Value creation in development and construction of public buildings : the case of houses of culture

Abstract: A public building should create an added value to clients, construction professionals and users resulting in an efficient construction project as well as an economically and socially sustainable building over its whole lifetime. In the meantime it is difficult to describe the social benefits of public buildings in general, but even more difficult to describe public buildings with a cultural content, e.g. concert halls and theatres, which supposed to create emotional and knowledge-based experiences. Likewise economic benefits of an investment in a public building are difficult to describe in terms of sustainable development in the region. The overall purpose of this thesis is to increase understanding of value creation in development and construction of public buildings. The focus is on evaluations needed to ensure that public construction projects are planned, designed and produced to fit the particular needs they are meant to meet. Ideas and end-user needs are transformed into the client's requirements in a written brief, also termed the building programme. These early phases of the building process are discussed and analysed in the thesis from the following perspectives: 1) development of ideas, 2) relation between clients and construction professionals when developing functional and technical specifications and 3) management of multicultural activities in the building. The research is based on a case study of the effects when building houses of culture, i.e. buildings for multiple cultural activities. The case study consists of one comprehensive single case where the building process and the effects of building a house of culture were studied. Interviews with different stakeholders, observations and a survey of visitors were conducted. Empirical data analysis resulted in a value based briefing model for analysis of stakeholder and end-user value as well as effects on the built environment. The model was applied in a study of four other houses of culture using interviews with clients and end-users as well as secondary data describing end-users' evaluation of the building. The main result is a deeper understanding of how public clients identify, develop and transform end-user needs into a strategic written brief, creating added value in the built environment over time. When developing ideas the public clients would benefit from developing a strategic brief, where end-user needs are related to the building's activities and overall goals. Developing functional and technical specifications, clients and construction professionals should benefit from including value based briefing as a method for identification and evaluation of effective and sustainable functional and technical specifications. The value based model is built on construction project parameters: time, cost and quality and developed with a time-geographical theoretical perspective where the building's quality includes design parameters describing end-user value in terms of activities, form & shape and place & space. The time-geographical perspective gives an understanding of how end-user needs and stakeholder values develop over time.