occupancy evaluation, alongside qualitative interviews. The paper discusses the influence of ‘forgiveness’ in defining the relationship between a building and its occupants, and looks at the impact of design and reliability problems on forgiveness. The forgiveness index as a quantitative measure in the assessment of a building is discussed. The study prompts questions around building design, the importance of a functional adaptive feedback loop, and consideration of forgiveness in adaptive buildings.