exterior view entrance carson headquarters building

Post-occupancy evaluation

This critical step in our integrated design process captures real-time performance data linked to the implementation of design decisions and solutions. Using defined research methodologies, we work with owners to gather operational data and user feedback from building occupants after construction is complete and business operations are underway. All project stakeholders and partners benefit from this documentation which goes beyond operational efficiencies and drives continuous improvement for the built environment.

POST-OCCUPANCY EVALUATION CASE STUDY | Carson Group Headquarters | Omaha, Nebraska

A high-performance beacon for talent

Based on intensive research of Carson’s brand and values, LEO A DALY designed Carson’s 200,000-SF office campus headquarters to embrace the thriving company. The design supports and anticipates innovations in how people work, enabling flexibility through technology and space planning.


less energy used for HVAC

tons CO2e saved per year


less energy used for electric lighting

Responsive solutions

An electrochromic glass envelope tints automatically in response to changing concentrations of daylight. With no need for window coverings, every perimeter view is unimpeded. The transparent skin invites ample interior daylighting to a mix of private and collaborative workspaces, while conveying outwardly Carson’s value of transparency. Utilizing energy and daylighting models/analysis, designers reduced heat gain and glare, which led to tailored solutions like reducing the central air handling unit sizing by 15% for first-cost savings.

Carson glass and logo

Design validation

LEO A DALY undertook a limited post-occupancy evaluation (POE) to understand the impact of electrochromic glazing on HVAC performance and occupant comfort, especially related to electric lighting, daylighting, glare and thermal comfort. Air quality and noise were also evaluated although not directly impacted by the glazing. 

Measurements were accomplished using illuminance meters, spectrometers, temperature and relative-humidity meters, sound-level meters, particle counters, and CO2 meters combined with subjective impressions gathered from about 55 occupants. This revealed the actual conditions and subjective human responses to them.

Insights gained

We found that the electrochromic glazing lived up to its claims for both energy performance and occupant comfort. Allowing occupants to control the dimming qualities of the electrochromic glass proved less effective than allowing the envelope to operate automatically. Ventilation performed very well reducing CO2 to low levels.

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Cost and energy savings

Lower solar gain from electrochromic glass allows for smaller air-handling units using 15% less energy while saving $100,000 upfront.

Oversized ducts

Reduce air pressure, improve efficiency and allow repurposing of space.

Electrochromic glass

Light-sensitive, auto-dimming glazing reduces disturbing glare by 74.4%, summer cooling loads by 15% and winter heat loss by 20%.


Light reaches deep into the floor plate, reducing lighting loads up to 74% and retaining occupants connections to nature all without the need for window coverings.

Verified comfort

MX1104 multimeters, placed at desk level, verify thermal and visual comfort.

Wellbeing verified

Spectrometers, placed at eye level when seated, record and verify beneficial amounts of melanopic lux, which enhances sleep cycles.

Deep foundation

The foundation system uses 80-foot auger cast piles to support the building efficiently and economically.

Glazing with impact

The headquarters is covered in approximately 845 SageGlass Harmony electrochromic glass panels. This shading/daylight control solution reduces the electrical lighting loads by 74%. The envelope’s ability to shield solar gain results in 15% lower summer cooling loads while retaining 20% more heat during the winter. Over the course of one year, the building reduces carbon emissions by about 306 tons, the equivalent of 60 cars, compared to a typical envelope.

Proving decisions and solutions through post-occupancy evaluation can’t be overlooked.

Obtaining user and occupant feedback is invaluable in understanding how people experience their spaces under normal, everyday operating conditions. Post-occupancy surveys solicit feedback to optimize our processes and provide insight to drive design innovation. Our concise and user-friendly online surveys facilitate a straightforward data collection process focused on occupants’ experiences and perceptions of the design.

In addition to survey-gathering, we also collect data specific to indoor environmental factors, including temperature, acoustic, lighting, glare and air particulate measurements. These metrics validate design solutions and performance modeling calculations.

Michael Kuhlenengel

Post-occupancy evaluation SME

Michael Kuhlenengel

PhD Candidate, Engineer-in-Training

Michael is a trained architectural engineer, PhD candidate and post-occupancy evaluation expert with experience evaluating designs for education, commercial and federal projects.

Pillars of our Sustainability practice