BALANCED Space Audit


The BALANCED Space Audit is a post-occupancy evaluation technique at the heart of our consulting services. BALANCED is a checklist tool used to assess and advance overall space performance, as well as well-being, productivity, and sustainable behaviour outcomes:

B BIOPHILIA: Use of natural elements, materials, & viewsIHKC 2

A ATMOSPHERE: Light quality, air quality, temperature, & smell

L LAYOUT: Space utilization, allocation, wayfinding, & circulation

A AMENITIES: Supporting good nutrition, fitness, ergonomics, & rest

N NOISE: Identifying disturbing noise levels, friction points, & design flaws

C COHESION: Overall space management, communication, & control factors

E ENERGY: Integrating strategies to reduce use of energy, resources, & waste

D DESIGN: Color, shape, proportions, style, & feel

Post-occupancy evaluation presents an invaluable opportunity to evaluate and fine-tune a new building. The BALANCED Space Audit can also be used to inform design strategy at the ‘pre-occupancy evaluation’ stage: before an organization begins the process of retrofitting their space, moving premises, or designing anew. We employ a combination of the following assessment measures depending on the design stage and project scale:

  • Space & people performance surveys
  • Space/time utilization analysis
  • Stakeholder interviews and user experience testing

The BALANCED Space Audit is based on a wide canon of academic evidence from the fields of environmental psychology, well-being, behavior change, and user experience design. Its components  have been informed by the latest research and standards established by groups such as the WELL Building Institute, Living Building Challenge, Office of National Statistics, Feeling Good Foundation, and UK Green Building Council. And lastly, grounded in design principles substantiated through the work of human-centred architects such as Christopher Alexander and Jan Gehl, and our own experience in evidence-based design.

Our Space Audit clients have included the Rehabilitative Prison Design project in partnership with the British Ministry of Justice, Impact HUB Kings Cross, The Calthorpe Project, Renaisi, and Happy City.