This case study investigated employees' work performance and satisfaction in relation to sustainable design criteria used to design the interior of their office building. The case study is part of ongoing research to continue testing a questionnaire for validity and reliability, which will contribute to the development of sustainable design/occupant scales relating to satisfaction and performance. A self-administered, Internet-based questionnaire was developed that reflects a set of recognized sustainable design guidelines. It was submitted to over 200 employees of a business housed in a newly built office building in a mid-western city. Generally positive results were found for employees' satisfaction with the new facility (site, building, and interior) and their performance as related to sustainable design criteria in the new facility. Dissatisfaction with acoustic and privacy conditions were found for employees of open-office workstation types (cubicles). Exploration of prior workstation types showed that moving from private offices to cubicles decreased employees' satisfaction with new cubicles compared to moving from cubicles in a prior building to cubicles in the new building, though dissatisfaction with these two criteria was found despite prior workstation type. These findings concur with other sustainable design studies and demonstrate that the questionnaire can be used by sustainable designers to document and explore design outcomes.

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Author notes


Morse-Alumni Distinguished Professor, Interior Design, University of Minnesota, (corresponding author) dguerin@umn.edu


Research Coordinator, Center for Sustainable Building Research, University of Minnesota.


Assistant Professor, Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel, University of Minnesota.


Instructor, Interior Design Dunwoody College of Technology, Minneapolis, MN.


Research Assistant, Interior Design, University of Minnesota.