GSA Planned Program To Evaluate Completed Construction Projects Can Benefit Future Construction

PLRD-81-56: Published: Jul 27, 1981. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 1981.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the purpose and status of the General Service Administration's (GSA) planned occupancy evaluation program. In recent years, GSA facility acquisition projects have been the subject of GAO internal audit reports, GAO reports, news reports, and congressional investigations which have documented technical and management problems of a recurrent nature.

The program provides that, following construction completion, occupancy and/or operation, and a reasonable shakedown period, the completed facility will be assessed by a team of representatives from the disciplines of architecture, engineering, and psychology (quality of life). The team will examine all aspects of the project by considering what the original goals were, if they were met, and if they were realistic. The reports resulting from the examination are to provide: (1) information on whether the facility is meeting the needs of the people using it; (2) a means of testing new technology performance in real operation before full implementation; and (3) information concerning physical, social, and organizational costs of buildings. As a result of these reports, GSA expects to obtain information on construction cost savings, energy development, design development, and building effectiveness. With the proper implementation of the program, GAO believes benefits could be achieved in four areas: (1) identifying problems in need of corrective action in the evaluated facility; (2) identifying poor design features or problems resulting from deficiencies in the design work or review; (3) identifying design strengths or other features for incorporation in future work; and (4) stimulating continuous review and improvement of GSA system of design and construction guidance. However, a complete evaluation of the program must await its full implementation at the regional office level and a reasonable period of use.

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