is a web-based survey tool that assesses the user satisfaction in office buildings.
This kind of survey is often referred to as a ‘Post-Occupancy Evaluation’ (POE) or Occupant Survey.
There are two standard versions of Comfortmeter. They are both available as online tool but each focuses on different aspects. As a third option, a questionnaire can be developed based a customer’s needs.
Comfortmeter - indoor climate (IEQ)
The survey focuses on the Indoor Environmental Quality of a workspace (basically: thermal comfort, acoustics, quality of air and light). The survey enables Technical Facility managers to diagnose a building.
Comfortmeter - user well-being (WELL)
This survey is compliant with the WELL Building Standard v2. It is a holistic survey that goes beyond IEQ, and takes into account other factors that impact the health and well-being of building users.
We adjust our existing surveys to your needs, e.g. to integrate them with already existing HR-surveys. Also, we are flexible to translate our surveys into other languages.
DO YOU KNOW HOW SATISFIED YOUR EMPLOYEES ARE WITH THEIR WORK ENVIRONMENT ?
Indoor environmental quality (IEQ)
The survey focuses on the Indoor Environmental Quality of a workspace.
It enables Technical Facility managers to diagnose a (‘sick’) building. It also makes it possible to compare the comfort satisfaction before & after implementing measures intended to improve the comfort satisfaction. The survey can also be used to monitor the comfort level during the execution of Building Performance Contracts (BPC).
This survey is compliant with the WELL Building Standard v1. It contains questions about thermal comfort, acoustics, quality of air and light. It also checks how users feel about the individual control they have over the environmental conditions in their workspace. It also assesses the building’s appearance and the workspace’s ergonomics.
user Well-being (WELL)
This survey is compliant with the WELL Building Standard v2. It is a holistic survey that goes beyond IEQ.
The survey is a helpful tool for HR or Sustainability managers who would like to monitor the impact of their workplace policies on employees.
In addition to the IEQ questions, it also checks other factors like health & wellness policies, access to healthy food, access to nature, etc.
Comfortmeter is accredited by the WELL Standard organization as ‘pre-approved survey provider’. The WELL Standard stipulates 2 levels of post-occupancy surveys:
minutes to complete
A number of scientific studies have clearly shown that the job satisfaction, well-being, health and productivity of building users are directly affected by their work environment. Hence, Post-Occupancy Evaluations (POE) are of key importance for organizations that wish to monitor the satisfaction of their employees about their workspaces.
POEs have added value in the following contexts:
- Reality check of comfort in newly constructed buildings during the commissioning process
- Human validation of sensor data captured by the building management system.
- Diagnosis of ‘sick buildings’ by Facility Manager
- Being employer of choice in the war for talent, by offering state of the art workspaces
- Evidence based promotion of attractive buildings by real estate brokers
- Generating credits in compliance schemes such as WELL, BREEAM-in-use
- Comparison of comfort levels before/after taking comfort enhancing measures
ARTICLES ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
IEQ & HEALTH, WELL-BEING, PRODUCTIVITY
- ScienceDirect Elsevier (2016), Yousef Al Horr, et all;
A review of the literature about occupant productivity and office indoor environment quality:
The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature to draw an understanding of the relationship between indoor environmental quality and occupant productivity in an ofﬁce environment. The study reviews over 300 papers from 67 journals, conference articles and books focusing on indoor environment, occupant comfort, productivity and green buildings.
- World Green Building Council (2016)
Building the Business Case: Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Green Offices.
Also available in Dutch (DGBC, 2016) Gezondheid, Welzijn & Productiviteit in Kantoren
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Boston), (2018)
CogFx study (Cognitive Effects of Green Buildings)
This study elaborates on 3 studies that demonstrate the impact of green buildings on the cognitive function.
- Kantoor vol Energie, (2017),
Een duurzaam gebouw is nog geen gezond gebouw!
This article (in Dutch) states that green buildings are not necessarily healthy buildings
- Kantoor vol Energie, BBA, Kernwaarde Groen, (2017),
Wat is nou de waarde van een gezond en energie-neutraal gebouw?
This article (in Dutch) proposes a methodology to quantify the impact of a health and energy-efficient building.
Frequently asked questions
The Comfortmeter IEQ survey is available in 10+ languages: English, Dutch BE / NL, French, German, Italian, Danish, Norsk, Greek, Latvian and Czech.
The Comfortmeter WELL-survey is available in English (US).
We are flexible to translate the survey into other languages, depending on the commercial terms and conditions.
The Comfortmeter IEQ report is available in 4 languages: English, Dutch BE / NL, French, German
The Comfortmeter WELL-report is available in English (US)
How long does it take to complete the survey?
The IEQ version takes on average 10 minutes to complete. The WELL version 15 minutes.
How is the survey process structured?
The survey process consists in 4 main steps:
1. Preparing the survey (in close cooperation with the client):
gathering all e-mail addresses of the persons working in a building. Possibly, subdividing a building in zones (e.g. multi-tenant building, or a building with 2 clearly different characteristics). Drafting the invitation text to the survey, in concertation with the HR Manager, or Facility Manager, that is ordering the survey.
2. Conducting the actual survey:
sending out the e-mails including links to the online-survey.
3. Reporting the survey:
processing the survey results; subsequently sending the report to the customer.
4. Commenting the survey results:
webinar (1 hour).
The above described activities normally take 6 weeks. Upon specific request, the duration of the survey process may be shortened.
What is the average response rate of a CM survey?
The average response rate is 57%, which is high in comparison with online surveys in general. This is explained by the fact that most addressees value the fact that their opinion is being asked on a topic that has an important impact on their (professional) life. Beyond this intrinsic motivation, it also appears that a well written introduction text, in which the context/objective of the survey is explained by the HR Manager, or by the Facility Manager, is crucial to stimulate the addressees to spend some time to provide feedback on the perceived comfort within their office.
The high response rate increases considerably the representativeness and the reliability of the measured results.
What is the minimum number of respondents required to have a reliable statistical outcome?
More than 100 is the ideal situation. 40 respondents generate a low estimation error. 20 respondents is a minimum requirement and generates a high estimation error.
For which type of buildings is the Comfortmeter suited?
In principle, the Comfortmeter survey is intended for use in any building with people that have their own workspace (offices, schools, universities, retail,…). However, the type of questions will vary slightly according to the type of building. Factor4 has started by developing and commercialising a survey for offices. Other variants of the Comfortmeter survey may follow (schools, retail, care,…).
Organizations using flex working can also be surveyed with the Comfortmeter, as long as the flex workers work most of the time in the same building zone (not necessarily on the very same spot).
How is determined where the respondents are located in the building?
At the start of the survey a drop down menu enables the respondents to indicate where they (normally) work.
Specifically for Comfortmeter-IEQ :
How are the subjective responses objectified?
The challenge when surveying buildings users lies in objectifying these persons’ replies. This kind of ‘calibration’ – so to speak – is accomplished by incorporating a few questions which allow us to get to know the respondent better, e.g. gender, age, etc. Based on various scientifically known correlations between, for example gender and thermal satisfaction, we have developed an econometric model that allows us to recalculate and objectify the responses.
Does the Comfortmeter report the impact of IEQ on absence due to sick leave?
Presently the Comfortmeter does not calculate the financial effect of (reduced) sick leave. However, the Comfortmeter produces essential information which enables the client to decide if further investigation of ‘office-related-sick-leave’ is required.
Is Comfortmeter GDPR compliant?
Yes, Comfortmeter is compliant with the informed consent rules stipulated by GDPR with respect to the following topics, e.g. purpose, voluntary participation, privacy and confidentiality of the acquired data.
News about comfortmeter
WELL certification in Poland
BuroHappold has used Comfortmeter to conduct a Post Occupancy Survey in their office in Warsaw, Poland. BuroHappold wanted to measure how their recently refurbished healthy office impacts their people. The survey is also part of the WELL Building Standard certification process. More information is available via this link.
POEs in 20 offices in Belgium
VDAB uses Comfortmeter to monitor their employee satisfaction in 20 office buildings in Flanders. Upon request of VDAB, a number of tailor-made questions were added to the core questionnaire of Comfortmeter. The additional questions focused on the Facility services.
COMFORTMETER IN THE PRESS
- ECEEE-paper (2017), BLEYL, J.; COOLEN, J.; . e.a. (2017),
Building Deep Energy Retrofit: Using Dynamic Cash Flow Analysis and Multiple Benefits to Convince Investors.
Peer reviewed article that contains a presentation of the productivity effects of comfort as measured by Comfortmeter, presented at the ECEEE conference in May 2017.
- EESI 2020 project, HERMANN, L. e.a. (2014),
Facilitators’ Guideline for Energy Performance Contracting,
The guideline presents Comfortmeter and how the tool can be used in an Energy Performance Contract.
- Vastgoed Magazine (2017),
De Comfortmeter – de menselijke factor in beeld
Jürger Schlösser of Cardea Building elaborates on the added value of Comfortmeter (article in Dutch).
- TVVL Magazine (2017),
TVVL-bedrijfslid aan het woord: Johan Coolen over Comfortmeter
Johan Coolen, partner of Factor4, explains the added value of Comfortmeter (article in Dutch)
- Cobouw Magazine (2016),
Duurzaam vastgoed van morgen. Visionairs KCAP Architects&Planners en Boot Advocaten introduceren Duurzaam Vastgoed van Morgen – Waardecreatie voor Mens, Gebouw & Omgeving (page 7)
At the occasion of the real estate fair Provada, KCAP Architects and Boot Advocaten talk about a holistic approach in upgrading the existing building stock. Comfortmeter is mentioned as a tool to monitor to impact on the builing users (article in Dutch).
- TVVL Magazine, HELSEN, L..; COOLEN, J.; e.a. (2013)
Comfortervaring in kantoren mét en zonder Geotabs.
Article (in Dutch) that presents the scientific results of a comfort evaluation of Geotabs buildings in the frame of the research project GeoTabs.
- Facility vastgoed Magazine, COOLEN, J. (2015),
Comfortmeter helpt bij nemen van maatregelen
The added value of Comfortmeter is explained in the context of taking measures to make office buildings more green hence more productive (article in Dutch).
- Buildings 2030 (2017), White Paper, Building 4 People:
People-Centric Buildings for European Citizens.
The White Paper refers to Comfortmeter as one of the ‘Key Influencers’ in the blue building arena.
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Comfortmeter is commercialized by Factor4 in Belgium.
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