Capturing the social value of buildings: the promise of Social Return on Investment (SROI)

Kelly Watson, James Evans, Andrew Karvonen, Tim Whitley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Existing post-occupancy research rarely considers the importance of the sociality of the building user community and its building user group dynamics. A social value agenda is proposed to promote user-centred design within the built environment, by looking beyond physical design to consider the dynamic interactions that exist between people and their built environment within the social context that mediates them. A social impact valuation methodology, Social Return on Investment (SROI) , is trialled in three nonclinical case buildings of varying levels of user-centred design and different build types, representing applied social value research. A qualitative comparison of the “social value” of the case buildings considers the physical design, as well as their varying briefing and design processes, organisational set-ups and building management, and the experiences of the building users. However, the financial SROI data is inconsistent with the qualitative narratives, leading to concern over the effectiveness of SROI at capturing the implications of the sociality of the building user community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289–301
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume103
Early online date11 Apr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

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