CIRS pre-occupancy evaluation : inhabitant feedback processes and possibilities for a regenerative place

by Julia Esther Reckermann

Institution: University of British Columbia
Department: Resource Management and Environmental Studies
Degree: MA- MA
Year: 2015
Record ID: 2058697
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/51766


An untypical workplace, The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) is an aspiring regenerative place with the goals to realize net-positive inhabitant psychological and physiological well-being and environmental performance in which inhabitants actively shape their experiences. As part of these aspirations, this research set out to investigate how feedback processes, such as specifically a Pre-Occupancy Evaluation, can support the navigation towards manifesting these human performance goals. This research explores inhabitants’ relationships with their Pre-CIRS workplace experiences before their move into the new place, as well as to their future experience in CIRS. More specifically, it investigates inhabitant satisfaction and interactions with controls within their previous workplace contexts as well as their associations, expectations and desires for their experiences at CIRS. Past experiences of workplaces can influence inhabitant satisfaction with, behaviours, and the emergence of desired novelty and aspirations of regenerative places. Findings reveal that inhabitants were not satisfied with certain elements of their Pre-CIRS workplaces and not very engaged in creating their experience. Sources of discontent in many cases were associated with perceived lack of control over situations to alleviate discomfort and negative affect. Whilst mental associations with CIRS appeared to reflect a heavy focus on environmental sustainability aspirations, sources of positive feelings include the physical building, the social aspirations of place, the novelty and vision, and a desire for connectedness. Although inhabitant desires are aligned with CIRS aspirations at the conceptual level, they likely go beyond past experiences of their workplaces and call for new ways of thinking, feeling, and acting to realize net-positive aspirations. Thus, it is proposed that regenerative workplaces require a new set of tools that enable a place to shift into ‘becoming’ and embodying aspirations of place. Based on the learning from this research, the regenerative literature, as well as reflections on the process itself, actions steps have been recommended in this work to realize aspirations of place.