SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

Control is Beautiful: Measuring Facility Performance as if People (and Buildings) Really Mattered


This paper keynotes a panel discussion on measures of performance and serviceability of facilities that are applicable to individuals and small groups. The measures are derived within a control theory perspective of human performance in the built environment, using a general habitability model to organize their “controlled quantities” into appropriate scalar and value dimensions. The fundamental argument is that measures of facility performance should have a recursive nature which combines both environmental and behavioral referents. This captures what a user of a setting is trying to control in order to act in a certain way, and how elements of the setting participate in the ‘control loop’ that is established. Several examples illustrate how a relatively few powerful yet generalizable measures can assess many important conditions relevant to diverse questions of facility performance.

Author Information

Wise, JA
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Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 121–142
DOI: 10.1520/STP18924S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5108-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1292-6