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What is Occupancy?

After construction is complete, departments and staff are moved into the new facility and/or renovated space for a fully operational facility. While it is encouraged to engage staff throughout the entire design process, it is crucial to provide an orientation to the new facility and/or renovated space, its design features, and equipment to improve the transition from old practices to new.


Occupancy Activities

Activities occurring during occupancy that are led by the healthcare organization include: obtaining feedback from neighborhood leaders, performing community outreach, and planning marketing activities. Activities occurring during occupancy that are led by the design team include licensing.


Evidence-Based Design

In an EBD process, data is often collected after occupancy to evaluate whether hypothesized outcomes have been achieved. After you occupy the building you will complete Step Eight: post-occupancy evaluation.


Design Activities

Print Design Activities

See Evidence Based Design tab for EBD activities during this phase

Obtain certificate of occupancy; identify and resolve potential problems; make adjustments and modifications when needed.

Coordination of inspection and licensure reviews; If LEED status was pursued, finalize the LEED certification process - complete all documentation, checklist, LEED credit templates, project narrative; submit documentation to USGBC.

Performing community outreach; notify the local community about the opening of the new facility; obtain feedback from neighborhood leaders.

Conduct open-house and marketing activities.

Prior to accepting patients, it is helpful to have the staff practice typical functions and scenarios so they are not performing basic tasks for the first time where patient care is involved.

Evidence-Based Design Activities

Print Evidence-Based Design Activities

The final stage of design process is post-occupancy evaluation (POE). This is the time to measure and share the results from your project based on the goals and hypotheses developed at the beginning of the project.


Print FAQs

Feedback can be obtained from public meetings, interviews, focus groups, or surveys. Opinions should be evaluated by a team for the impact on both operations and the patient experience. There are often suggestions which have a minimal impact and little cost to implement, but other suggestions may be out of scope from a financial or strategic perspective. Expectations should be set relative to how suggestions will be evaluated, and in some instances it will be important to follow up directly with those making suggestions to ensure they know their opinions are heard and valued, even if not implemented.

A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) is for a temporary period of time and is usually obtained when there is a certain portion of the building the is determined to be habitable while another section is still under construction, or where minor construction is still underway, but it is safe for non-construction personnel to occupy the area.

The procedure and requirements for the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but this information is often available online. There are typically timeframes associated with both the time from the request for an inspection, as well as the intended occupancy date. The inspection request is made by the Contractor, the Owner, or the Owner’s representative.


Print Resources

Marketing dental services to low income/underserved populations may seem unnecessary, considering that most safety net clinic patients have no other places to obtain dental care and most clinics have long waiting lists for appointments. However, lenders don't necessarily know that. The safety net dental clinic equivalent of a for-profit business "promotion" is the clinic's "outreach" to attract patients. Generally, this amounts to just getting the word out when the clinic first opens. The outreach plan should demonstrate to lenders and others that the organization's services will be adequately utilized.


Phases and activities related to this resource include:


  • Marketing/outreach planning

Created by the California HealthCare Foundation.  Phases and activities related to this resource include:


  • Liscencing

Created by the California HealthCare Foundation.  Phases and activities related to this resource inlcude:

Organizational Readiness

  • Development of project budget
  • Explore various financing options


  • Liscensing

Created by Clinica Sierra Vista. Phases and activites related to this resource include:

  • Transition planning
  • Project close out 


  • Marketing/Outreach planning

Study Guide 3: Integrating Evidence-Based Design: Practicing the Healthcare Design Process.

Guide Three pulls together the evidence-based design (EBD) process to walk you through the key steps of the design process in detail from pre-design, design, construction and occupancy. Practical examples demonstrate key areas and show how EBD is practically applied.


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Phases and activities related to this resource include:

Organizational Readiness


  • Evaluate work flow
  • Start conceptual diagramming


  • Continue conceptual diagramming
  • Design development
  • Bid and award-this may be phased based on contract type


  • Substantial completion
  • Final completion



Created by Labs for the 21st Century/EPA/DoE and covers the entire design process with a focus on sustainability.  This resource specifically covers the Occupancy phase.

Created by New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR)/Franke Consulting Group.

Created by the Facility Guidelines Institute, 2010 edition. There is a read only version of the guidelines at the bottom of the linked page. Phases and Activities applicable to this resource include:


  • Select/survey sites and evaluate space availability
  • Property aquisition/site control
  • Start conceptual diagraming


  • Continue conceptual diagraming
  • Schematic design
  • Design development
  • Permit process
  • Zoning/use processing
  • Construction documents


  • Notice of completion
  • Final completion
  • Commissiong phase


  • Certificate of occupancy
  • Licensing

Clinicia Sierra Vista, basked in Bakersfield, California shared a pre-move checklist example with us to help other clinics think about the items that need to be addressed before occupying your new building.

Clinic Examples

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With 16 health centers and 54 different locations, Clinica Sierra Vista provides health care services to a large, underserved Hispanic population spread over 6,000 square miles. According to Doug...