JadeWaters & the Importance of Post-Occupancy Evaluations: Social Impact
tbger nick blok
Note: This is part one in a three part series where we will share data regarding the social, environmental and economic impacts of JadeWaters. This post is about the social impacts of the project.
A Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) is a method that studies the performance of a project after it has been constructed. POEs study how a project met or did not meet design goals, how the project is or is not meeting user needs, and provide suggestions for current improvements as well as for future work.
TBG met internally in the late spring of 2017 to begin discussing how to research JadeWaters and identified a specific design objective and research methods in the areas of social, environmental, and economic impact.
Project & Design Intent
The basis for a new design came from Anatole’s desire to attract sophisticated and upscale clients as well as increase hotel occupancy during summer months. TBG was contracted to redesign Hilton Anatole’s existing pool which provided simple amenities but felt outdated and disconnected from the Asian themes of the courtyard and hotel. The design includes an activity pool, lazy river, water slides, leisure pool with a swim-up bar, event lawns, day beds, luxury cabanas, and outdoor bar and grill. TBG saw opportunities to weave Anatole’s famous Asian influences into the new pool design by selectively choosing more than a dozen sculptures from the Crow’s personal collection of Asian art and placing them throughout the site. From very early on, it was important to the design team to protect as many existing trees as possible to create a sophisticated, mature feel that would attract high-end clients.
This book documents lessons learned stemming from the collaboration between Hilton Anatole and TBG Partners for the design of the JadeWaters Resort Pool Complex. With the perceived success of JadeWaters, we wanted to gather grounded data that can help to explain the project’s successes and challenges. Our hope moving forward is that lessons learned on JadeWaters can be applied to future Hilton projects as well as future TBG work.
For the social method, we created and handed out Guest Opinion Surveys one weekend at JadeWaters to get realtime user feedback on the design.
Out of 77 surveys, the overall social findings for JadeWaters were very positive. Typically, guests came to Anatole for a type of vacation and stayed at the resort pool for more than 4 hours, which creates more potential social interaction and economic stimulus. 78% of guests said the resort pool highly influenced their decision to stay at the hotel. While we were on site, we noticed quite a few families and children using the pool. We wondered if this would be the case during different times throughout the year.
A high percentage of guests enjoyed the amenities and service at the resort pool. After seeing how favored the lazy river amenity is, we could potentially use this material to push lazy rivers on appropriate projects, as sometimes they get nixed due to high costs. Due to the success rate, Anatole wishes the lazy river was longer than our proposed 630-foot amenity.
In general, most guests would not change a thing about JadeWaters! More pool amenities were demanded in the survey which sets the tone for potential expansion of future phases. Users are more likely to return and 100% would recommend JadeWaters to others.
Overall, we recognize that it would have been ideal to gather more surveys that showcase user activities and preferences throughout the year but, this gives us an initial glimpse of how JadeWaters is performing after two years of being open.