What's holding up implementing POEs?


'Everyone benefits, but nobody wants to pay.'


Although they have many advocates, POEs are still rare in the UK due to a variety of reasons:


•  They require a high level of commitment from the whole team, starting with the client. It can be hard to engage the involvement of the client or building users in such an exercise if it hasn't been agreed from the outset.
•  There is a lack of consensus over who should pay for POEs, especially problematic since government funding has stopped.
•  There tends to be more bad news than good and It can be difficult to get problems fixed.
•  There is a wide held view of industry that POEs open one up to litigation, although many believe that this is largely unfounded (Bordass, 2011b), especially if the need for feedback is agreed from the initial stages of a project.
•  The construction industry has a 'supply-side' mentality, prioritising the procurement of the building on time and to budget.
•  Architecture, unlike other professions such as medicine, has not developed a tradition of practice-based, user research, relying on universities or governmental bodies instead.
•  Lack of prominence given to POEs within educational establishments, professional bodies and by the government.


POEs need to be championed!

For POEs to be implemented more widely across the construction sector there is a real need for industry, academic institutions, professional bodies and the government to champion real feedback as an essential part of delivering sustainable, high quality, long lasting architecture.


Next page: How to cary out a POE


© 2014 Anna Pamphilon of Pamphilon Architects




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