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					Blockhouse Bay School Classroom Refurbishment Post Occupancy
Evaluation
Summary................................................................................................... 1
      Project issues ...................................................................................... 1
      Design issues ...................................................................................... 1
Purpose and Structure of This Evaluation .................................................... 2
Evaluation Team and Participants ............................................................... 3
Recommendations...................................................................................... 3
Project in General (Future) ......................................................................... 3
Property Maintenance Funding in General (Future)....................................... 4
Project Team ............................................................................................. 4
Building Work Impact on Occupants (Future) ............................................... 4
Quality of Light .......................................................................................... 5
Circulation (Now) ....................................................................................... 5
Wall Linings and Pin Board Surfaces ............................................................ 6
White Boards (Now) ................................................................................... 6
Floor Coverings, Carpet and Vinyl (Now) ..................................................... 6
Windows ................................................................................................... 7
New Suspended Ceiling (Future) ................................................................. 7
Cupboards, New and Refurbished (Now) ..................................................... 8
Fittings Over Displays (Now) ....................................................................... 8
Exterior Seating (Later) .............................................................................. 8
Coat and Bag Rooms (Now) ........................................................................ 8
Wind Effects (Now) .................................................................................... 9
Toilets (Adjacent to the Refurbished Classrooms) (Now) .............................. 9
Summary
Refurbishment of six classrooms at Blockhouse Bay School has improved the physical
environment for students but significant needs in and around the classrooms remain
unresolved.
These are the principal findings of twenty students, teachers and project team
members in a Post Occupancy Evaluation on 9 October 2000. The work to
classrooms 2,3,4,5,6 and 7 was funded as a Ministry of Education deferred
maintenance project and was carried out over the summer of 1999 - 2000. The
scope of this Post Occupancy Evaluation includes review of both the project and the
completed facilities. On average, participants rated the project management system
at 4.75/10 and the completed facility at 7.1/10.
Project issues
Participants commented that schools can achieve better learning environments when
they have control of building projects. On this project there was a limited budget
and it is recommended in future to involve all interest groups in prioritising
expenditure. Teachers reported that students were interrupted by builders working
in and around classrooms during class time.
Design issues
The refurbishment involved window replacement, pin board installation, blinds,
painting and cupboards. Participants found that there was considerable
improvement in appearance of the rooms and particularly appreciated the provision
of pin board wall linings.
There were aspects of the classroom block that were not improved at this stage..
These included access to two classrooms (currently through other classes), new
carpet with underlay, sufficiently large white boards, refurbished toilet facilities,
adequate coat and bag storage, shade at exterior seating and a solution to a wind
problem.
Purpose and Structure of This Evaluation
Post Occupancy Evaluation has been employed by the Ministry of Education Property
Management Group to review building projects and Property Management System.
The evaluation method involves interviewing people within the schools to find out
how the buildings work for them and working with the project teams to identify
successes and potential improvements for the Property Management System.
Post Occupancy Evaluation is employed to see the building and the Property
Management System through the participants' eyes and therefore to identify issues
which are perceived strengths and weaknesses. It is proposed therefore to improve
the process for schools managing projects by enhancing or replicating strengths and
reducing or mitigating weaknesses. These improvements are ultimately intended to
enhance the support buildings afford students and staff and improve the work by
trustees and property professionals.
The user groups were interviewed in and around the building using a touring
walkthrough interview method. Comments were documented and photographs used
to record participant views. The project team interview commenced with a touring
walkthrough interview and continued with a structured interview. Participants were
invited to identify approaches that worked well and those that could have been
improved upon. The structure of the interview followed detailed questions under the
following sheet headings.
1. Property Management System (project chronology)
2. Project Team
3. Summary of Property Management System Review
The body of this report contains participant responses from these interviews and
recommendations for improving future school projects and fine-tuning for this
facility.
Participants were invited to rate the Property Management System and completed
facility on ten point scales with 10 indicating high satisfaction and 1 representing
very low satisfaction.
Following the Post Occupancy Evaluation interviews, participants completed
questionnaires about the interview process. Their responses are summarised as
follows:
1. Participants understood what was expected of them.
2. They were able to make all the points they wanted to.
3. Some students wished they had spent more time discussing areas outside the
classrooms.
4. Some participants said they would have preferred to use less time after school
and had more advance notice of the evaluation and its questions. One person said
there were too many people in the group.
5. Participants expressed appreciation of being listened to and having an interest
taken in their opinion. Some commented favourably on the work being done face-
to-face by an "outsider" in an informal and personal way and with photographs.
There were also positive comments about group size, improved understanding of the
issues, sharing comments, succinctness of the Post Occupancy Evaluation and
feedback being given by the variety of participants.
No changes are proposed in methods as a result of this feedback.
Evaluation Team and Participants
This Post Occupancy Evaluation was commissioned by Brian Mitchell,
Implementation Manager of the Property Management Group at the Ministry of
Education. The principal assisted in selection of participants and planning
arrangements. Chris Watson Director of C Watson Consultancy Ltd carried out this
evaluation. He is an architect with specialist experience in building evaluation. He
has been developing and using Post Occupancy Evaluation internationally since the
early 1980s.
Building users and the project team were interviewed.
Recommendations
Participants' findings are documented and collated in topics. Where sufficient weight
of evidence is considered to exist recommendations for action have been generated.
These recommendations are assigned one of the following priorities.
Now This category includes actions which are recommended to be undertaken within
three months.
Later Work recommended for action within three years.
Future Actions or practices recommended on future buildings.
Focus Studies Technical studies or management decisions.
Seek advice from an Architect, Engineer, exhibition designer or other suitably
qualified person before implementing any of the recommendations in this document
which may involve changes to site works, building fabric, structure, plant and
equipment, fitments or furniture.
Comments in quotation marks are not necessarily direct quotations, but are
nevertheless, as close a representation of what was said, as we were able to achieve
while taking hand-written notes during the walkthrough interviews. These should be
regarded as paraphrased comments, and they have been included to indicate the
feelings and expressions of participants as closely as we were able to do.
Project in General (Future)
Continue the practice of schools managing their projects, which was appreciated by
participants in this Post Occupancy Evaluation.
We made a silk purse out of a sow's ear. [Project Review Group]
The purpose (of the project) is to give them (classrooms) a bit of extra life. [Project
Review Group]
Aesthetically it is tidier. [Project Review Group]
It is a lot better than the old Education Board Days. There was a lot of money
wasted because things were ill thought out and there was no consultation. They
even did things we did not want. [Project Review Group]
Staff and boards have an unrealistic expectation. They don't realise that if you add
something, another thing has to go. [Project Review Group]
We knew what was wanted; it was obvious. The building had hardly been touched
(upgraded) since it was built in 1958-1959. We did as much as the budget allowed.
[Project Review Group]
The flexibility of using the money for modernisation was a success that should be
repeated. [Project Review Group]
Among the three best aspects of the Property Management System is having the
school involved in planning because you can do more. [Project Review Group]
Among the three best aspects of the Property Management System is having the
flexibility to add (to the design). [Project Review Group]
Among the three best aspects of the Property Management System is that the
design is up to the school and you are dealing with the architect. [Project Review
Group]
Property Maintenance Funding in General (Future)
On projects where the budget is limited, prioritise, check to ensure that all avenues
for additional finance have been exhausted. Ensure that interested parties
understand and accept compromises before a partial project commences.
Develop administrative devices to combine funds for projects where it is appropriate
that they be carried out together. For example where funding for two refurbishment
projects in the same block is provided in following years, make it administratively
possible to carry them out as one building project.
If we could plan the use of the money it would enable us to make more worthwhile
improvements. [Project Review Group]
The bottom line is; what we got is fine but we needed more money to make the
modernisation complete. [Project Review Group]
One of the three most important recommendations for improving the Property
Management System is to provide flexibility to hold money in credit, instead of
having to spend money before the end of the financial year, and therefore not
complete the job. [Project Review Group]
One of the three most important recommendations for improving the Property
Management System would be to avoid going back to an old system of the cheaper,
the better. I think it will have ramifications in about fifteen year's time. I know
there has been a huge amount spent, but do you want to spend a lot on
maintenance or do you want to fund it properly? For example, quality buildings will
last longer. If we want schools standing in fifteen years then we need to consider
design and quality. It will come back to bite us (for example) if we use light gauge
materials which don't last. Schools are rough places, even in good areas. [Project
Review Group]
Project Team
No recommendation
The project manager is retained because he is experienced in building and the
school needs that expertise. [Project Review Group]
The Ministry of Education provided the money [Project Review Group]
It is useful that the project manager verifies when payment should be made; this is
very important for a school. [Project Review Group]
If the school has a good architect he can do the project management. [Project
Review Group]
Building Work Impact on Occupants (Future)
Instruct consultants to write and enforce contract clauses that ensure that classroom
learning is not interrupted by contract work. Consider for example, calculating
realistic liquidated damages to include the costs of managing to take students and
teachers to alternative teaching spaces if contracts are not complete.
The work was delayed. [Students and Parents]
The building work was disruptive. [Students and Parents]
The noise of work in adjacent classrooms was bad. [Students and Parents]
They did one classroom at a time and did some in the holidays. [Students and
Parents]
One class went to the hall and that was very disruptive. [Students and Parents]
The disruption was from the dust, noise of machines, hammering, drills and saws.
Towards the end, it was just finish it and get out. They had time to do the work but
it was not utilised. One classroom was vacated but work did not start. [Teacher
Group]
All of us had builders working in the class. [Teacher Group]
The builders took my drawers with my personal belongings (calculator and
photocopying etc) and never returned them. [Teacher Group]
The "shoddy workmanship" in places - just through haste - is among the three worst
features of the project. [Teacher Group]
The painter had a heart problem at the time of the work. [Project Review Group]
Quality of Light
Ensure that fittings and maintenance allowances for blinds and other accessories are
sufficient to provide on-going service.
The lights would look nice with filters (diffusers). In our room some lights have
covers. Covers in some classrooms have been replaced. [Students and Parents]
Rooms 2-6 are a lot darker than Room 7 because of the cloakroom and classrooms
beyond them. [Students and Parents]
Room 3 is a bit darker. [Students and Parents]
The blinds are really good but sometimes, in summer, the sun is over the top and
gets in your eyes. [Students and Parents]
The blinds let light in (through the fabric) but it doesn't get in your eyes. [Students
and Parents]
The blinds are among the three best features of the project. [Students and Parents]
It is good to have the blinds to keep the sun out. [Teacher Group]
The blinds break. A lot of fittings are just domestic. They are not strong enough for
schools. [Teacher Group]
One blind will not come down and the other one will not come up. [Teacher Group]
The blinds were outside the contract. [Project Review Group]
Circulation (Now)
Commission an architect to investigate options for providing access to children in
classroom 3a and 6a (the current plan apparently has these rooms isolated except
for access through other classrooms). Include in planning, walling in the concertina
doors.
There is a lot of noise from the traffic through the classroom (from the adjacent
classroom that has no other access). [Students and Parents]
The concertina doors are noisy. They billow with the wind and make a racket.
[Students and Parents]
The circulation (problems) and disruption to other classrooms is among the three
worst features of the project. [Students and Parents]
The carpets have just been cleaned but they are filthy. It is streaky because of the
through traffic to the back classrooms. [Teacher Group]
Room 3a has to go through room 3 or 4 to get to their class. It interrupts the other
class. Their only other access is right around the library. [Teacher Group]
Their whole class goes through our class, to sports or something else twice on a
typical day in addition to individuals filing through. [Teacher Group]
I would not put in the sliding doors. [Project Review Group]
Wall Linings and Pin Board Surfaces
No recommendation.
The pin board is wonderful stuff. [Students and Parents]
The (pin-able) wall fabric surfaces are among the three best features of the project.
[Students and Parents]
It is good to have (virtually) floor to ceiling pin board. [Teacher Group]
It is good to have coloured hessian rather than brown. We used to have to cover it
(brown hessian) with coloured backing paper. [Teacher Group]
Aesthetically, it is nice. [Teacher Group]
"They ran out of hessian" (it does not extend to the floor level). [Teacher Group]
The modern fresh looks, plenty of hessian wall surface and colours are among the
three best features of the project. [Teacher Group]
The old wall finishes were messy and we tidied them up with the hessian. [Project
Review Group]
We put a special coating on the (previously clear finished) three-ply wall lining to
minimise chips. [Project Review Group]
White Boards (Now)
Install additional and/or larger white boards.
White boards are a lot better (than black boards). There is no dust and no
scratching. [Students and Parents]
The white boards are totally insufficient in size. I believe money was short.
[Teacher Group]
The white boards are too low. [Teacher Group]
It is too low. [Teacher Group]
The lack of white board is frustrating. [Teacher Group]
I have an extra board in this classroom. That is great. [Teacher Group]
I would quite like a little black board for drawings and things you can't do on a white
board. [Teacher Group]
The white board pens are expensive and they are dirty. [Teacher Group]
The white board area, being too small, is among the three worst features of the
project. [Teacher Group]
We were very limited with funding so only went to 1800 white boards. Elsewhere
we do at least 2400mm. Generally we go to 2400mm plus a swinging panel.
[Project Review Group]
The white boards need to be bigger. They are very limited. [Project Review Group]
Floor Coverings, Carpet and Vinyl (Now)
Prioritise or investigate alternative sources of finance to install new carpet with
underlay.
The carpet should have been replaced. [Students and Parents]
It needs underlay. [Students and Parents]
Threads come out of the carpet and you can see the concrete. [Students and
Parents]
Sitting on the carpet is like sitting on concrete and there are staples in the carpet.
[Students and Parents]
The carpet is really hard. [Students and Parents]
The carpet being retained (when refurbishment went ahead) is among the three
worst features of the project. [Students and Parents]
The kids sit on the carpet but it is dirty brown. [Teacher Group]
There is no edge to the vinyl at the exterior door of room 2. [Teacher Group]
Vinyl by the art area is among the three best features of the project. [Teacher
Group]
Flooring was out of the main contract. The carpet is shoddy. It is disgraceful with
the rips in it. The carpet is ten years old. I would have liked to put in new carpet.
[Project Review Group]
The project gave a bit of life to the room. It would complete the room if we got
some carpet. [Project Review Group]
Windows
No recommendation.
There are new sliding windows on one side. The sliding windows are wonderful.
The window winders are a bit hard to work. [Students and Parents]
The windows are key-locked and the teacher has the key. [Students and Parents]
The windows are among the three best features of the project. [Students and
Parents]
I have no problems with the windows. [Teacher Group]
It was terrible when I couldn't open the back windows for five weeks. [Teacher
Group]
The sliding latches are no good. One is broken. [Teacher Group]
Sliding windows and blinds are among the three best features of the project,
although they need ones, which aren't so cheap. The blinds don't block all the sun.
[Teacher Group]
New window frames in the lower window structure are good. [Project Review
Group]
The old louvers are stiff and put strain on the winding gear. [Project Review Group]
The louvers are non-toughened glass and dangerous. They are not tinted so, I
imagine, there is a heat and light problem. It would have been good to have the
money to replace the louvers. Where funding has allowed, we have done new
winding gear with electric control. It works well on other jobs as long as the school
uses it properly. [Project Review Group]
We only did superficial repairs on the winding gear. [Project Review Group]
New Suspended Ceiling (Future)
When planning future projects, conduct value management forums with key interest
groups with a view to achieving general consensus on value for money of various
project elements. Invite students and/or their representatives, parents, teachers,
managers, trustees, the project team and Ministry of Education property staff to
contribute.
Why did they lower the ceiling? It cut down the air and (concealed) the beams
(which could be used) to hang displays. [Teacher Group]
The old higher ceiling would have given it more space. [Teacher Group]
The lowering of the ceiling is among the three worst features of the project. "For
us, it always seemed like a backward step." [Teacher Group]
I expect it would improve acoustics. [Project Review Group]
The suspended ceiling works well for the acoustics and hides the heating pipes and
trusses, while (still) bringing in the light. [Project Review Group]
The suspended ceiling tidied up the truss and heating pipes but there is a problem of
heat because teachers don't open windows. You may find that there is a heat
problem. [Project Review Group]
Cupboards, New and Refurbished (Now)
Investigate alternative locations and/or orientations for cupboards hinged to open
against the wall.
The paint on the cupboards is chipped off already. [Teacher Group]
Apparently the new high-pressure laminate is much harder to clean. [Teacher
Group]
They repainted cupboard doors but did not repaint the inside. [Teacher Group]
In room 2 they did not paint the wall where the previous window winder was
removed. [Teacher Group]
Cupboards are hinged in an awkward way (with the opening against a wall).
[Teacher Group]
The lockable cupboards were installed in lieu of some flooring work. [Project Review
Group]
Fittings Over Displays (Now)
Advise the builder of a suitable time to release wall displays from behind fittings that
have been fixed over them.
They repainted the heaters and drained and repaired them. [Students and Parents]
They put (mounted) the window winders over wall displays. [Teacher Group]
The cupboards were fixed over wall displays. [Teacher Group]
The storage has been reduced to three-quarters of the previous size. [Teacher
Group]
The little new intercom boxes are good and they work. [Teacher Group]
Again, they put the winder over the white cloth of the display. [Teacher Group]
Some of the existing door closers are too low. [Teacher Group]
The fire hose reel is hanging off its bracket. [Teacher Group]
All the front doors were replaced with new. [Project Review Group]
Exterior Seating (Later)
Investigate options for shade and gardening in front of the classrooms.
It is a grotty old seat. [Students and Parents]
The seats have had it. [Students and Parents]
We need some form of shading for the seats and classrooms, which will also provide
some shelter from the rain. [Students and Parents]
My dad thinks the gardens are appalling. Each class should look after the garden in
front of their room. [Students and Parents]
Coat and Bag Rooms (Now)
Review children's use of bag and coat hooks and investigate possibilities for new
hooks in a more convenient layout and number.
There are not enough hooks. The hooks are too close together and it is hard to get
your bag out from among others. [Students and Parents]
The bags are squashed together. [Students and Parents]
The cloak areas are very small and congested. [Students and Parents]
Wind Effects (Now)
Check to ensure that appropriate door hardware is correctly fitted and operating on
the relevant doors, which are associated with the door banging in windy conditions.
Consider fitting door closers and latch backs if they are not already fitted. Consider
alternative user protocols for door use in windy conditions. Consider alternative
planning to alleviate the problem when other changes are planned in the block.
The doors slam in the wind. [Students and Parents]
Bark blows (from the adventure playground) in the open windows. A teacher got hit
from a flying stone from the lawn mower. [Students and Parents]
The outside door (near class 6, 6a and 7) bangs in the wind. [Students and Parents]
The main problem is that the door slams when the wind blows from the south.
[Teacher Group]
Kids need to come and go through the outside door. [Teacher Group]
It (slamming) is quite a safety issue. [Teacher Group]
That southern, outside door slams. [Teacher Group]
Dust from the incinerator and bark blow in to the classroom. It is absolutely
horrendous. [Teacher Group]
Toilets (Adjacent to the Refurbished Classrooms) (Now)
Advance planning on this project and reprioritisation may have enabled the provision
of good, clean, fresh toilet facilities in conjunction with other changes in the block.
The toilets are appalling. [Students and Parents]
The walls are too thin (hardboard) and some people lose their tempers and kick
through them. [Students and Parents]
There are three toilet blocks per 90 children. [Students and Parents]
The congestion at the grotty toilet and cloak set-up is among the three worst
features of the project. [Students and Parents]
We get a dreadful smell from the toilets. Even on hot days, we have to keep the
door closed (which could otherwise provide much needed cross ventilation).
[Teacher Group]
There is a toilet smell in room 2. [Teacher Group]

				
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