The University of Newcastle, Australia

Post Occupation Evaluation Results

The results are in and overall 75% of stakeholders are largely satisfied with the shift to NeW Space.

The NeW Space project was a catalyst for change for the Newcastle CBD but also for our students and staff with five major change elements:

  • Teaching and Learning Pedagogy
  • Staff Workspace
  • Student Service Model
  • Transport
  • Timetabling

The overall objective of the recently completed Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) Stage 1 was to assess whether the facility is fit for purpose and to understand how it is supporting business objectives and meeting user needs.

We undertook a user survey, focus groups and utilisation study to provide a benchmark for future evaluations and to inform decisions on where we could improve.

Whilst we have an overall 75% satisfaction rating there are areas where we can improve and we have identified a number of initiatives to address these areas.

We are working hard to make access to the Newcastle City campus easier for our staff and students. We have reduced the all-day car park rate to $10, increased the visibility of the park and ride buses to make them distinctively UON and enhanced communications on the transport options available to the city campus with a 5Ways City transport campaign (newcastle.edu.au/5wayscity) aimed to increase the awareness of the transport options available to students and staff.

We understand it takes time to create a community and UON is working towards ensuring we improve the sense of community and belonging for our students and staff in the city. For our staff, we will continue to support them in the transition to the new teaching and working environment. We strive to ensure our students have the richest possible student experience and we will continue to have bbq’s and other events to harness the sense of pride our students have with the facility and our campus.

NeW Space was the first building to be awarded the Green Building Council of Australia’s 5 Star Green Star design rating in the Hunter Region with a focus on sustainability and minimising energy consumption. Key features of the building to achieve this include external sun shading, high performance double glazing with thermally engineered aluminium frames. The air-conditioning system installed is a demand driven system to ensure we can reduce our carbon emissions by not cooling or heating areas not in use. NeW Space also maximises natural ventilation through its vertical campus design and uses rainwater harvesting and reuse for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation. Over the past several months the team in IFS have undertaken further tuning of the air-conditioning system to enable cooling to begin at a set room temperature, even if the room is not being utilised at that time. This change will ensure that we can maintain comfortable temperatures in teaching and meeting spaces.

Our University is committed to provide the physical and digital environment that will place us as sector leaders for student experience, research performance and industry engagement.