social economic Value

The ease or efficiency with which a building or project can be used

Buildings are designed to accommodate and support certain tasks. A hospital is used to treat patients, a school is used to teach, and an office is used to work. The success of a building partly relies on how easily and efficiently the building can accommodate such tasks.

How can this success be measured in terms of performance? The more usable a space, the more happy, healthy, and productive the building occupants can become. These effects are translated into measureable social and economic value, such as productivity, sick leave, absenteeism, staff retention, and other human resource costs.

Three key factors should be considered when designing for usability: how learnable, efficient, and alterable is the designed environment?