A Case Study of Two Office Spaces in Augusta, GA

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

IDEC Annual Conference


The aim of this study is to investigate two current office spaces and to explore how the environmental characteristics of those spaces and their usage affect employees’ satisfaction with their work environments. The two small office spaces are located in a historic LEED certified building. One of the offices is used by an engineering firm and the other one is used by a real estate development firm. The office spaces are located on the first floor of the building, and they share a hallway, conference room, and a kitchen with the other office spaces on the same floor. Schiavon and Altomonte (2014) collected data from over 21 thousand office occupants using an online survey developed by University of California Berkeley, Center for the Built Environment. We used an adapted version of their survey to collect data from the office employees. Schiavon and Altomonte (2014) found that occupancy satisfaction in office buildings are correlated with environmental factors such as indoor air quality, lighting, building features, as well as personal characteristics, and work-related variables. Lee and Brand (2005) examined the effects of distractions, flexible use of workspace and personal control over the work environment on perceived job performance, job satisfaction and group cohesiveness. They (2005) found that more personal control over the physical workspace (e.g., adjustment) and easy access to meeting places led to higher perceived group cohesiveness and job satisfaction, and distractions may have little influence on self-rated performance. Lastly, Veitch et.al. (2007) found that satisfaction with privacy, lighting, and ventilation/temperature are related to job satisfaction. Using the post-occupancy survey from CBE as explained above, we collected data on lighting, acoustics, thermal comfort, air quality, visual privacy, and satisfaction with office furniture. Two employees from each office space were interviewed using the survey as a guide. We also collected data from IDEC 2017 Annual Conference | Chicago, IL 240 observations, still images, sketches, and walk-throughs of the spaces. During the observations, we collected data on the usage of the space, employee interactions and distractions. We will discuss our findings with the help of still images, employee testimonials, and the existing body of literature, and we will present design solutions to some of the design problems found in the two spaces. For example, our findings indicate that noise, quality and design of furniture, glare, access to thermostat, disagreement on indoor air temperature among employees, poor air quality, and motion-sensor lighting were listed as some of the problems related to the office space. This case study provides a glimpse into actual work environments and employee perceptions of the work space in a historic LEED certified building.